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17 Forests: Our Lifeline
One evening Boojho entered the park with an elderly person. He introduced him to his friends. Prof Ahmad was a scientist working in the university. The children started playing while Prof Ahmad sat on a bench in the corner. He was tired as he had participated in the golden jubilee celebrations of the town. After a while, the children also came and sat around him. They wanted to know about the celebrations. Prof Ahmad told them that after the cultural programme, the senior people discussed the town’s unemployment problem. A plan was proposed to put up a factory by clearing an area of the forest just outside the town. This would give the increasing population of the town a chance to get jobs. The children were very surprised when Prof Ahmad told them that many people had objected to this idea.
“This is because the forests serve as green lungs and water purifying systems in nature”, Prof Ahmad explained. The children were confused. Prof Ahmad realised that the children had not visited a forest. The children also wanted to know more about the forest, so they decided to visit it with Prof Ahmad.
17.1 VISIT TO A FOREST
One Sunday morning, the children packed a few things like a knife, a hand lens, a stick, a notebook and walked together through a forest trail near a village. On their way, they met Tibu, a young boy of their age group, of nearby village, who was taking cattle for grazing along with his aunt. He was very agile, running here and there to keep the herd together. When he saw the children, Tibu also started walking along with them, while his aunt went on a different path. As soon as they entered the forest
Tibu raised his hand and signalled them to keep quiet because noise could disturb the animals living in the forest. Tibu then took them to a place at a height to show them the broad view of the forest. Children were surprised because they could not see any land (Fig. 17.1). The different treetops had formed green cover over the land. However, the cover was not uniformly green. The environment was peaceful and a cool breeze was blowing. This made children quite fresh and happy.
1. Explain how animals dwelling in the forest help it grow and regenerate.
2. Explain how forests prevent floods.
3. What are decomposers? Name any two of them. What do they do in the forest?
4. Explain the role of forest in maintaining the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
5. Explain why there is no waste in a forest.
6. List five products we get from forests?
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