School students actively involved in the conservation of owls in KhotangNepal Owl Festival organised in Jalapa has had a good impact on children and locals over the importance of owls.
Sayahang Rai, a 10-year-old fifth-grader at Jyoti Secondary School in Khotang, along with his friends, used to hunt birds to pass the time. However, Rai has had a change of heart after he attended Nepal Owl Festival that was held at Jalapa of Diktel Rupakot Majhuwagadhi Municipality-12, Khotang, on February 1 and 2. Now, he and his friends work to conserve owl and other bird species in the area.
“Owl is a friend of nature. We should not kill it; we should preserve it,” said Rai. He is now actively involved in informing local people about the importance of owls and other birds and even urges them not to kill birds.
Nepal Owl Festival was jointly organised by ward No. 12 of the municipality and Friends of Nature, an organisation working for owl preservation. The festival was held to aware students and locals over the importance of conserving owls and other birds. Around 3,000 students of 17 different schools and 7,000 local people attended various programmes organised during the festival.
Tika Bahadur Shrestha, the headteacher of Jyoti Secondary School, said that after attending the festival, students are now actively involved in preserving owl and other bird species.
“The owl festival inculcated the importance of the preservation of birds and nature on the students. They now understand that owls, Eurasian eagle-owls and other birds are very important to our ecology,” said Shrestha. There are 287 students in the schools in the current academic year.
“The owl festival was organised to make a positive impact on students regarding bird conservation. I am thrilled upon hearing that the students are involved in the conservation of birds,” Raju Acharya, director of Friends of Nature, told the Post over the phone.
During the two-day owl festival, the use of catapult in the ward was banned. The festival will be launched on the first Friday and Saturday of February every year.
Bikash Rai, the ward chairman of Diktel Rupakot Majhuwagadhi Municipality-12, is happy with the increasing awareness among students and locals regarding bird conservation.
“It is very important that young children now know the importance of birds and their conservation. The ward office will raise awareness on the issue in the future as well,” he said.