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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ichneumon Wasp

Ichneumon wasp (pronunciation: ich-new-mon)

I clicked this picture in October, 2013 in Kausani, Uttarakhand. It looked very photogenic to me hence I decided not to miss this shot. Since I saw this insect for the first time, it became more important for me to take it back home in my camera and find more about it. Somewhere I was scared too thinking, 'what if it bites and is poisonous?'  I came back and started digging the internet to find it's name and more about it.
According to the information available online a typical Ichneumon is only interested if you’re an appropriate host for its eggs - and humans are not its target species. This wasp lays its eggs on or inside another insect species like flies, beetles etc. As these larvae grow and develop, they kill their hosts. Ichneumons are beneficial to humans as they are natural pest controls and save crops and provide economic assistance to us. Their stings are harmless, and if they bite, one can wash the area with plain water.

Probably next time if you see this insect you know that these heartless species are safe and beneficial for us humans.
P.S. This is an awesome time to plan the tours in India. If you are planning to visit Uttarakhand- I hope these posts help you!

Monday, September 15, 2014

GREEN DELHI- A Photo Story

The story is an old one; it plays repeatedly on self-loop, only thing that changes is the people and the environments that are affected. Despite numerous laws around the protection of trees, the rampage never ceases. The cause is as old as ages, and there is zero will to implement these laws by the law enforcers.

It all started last year when MCD was constructing cemented roads in our society in Pitampura, Delhi. These people forgetting their duties and feeling omnipotent with their machines of destruction started destroying everything that came in the way, setting a model, an example before the other phases of construction. Despite our repeated pleas and reminders of the laws governing tree felling, MCD upon insistence of one of our neighbours –Prem Lal Khanna and his family felled numerous trees, and when we said we would file complaint, they hid the trees, and then quickly towed them away:
Step 1: When you are MCD, you savagely destroy anything in your way
(Contract in the hands of some Mr. Khan)

 Step2:  Hide in the park until tow truck comes

Step 3: Load it up, hide under dry branches and tow away

We made repeated calls to forest department, to the chief conservation officer, two representatives from this department came and said that at least the trees in front of our house would be protected, and we were pacified with this assurance and forest department itself took no action against these people.

A year passed, our neighbours forever unsettled, were waiting for any excuse to fell the trees in front of our own house, their youngest son even declared that “I’m not my father’s son if I don’t get this tree cut off”.  Few weeks before today, some branches of one of our tree, started drying up, these were towards the side of this neighbour’s house, so anyone can guess what might have happened. Under pretext of some renovations, one day in the quite of a hot and humid afternoon, these people cut down two of  the trees that forest department so assuredly vouched for only a year before and created a shameless scene, embellished with all the name calling and vulgar obscenities as is the character of such people. 

 Fell in a moment what took years to grow

 On lodging complaint, the police has forwarded the case to horticulture department as this case is their prerogative. Quoting chief conservation officer, forest department Mr. A. K. Shukla, “Since the trees were not on your property, I can do nothing about it”. We had high hopes in these guardians of trees, reading glorified reports in the newspapers, but today, I’m disappointed, slowly turning impassive regarding any good change, I agree with forest officer, we really can do nothing about it. Delhi is definitely going green and greener.
 About Author:
Rochana Chaturvedi is a Professor of Computer Science in Delhi University since past three years. In her free time, she enjoys arts, nature, traveling and reading amongst many other. Besides being a good singer, she enjoys writing poetry though seldom publishes them on her blog. However, she can be caught blogging sometimes at

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