Three Village Level Environmental Children’s Groups (VLECGs) were formed in selected villages under SSEP in Mannar District. A group of 155 children from VLECGs were taken for an educational exposure tour on 13th February 2023. The main objective of this exposure visit is to educate children about natural resources and the importance of conserving natural resources. Hence, the children were taken to Vankalai bird sanctuary and bird-watching tower. Vankalai bird sanctuary is located in Mannar District, and due to the availability of its numerous bird species, it has been declared as a sanctuary by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, and also it was declared as a RAMSAR site on 12th July 2010. Mr. Tissera who is a wildlife range officer from the Department of Wildlife Conservation accompanied in Vankalai the children during the exposure tour and made them aware of the importance of the conservation of birds & wildlife.
Later, the children were taken to the Department of forest conservation in Mannar. Children were educated on the aspects such as tree planting, forest conservation, and the services of the Department of Forest Conservation by Mr. Vinoth Dabarera an officer attached. Different varieties of plants in the plant nursery were introduced to the children. Further, children were also taken to Kunchukulum suspension bridge, dam, Kaddukkarai pond and Mannar Baobab tree.
The children expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the organizing team for giving them this wonderful opportunity and expressed that they are glad to learn of the existence of a bird sanctuary in Mannar. Some kids also pointed out that they got a good understanding of the environment and conservation methods. The entire exposure visit was organized under the leadership of Rev Fr. S. Anton Director of Caritas Mannar and Mr. S. Jesuthasan, the Project Coordinator.