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.
Abhilash Khandekar, vice president, at 6th Asian Cities Summit, New Delhi. He moderated a session on urban biodiversity conservation held on 6 April, 2023. The Summit was organized by the All India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG).
Initiated an environment award in 2018 Paryavaran Prahari to be awarded to someone doing outstanding work for the environment and nature in the region.
Started celebrating the World Wetlands Day in Indore annually on 2nd February.
He 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.
Awarded the prestigious, civilian honour Padma Shri (2016).
Attended the International Sarus Crane Conference (Saifai, UP, 2016)
Indore 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.
Abhilash 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.
TNV commissioned, a first of its kind, scientific study of the Lake by Pune based conservation expert Raviraj Soman, of The Mammoth Project in 2015
The breeding behaviour of the Indian Grey Hornbill – An Inside View (A film by Ajay Gadikar) in 2014
Bhalu Mondhe and Kaustubh Rishi attended the Raptor Conference (Pune, 2014)
Abhilash 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
Regular workshops, talks, and awareness programs in Schools
Frequent bird-watching sessions in and around Indore
Active participation in various bird surveys in Madhya Pradesh
Miscellaneous activities on various environment-related days, particularly World Wetlands Day and World Environment Day.
Attending various nature and environment-related seminars and conferences
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
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.
5. Threatened Birds of Madhya Pradesh
Asad R Rahmani, Arun MK Bharos, Ajay Gadikar, Praver Mourya
India has a total of 186 threatened species of birds declared in IUCN Red data book in 2021. In Madhya Pradesh we have 47 such threatened bird species. The book “Threatened Birds of Madhya Pradesh” contains an account of these 47 threatened bird species.
Many of these species are endemic or semi-endemic to the Indian Subcontinent, which has special relevance for conservation of birds in India. Details about the field characteristics and ecology, their past and present distribution in the state, threats that are looming over them, conservation measures underway and the recommendations for further conservation are mentioned in the book. Many species that breed in the State have been given special attention in the book and the conservation measures given in detail.
The Book is published by The Nature Volunteers, Indore and sponsored by the MP State Biodiversity Board, Bhopal. It is authored by Dr Asad Rahmani, Mr Arun MK Bharos, Mr Ajay Gadikar and Mr Praver Mourya and is edited by Mr Dev Kumar Vasudevan.
The book was released in Bhopal on 7th Oct 2021, in an impressive function in the august presence of Shri Ramesh Kumar Gupta IFS, PCCF & HOFF Madhya Pradesh,
Alok Kumar IFS, PCCF (Wildlife) & CWLW Madhya Pradesh and many other esteemed forest officers.
(Environment awareness series - 1)
The entire world is facing severe water crisis for two reasons - scarce and rapidly shrinking sources of usable water and water pollution.
The situation in India is far worse and deteriorating every moment. We, inadvertently and enormously contribute to the water pollution through 'Grey Water', i.e., polluted water due to chemical ingredients of almost all products of our daily domestic use, like soaps, shampoo, cleaners, food products, etc.
If we do not act now, there will be no clean water in the future. In order to educate common people about the Grey Water and make them aware of the hazards caused by it and providethe solutions, TNV brought out this very informative booklet called
The booklet was visualised by the vice-president of TNV, Shri Abhilash Khandekar and was written by Abhyudaya Kelkar, while EcoSoul Enviro Pvt.Ltd. (Indore) was the knowledge partner.
It was released on 5th June, 2022, the World Environment Day, at Sirpur Bird Sanctuary by Smt Devajani Patra, Member - Environment and Rehabilitation, Central Department.
7. Urban Biodiversity Conservation
(Environment awareness series – 2)
India is rich in biodiversity, which is being jeopardised, especially in urban
areas. Activities termed as `development’ in the cities are majorly
responsible for the shrinking biodiversity in the urban regions.
The purpose of this booklet is to spread mass awareness about urban
biodiversity and the system of governance designed for its conservation.
It was released on 10 December 2022 by India’s famous tree man, Shri
Pradip Krishen, Environmentalist and Naturalist, on the occasion of TNV’s
Annual Environment Lecture, at Hotel Lemon Tree, Indore.
Honey bees are very vital for the biodiversity as well as agriculture and
therefore for human existence. This is one of the few areas where
biodiversity conservation and economic progress of farmers can go hand-
in-hand. But unfortunately, farmers and lay people do not know much
about bees and bee-keeping. The reason for publishing this booklet is to
create awareness regarding these creatures. To give people the basic
knowledge about bees and to learn more about their fascinating world.
The third booklet in the series of Environment awareness was released on
18 February 2023, on the occasion of the Honey Bee Conservation Conclave,
organised at the Pritamlal Dua Auditorium.