Message in a Bottle 

By Namrata Lunia | With schools shut since March 2020 and there being limited access to online education, the educational and social needs of children from the fishing communities of Tamil Nadu have been significantly impacted. In order to address these concerns, SNEHA, an organisation working with women and children of fishing communities in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, has been trying to raise funds with the help of Dakshin,  for creating child activity and learning centres in 14 coastal villages. These centres will provide academic support (including orientation to e-learning), educational material and access to counseling services. Awareness sessions on various topics such as child rights will be organised, extracurricular activities will be encouraged and a safe space for children to come and discuss their thoughts will be created through these centres. Besides this, health check-ups and provision of nutritional supplements will also be undertaken.

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On the Communications Track

By Pragya Solanki | At Dakshin, communications consists of four components – communicating with the general public, strengthening internal communications, building a network and support system for our partner organizations, and improving the existing programmatic communications with project stakeholders. The Covid-19 pandemic derailed us from our planned trajectory for these. However, the pandemic also offered us an opportunity to reimagine our ways of engagement at various levels. 

Stepping up to the challenges, the Communications Team helped in Dakshin’s relief work by coordinating the fundraising efforts and organizing the crowdfunding campaign. Many of our team members participated in various webinars and panel discussions on varied themes during this period. 

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Where do the sea turtles go? A novel system to track sea turtles

By Hariprasath R | Technological advances in animal tracking systems have enabled us to study animal movement to gain insights into their spatial use and habitat preferences. Telemetry studies have been used for spatial planning and conservation and management of different  animals. Traditional animal tracking systems use a variety of techniques ranging from UHF/VHF radio frequencies (Radio collars) to transmitters which communicate with satellites. Dakshin Foundation has now partnered with a local tech start up, Arcturus Inc, to support the design of a cost-effective telemetry device employing Long Range (LoRa) radio waves.

Transmitters typically record information on the animals’ location along with other environmental features including temperature, elevation/depth, travel speed, mortality etc.

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Long-Term Ecological Observatories (LTEO) 

By Tanmay Wagh | The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) recently launched the nationwide Long-Term Ecological Observatories (LTEO) Programme. This is a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary programme aimed at understanding the impacts of climate change on India’s various ecosystems and taxa, the results of which will feed into national and regional level policies. The programme covers a wide range of themes including soil, forests, grasslands, invertebrates, fish, herpetofauna, birds, animal movement and marine ecosystems and will be carried out at six index landscapes across the country. These include the Northwestern Arid Zone, Western Himalaya, Eastern Himalaya, Central India, Western Ghats and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.  Dakshin is heading the Marine theme of the LTEO programme.

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