Dr. Marseline Almeda & Saramma Almeda
Maharashtra is proud of the huge contribution of Dr. Marceline Almeda towards Botany. Native to Sawantwadi in Sindhudurg district Dr. Almeda is a well-known plant taxonomist. With wife Saramma – who is a botanist herself – Marceline has written six volumes of ‘Flora of Maharashtra’. 28 research papers on the Indian Botany are to his credit. Dr. Almeda has worked with numerous national and international institutes as a plant taxonomist and he is on the working committee of the Bombay Natural History Society; he is the honorary editor of their botanical periodical, too. He is a member of the committee appointed by the govt. of Maharashtra to study native medicinal plants. He, again as a member of the evaluation committee, looks into forestry and social forestry projects. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Prince of Wales museum in Mumbai, a fellow of ‘Maharashtra Academy of Sciences’ and a life-member of ‘World Wildlife Fund’, too. He has particularly researched about naming & classification of plants of Konkan and the Devrais (plantations attatched to temples) in Sindhudurg district. Even in his 70s, Dr. Almeda arranges seminars for school- and college students.
From a very young age Vinayak alias Mohan Bapat was attracted to water and flora & fauna. He collected a lot of information about the same, too. He started collecting samples of vegetation wherever he went and distributed them, too. He is arranging seminars and exhibitions for the last 40 years, informing people about medicinal qualities of various plants. He makes it a point to spread seeds while roaming the forests to facilitate natural growth of various plants. He has collected scientific information about 150 varieties of vegetation.
Narendranath’s first passion is to roam freely in nature. He was born on 19th July 1937. After securing art master’s degree from J. J School of Arts he started teaching. He likes trekking the Sahyadris and its various forts, exploring for tunnels, rock paintings & sculptures, looking for medicinal plants and studying social life patterns; He knows a lot about all these, too. He is a good photographer, artist, calligrapher and writer, too.
Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra
In 1992 Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra started its work in Konkan, keeping the motto ‘protect nature with foresight’. It is a leading NGO in Maharashtra working in the fields of nature conservation, protection and research. Besides this it spreads awareness, educates and acts based on scientifically drawn conclusions. The crowning achievement was about uncovering the smuggling racket involving nests of the Indian swallow found on the island ‘Vengurla Rocks’ in Sindhudurg district and thus getting the bird notified in the ‘Indian wildlife (protected)’ list. Similarly, with relentless efforts, the institute succeeded in erecting a hatchery for sea turtles’ eggs thus protecting them from foxes, mongrels and – above all – man. A ‘turtle festival’ is celebrated every year on seashore of Velas to spread awareness for conserving the sea turtles through participation of locals.