The Nature Volunteers
An Informal Pressure Group of Environmentlly Restless People
The Green Volunteers
The Nature Volunteers (TNV) is a leading conservation movement NGO and a not-for-profit organization functioning from Indore, MP. It celebrated its silver jubilee in 2016-17. TNV is a registered organization with a top track record of variety of works such as wetland conservation, bird habitat protection, save tiger campaign, raising environment and climate issues at national and international fora, publishing books to create awareness in the masses, especially among the student community, organising bird watching camps, participating in bird surveys, vulture counts and so on. Much before the climate change and environment degradation emerged as global challenges, TNV had started its modest field work in these areas.
A well-protected, healthy and beautifully green environment!
To conserve birds and their habitats; secure wetlands and its biodiversity; and constantly work with people and governments to protect wildlife, to improve upon our natural ecology and urban chaos while ensuring the well being of trees, animals and people!
Pug Marks in the media
Feathers in the TNV Cap
Trail From the past - Complete conservation of Sirpur Lake, Indore
Indore's famous Sirpur Lake, which is 120 years old, was a natural bird habitat but fell on bad days due to the negligence of its owners, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC). TNV, led by its president - an acclaimed environmentalist, Bhalu Mondhe (Padma Shri), took upon itself to conserve the wetland and its flora and fauna. He, along with his young journalist friend Abhilash Khandekar, then working with Free Press Journal as a sports correspondent, set up The Nature Volunteers (TNV) -- "An informal pressure group of environmentally restless people". Their love for the city and its well being was a common point of interest. They teamed up to save Sirpur. It was 5th June 1992. Since then their untiring multi-pronged efforts have resulted in the lake and its biodiversity being protected completely. It took them and their colleagues almost 15 years of sustained efforts which brought back to life this Heritage Lake, the biggest chunk of carbon sink around Indore and ensured it regained its pristine glory. The successful conservation of Sirpur Lake, as an urban water body, is now a well known success story across the country. We refer to it as the Sirpur Bird Sanctuary (SBS) in reverence to the 150 colourful species of resident and migratory birds.
Paryavaran PrahariInitiated an environment award in 2018
Paryavaran Prahari to be awarded to someone doing outstanding work for the environment and nature in the region.
Abhilash KhandekarHe won the coveted Royal Bank of Scotland's Earth Heroes Award in the 'Inspire Category' and was honoured by the Vice President, Shri Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi in 2018. He has also been a core member of the India Rivers Week--a national level group which is working for the conservation and rejuvenation of Indian rivers.
International Sarus Crane ConferenceAttended the International Sarus Crane Conference (Saifai, UP, 2016)
Important Bird and Biodiversity AreaIndore declared Sirpur Lake an ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Area’ (IBA, 2015)
Sirpur has received international recognition. It has been declared an ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Area’ (IBA) by the International body, Birdlife International, London, on the recommendation of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). It is one of the 19 IBAs in Madhya Pradesh.
AstitvaAbhilash Khandekar hosts and produces a weekly television programme on environment and wildlife ‘Astitva’ on the Lok Sabha TV channel since June 2015. He talks to experts about the environmental challenges prevalent in the world.
Sirpur lake StudyTNV commissioned, a first of its kind, scientific study of the Lake by Pune based conservation expert Raviraj Soman, of The Mammoth Project in 2015
Grey HornbillsThe breeding behaviour of the Indian Grey Hornbill – An Inside View (A film by Ajay Gadikar) in 2014
Tiger ConsevationAbhilash Khandekar was awarded the Vasundhara Puraskar by Kirloskar Foundation for Tiger Conservation (February 2011) also he Served as a non-official member on the MP Wildlife Board and Panna Tiger Committee
1. Birds Of Sirpur
Bhalu Mondhe, Abhilash Khandekar & Kaustubh Rishi
This is a book for all nature lovers and birders. Released in October 2012, Birds of Sirpur has described 130 species of birds in great detail. All the photographs have been clicked in the Sirpur Lake and surrounding areas. The book has categorised birds into three groups – Water Birds (23 species), Wetland birds (41 species) and Tree birds (66 species). A foreword by the eminent environmentalist and urban planner Mr M N Buch adds value to the book.
2. Vultures of Panna
Bhalu Mondhe & Abhilash Khandekar
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan released the book Vultures of Panna on 11th August 2015. The book has been published by TNV with the support of WWF, New Delhi. The Panna Tiger Reserve had the dubious distinction of being known as the Tiger Reserve which lost all its tigers. But it is now attracting praise for having restored and achieving a healthy tiger population. Very few people know that the vanishing vulture has also found a sanctuary here. This book is a celebration of the protection that Panna has given to vultures. The book has stunning photographs clicked by Mondhe. The text by eminent journalist Abhilash Khandekar gives insight into the vulture species in India with specific reference to Panna. It has a detailed account of how the Reserve has become a home for eight species of vultures.
3. Patrick Geddes – Town Planning towards City Development
Realising a century old dream for a glorious future.
The TNV reproduced Sir Patrick Geddes’ first development plan of Indore was launched on 12th February 2016 by the Union Minister for Urban Development, Mr Venkaiah Naidu. Sir Patrick A Geddes (2.10.1854 – 17.4.1932) was a globally acclaimed urban planner, sociologist, botanist and educationist. He created many institutes and designed many cities around the world and India. A man of many talents, Geddes was invited by Maharaja Tukojirao III to Indore to design and plan for the evolving city of Holkars in the early 20th century, 100 years ago! TNV decided to bring back this historically important document into the public domain with the hope of shifting focus and resuming scientific debate on better urban planning practices that would make Indore a well-planned, green and beautiful city, much the city Sir Patrick Geddes had planned it to be.
Rs. 3500 (Set of 2 volumes)
4. Birds of Indore
Bhalu Mondhe, Ajay Gadikar & Pravar Mourya
This book is an exhaustive study and a treasure of information about 267 species of birds of Indore. A handy and user-friendly illustrated guide of resident, common and migratory birds of the city. It will be a great reference for all bird watchers and all those interested in natural history of this part of central India. The book would be of great use to learn, spot and identify common and rare birds and also see the beautiful hotspots.
The book is co-authored by Bhalu Mondhe, Ajay Gadikar and Pravar Mourya, all bird watchers of repute, who put in more than three years of hard work to create this wonderful book.
The book was released on 3rd September 2019 by the former State Minister for Urban Administration, Shri Jaivardhan Singh. The former Indore Municipal Commissioner, Shri Asheesh Singh, IAS and the Environment Planning & Coordination Organisation (EPCO), Bhopal are to be greatly thanked for their help and support in bringing out this publication.
On the Horizon
1 December 2014Dr Archana Godbole, a Founder director of the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) and represents it as an observer on the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) Sub-committee, visited Sirpur Lake on 1st Dec, 2014
9 May 2015Shri Jairam Ramesh, former Minister of Environment and Forests, visited Sirpur Lake, Indore on 9th May, 2015.
25 July 2015On 25th July, 2015, team TNV visited the Indore zoo to meet Dr Uttam Yadav and expressed its concern over the sudden death of recently born 3 tiger cubs in less than one month and requested zoo authorities to initiate adequate steps to prevent recurrence of such instances.
1 October 2015Indore MP and Lok Sabha Speaker, Smt Sumitra Mahajan visited Sirpur Lake on Oct 1st, 2015. TNV President and Vice President and other TNV members briefed her about the proposed Nature Knowledge Centre. The construction of it was soon to start.
24 October 2015Virginia Jealous, poet & writer from Australia visited Sirpur on 25th October, 2015. TNV members Bhalu Mondhe, Dev Kumar Vasudevan, Vijay Rangekar, OP Maheshwari and Ravi Gupta took her around. Shri Bhalu Mondhe, President TNV presented her copies of its publications “Birds of Sirpur” and “Vultures of Panna”.