Unique Birdman from the land of Rainforests - Dr.Narasimhan.S.V

Cutting across all man made barriers like Nationality, Race, Language, Religion, bird watchers round the earth share the same passion - birds. But the expressions that spring out of each birder, upon watching these living gems vary with each human. While some shoot with cameras, many others tend to recreate the magic with their hands.

Among them is Narasimhan.S.V. A medical doctor by profession, Dr.Narasimhan hails from Coorg or Kodagu district of Krnataka. Nestled amidst the lush green Western Ghats, Kodagu is a land of Rainforests and Waterfalls. And birds of the rainforests spell magic for Dr.Narasimhan, as his joy spills out in the form of Colour hand sketches.


Wildlife Message Cards are individually hand painted cards, with pictures of animals, birds and butterflies, with appropriate captions on wildlife conservation in English and Kannada, sent free, by post, to individuals all over the world, so that the conservation message spreads. Students, wildlife officials, NGOs concerned with wildlife, Nature lovers, and the like, have become the recipients of these cards. These recipients, in turn, send them to their friends or display them at various public places and help to further spread the message of wildlife conservation.

Materials used to make Wildlife Message cards: Index cards, Colour sketch pencils, Black pencils, colours

History
It all began in 1982-83 says Dr.Narasimhan. I have committed myself to bring awareness regarding wildlife conservation, among school-going children and general public. Because of my compelling profession, I had to select a way by which I did not have to go out to do the job. So I started sitting and painting the wildlife message cards. “The number of cards painted in each of the first three years was 200-480. In 1985, when an English daily published an article regarding these cards, the number of recipients went up to 400 and the number of cards painted, shot up to more than 1500 cards. In 1987, I set a target of making 3000 cards every year. Though I have not reached this self-set target, I have consistently done 2700 to 2920 cards each year.”

Now, every year, these cards are posted to 1350 selected recipients, at gratis, so as to reach them by Wildlife Week- the first week of October. Thus the total number of recipients has crossed 3400-mark and the total number of wildlife cards that have been painted in the past 16 years has exceeded 32,500!

All of us talk a lot about the need for Nature conservation; about the rapid depletion of forest cover and diminishing wildlife. Progress in the name of industrialisation, modern agriculture, added to population explosion, greed and lack of political will are responsible for this for state of affairs. The public in general and NGOs in particular, can play a great role in influencing the policy making bodies, when it comes to implementation of these ideas. Politicians and Government officials are all important people. No amount of legislation or force can change the heart of men. I have immense respect and trust in the schoolteachers who can try to inculcate a sense of love and concern for the Nature in the students, who are the future of hope, in this field”.

Responses
One Ms. Kathy Woveris, from California, has written to me. Perhaps she is a wildlife photographer, because she has sent a photograph of Uganda Kob, that she clicked in Africa.

In 1999, he prepared a questionnaire regarding the quality of my work, type of recipients, their habits, etc. This questionnaire was sent to 1350 recipients of whom 1058 [78 percent] sent back the completed questionnaires. The results of this survey give a detailed assessment of the response.

Some of the interesting features found in the survey have been mentioned below: Each year, 23% recipients form a buffer. None has put the wildlife message cards into the trash bin. They have found their place on office tabletops, and various public places. 15.6% of them are students; 5.2% are wildlife officials and out of the 59% professionals, 22% are teachers. Most of them i.e., 90% have liked birds; only 8% have liked insects: butterflies are insects too! More than 80% reside in urban areas.

I am not carried away by the nice response, regarding the quality of my cards, but seriously aware of the caution of some of the people. As many have suggested, I have already started replacing water-colours in place of sketch pencils. Starting from this year, I have even tried pencil sketches”.

Love Birds of Coorg
Recently he has formed an organisation along with a few of his friends to promote birding. This small group of bird enthusiasts is called ‘Love Birds of Coorg’.

The objectives of this group include:
> Educating high school students about bird and nature watching.
> Conducting workshops on preparing wildlife cards
> Teaching wildlife photography (One member is a professional photographer).

There is a great deal of difference between the work done with a sheer love for nature and that, which is done with money in mind. The former gives immense gratification to your soul. Over the past seventeen years, the total number of cards that I have done is 32,140. A well-paid professional artist might paint more than this in a single year. Today, my cards appear in many places: On the working tables of great men, on the notice boards of schools and colleges, as placards at various public places, and in many homes as wall hangings and private collections. Many even do not know who did them.

I know that the cards are not masterpieces of art. No one will buy them, if sold. Over the past 16 years, it has never been a one-man show. But they have understood the love that goes to make each card. More than 5050 nature lovers have helped me to spread these messages of which 3500 like-minded people have been the arch-pillars. At the end of the day I silently thank God for making me a little artist, unknown to so many people who equally love nature. Satisfaction is the greatest reward!

Let us join hands to make our only Earth a place, where all elements of life can live in peace, happiness and harmony”.


To receive a set of cards every year, please write a letter to him giving your complete home address at:

Dr.S.V.Narasimhan
Virajpet 5712 50
Kodagu District
Karnataka

or

Since this is the era of Internet. You are free to send these cards to your friends and help to spread the message. To receive cards through e-mail please send him an e-mail at:

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