Kendrapara: Pitarkanika National Forest is located in the Kendrapara district of Odisha. The mangrove forest here was declared a Ramsar wetland in 2002.
Endangered saltwater crocodiles are abundant in the water bodies here. A boat was used by the forest department to protect the mangrove forest and its wildlife. JD Body, the Pitarkanika Forest Officer, came up with the idea of converting the boat, which is currently unusable, into a permanent library.
Accordingly, the boat was parked at Thangamal, the entrance to the Mangrove forest, and converted into a children’s library. The library was inaugurated on the 5th of last month, World Environment Day. The library is set up for children and young people to bond with nature and make them feel the need to protect nature. It contains 1,500 books. This boat library is designed to appeal to children. The boat library is divided into 32 sections in which books are stacked in several layers. These include wildlife conservation, mangrove forests, the environment, and government publications.
This is the first time in the country: The boat’s are painted in attractive colors to attract children. Due to the crocodile breeding season, the national park is closed from May 1 to July 31. The library is currently open to local school children.
Once the tourist season begins on August 1, visitors will be allowed to enter the boat library. It is said that this may be the first time in the country that a boat library for children has been set up.