News and Views

News & Views


The biggest strength of an online club is its ability to network people far and wide and fast. We are adding members on a daily basis without any kind of advertising online or offline. But networking by itself is not the objective of the Club. The idea is to bring together people who share a love for nature & wildlife and then interact with each other and take up activities to spread awareness about the need for conservation. While our interactive features online are fairly successful ( the quiz, contest, online chat etc.) our offline activities are not picking up as they should. This is possible only if local chapters come up with innovative activities and programs.

IWC Ghana members!!

Here is some good news for you. Isaac Churcher from Ghana has written saying he would like to mobilize members from Ghana and create an active team. He has sent in his picture and a small introduction. I am publishing them in the ezine with a request that members from Ghana get in touch with him through email or otherwise and start planning activities. Getting in touch is a two way process; hence I am making available the registration particulars of Ghana members till date to Isaac. He will also try to get in touch with you. Best of luck to the core group of Ghana and hope they make a wonderful group!




Roopam Dhawan is among the first few members who registered on He is now an active volunteer for the anti toosh campaign of Wildlife Trust of India. Here is an interesting piece posted by him in yahoo club.

Conversation with a Kashmiri shawl seller

Roopam(Arranged meeting between shawl sellers and friends who posed
as customers)

Neelakshi(posing as customer)

Rajeev(Resident Editor of a national newspaper posing as Neelakshi's

Haji(the Kashmiri shawl seller)

Haji's nephew(the Kashmiri shawl seller who deals in Shatoosh)

Location: A dingy rented accomodation in Chandigarh where a group
of Kashmiris live.

Time: 11th March, 2003 12PM (that's the time of the year when shawl
sellers call it a season and head back to Kashmir)

Roopam(switches on the hidden camera), Neelakshi and Rajeev enter the
house where the Kashmiris live.

Roopam: I'm here to meet Haji.

A Young Kashmiri: He will be here soon. Please sit.
(The room lacks any furniture. A 14" TV is playing loudly. A bedsheet
is laid on the floor. We remove our shoes and sit down)

Neelakshi(after sometime to the kashmiri): Can you turn down the
volume of the TV(having handycam in her mind. The Kashmiri obliges)
After some time, Haji arrives with his nephew. After greeting, his
nephew proceeds to show his wares.

Roopam: This is what material?

Haji's Nephew: Pure Pashmini.

Roopam: What's the cost?

Haji's Nephew: 10500 only.

Roopam: We want Shatoosh.

Haji's Nephew(brings out a shawl from a bundle): See this.

Roopam: Is this toosh?

Haji's Nephew: Pure toosh.

Neelakshi: What's the cost?

Haji's Nephew: 30000 only.
(The shawl is brown coloured. One can see the hard guard hair here
and there)

Neelakshi: This is very soft. Can it pass through a ring?

Haji(looking towards Roopam): Try with your ring.

Roopam(takes out a ring from his index finger and hands it to
Neelakshi): Here.
(Neelakshi takes the ring and passes the shawl through the ring. It
passes easily)

Haji: A pure Pashmina will also pass through a ring.

Roopam: Then how do you distinguish between a pashmina and a toosh

Haji's Nephew(after a pause): We have been into this for so many
years. We just know.

Neelakshi: Show us more toosh.

Haji's nephew: I only have one right now. I have sold the rest.

Roopam(looking towards haji): But you said you will show us a few

Haji's Nephew(as he leaves): I will just get a few from other
Kashmiris from a nearby house.
(After a few minutes, he returns with three few shawls.

Haji's Nephew: See this(as he shows a very light coloured shawl)

Roopam: How much is this for?

Haji's Nephew: This is a very good quality shawl. This is for 52000.

Neelakshi: But you said the earlier shawl was also pure toosh. Then
why is the colour and price different?

Haji's Nephew: Both are pure. Out of a given material if 20 brown
shawls are made then out of the same material, only one cream
coloured shawl is made.

Roopam: Why do you have so few shawls? Don't these shawls sell?

Haji's Nephew: No, these are in great demand here. But you know,
these are banned.

Roopam: Banned. Why?

Haji's Nephew: It is like this, that the animal they are made from,
has reduced a bit in number. That's why.

Rajeev(who had been a mute spectator so far): Then how do you bring
these here?

Haji's Nephew: We have to be very cautious. That's why these are few
in number. We mix one shawl in a bundle of Pashmina shawls.

Roopam: But is it safe for us to buy this. If police catches us?

Haji's Nephew: No, No, No. It's absolutely safe. If anybody catches
you, just say you are unaware or say that this is 15 year old shawl
given to you by your parents. That's it.

Neelakshi: What's your address in Srinagar?

Haji: We are from Anantnag. You can contact us here only.

Neelakshi: OK, we will let you know shortly as my mother is not here
and I want to consult her.

Haji: Make it quick as we will go back to Anantnag in a couple of
days or so.

Roopam: Sure.
And, we move out.

(A report on this was published in Financial World dated March 26, 2003.)

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