Nuh police has started a special drive to sensitise children about the need to conserve the Aravalli hills and to ensure that they don’t get involved in illegal mining in the district, officials aware of the matter said on Friday.
Police said that for the drive, which was launched last month, they planned and outlined a programme, which include regular tours of children to the hillocks and plan special sessions for them with local zoology and botany teachers as well as forest officials, so that they are made aware of the disadvantages of mining and their consequences.
Nuh superintendent of police Narender Bijarniya said that the children are being made aware on the area’s flora and fauna and are taken to the illegal mining sites that have been damaged by miners. “The sites that have been reclaimed by nature following a year of strict implementation of the ban are also being shown to them to spot the difference,” he added.
Bijarniya said that illegal mining was rampant earlier, but it has been reduced drastically in the last two years. “The ecologically sensitive hills were being chipped away despite a ban on the activity being in place since 2002, aided and abetted by a strong network of miners. We decided to take a step through which we can involve schoolchildren who can spread awareness in their neighbourhood and can also check any such activity in their area,” he said.
Police said they provide buses for these tours and students from classes 9 to 12 are taken for these trips along with their teachers, NGOs and officials from the departments concerned.
Bijarniya said that teachers of geography, zoology and botany select 50 students per trip and take live classes at the spot. “It is important to teach them about the conservation, soil, flora and fauna as they are the generation that can protect them. Many families are involved in illegal mining and their awareness will also help their family members to remain in check. Majority of these children, despite living in close association with the Aravallis, have grown in environs normalising crime against hills. Majority of the families have conventionally been in one way or the other involved in mining that makes it an acceptable act for them,” he said.
Among various sites chosen for visit will be Pachgaon mining site where Nuh deputy superintendent of police Surinder Singh died after a truck he had signalled to stop ran him over on July 19 last year. The department ensures that a majority of the participants are from the over 20 villages on the Aravalli foothills that have normalised mining, said police.
Meanwhile, in a bid to curtail illegal mining on the border, special vigilance teams have been activated and police have also conducted raids to nab notorious miners, who after crackdown in Haryana have started operating from Rajasthan.
Bijarniya said that they have set up special check points in the district connecting to Gurugram and states like Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.