Counting crocodiles for conservation

Vallabh Vidyanagar

The town of Vallabh Vidyanagar (commonly referred as Vidyanagar), neighbouring the Milk Capital of India-Anand, resides in the Central Region (Charotar Region) of Gujarat State. This town has been given the name “Vallabh Vidyanagar" so that the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the modern statesman of Charotar, Sculptor of United India always remains  intact in the minds of people. With the presence of the Sardar Patel University and the Charutar Vidya Mandal, this place is the hub of the finest education facilities in Gujarat for the resources it provides in the holistic development of a student. Here education of all the useful skills of modern age is imparted including education of pre-primary, primary, secondary, higher secondary, graduation and post-graduation level. The education covers all the disciplines i.e. arts, commerce, science, mechanical, natural sciences, social sciences, medicine, fine arts, and linguistics etc. It has institutes like Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidhyalaya (BVM), which is the first engineering college of Gujarat and is home for around 50,000 students from all over India. The town is truly dedicated to the field of education. It is also the place where the office of Voluntary Nature Conservancy is located.


The neighbouring city-Anand, five kms away from Vidyanagar, is the centre of the White (Milk) Revolution in India and thus known as the Milk Capital of India. This city hosts the Head Office of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) which is the parent organisation for AMUL & co-operative operations to collect milk. By launching the milk business in a scientific way, the Amul Dairy heralded White Revolution in Gujarat which is well established now. The dairy has provided the farmers an important source of supplementary income through animal husbandry. Today, it has become a world-renowned organization. Other prestigious institutions of the city are the National Dairy Development Board, well known business school – Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA)and the Anand Agricultural University.

Charotar Region

Charotar (or Charutar) region of Gujarat consists of two districts namely Anand and Kheda. It is located between the two major river systems; Sabarmati-Vatrak on the western side and Mahisagar river on the eastern in central Gujarat. Ahmedabad district is on its western side and Vadodara on the eastern side. The southern side is attached to the Gulf of Khambhat. Major area is a plain land soil popularly known as “Goradu Soil” with loamy sand of alluvial origin which is known for its productivity and hence intensive cropping farming is practiced throughout the year. Agriculture and dairying are the priority activities of the rural area. About three fourth of the population depends on agriculture. Large areas in this region are irrigated by Mahi Irrigation Project and therefore irrigated farming is practiced. In Gujarati, the word “Charutar” means a pot full of gold. This was supposedly coined because of the agricultural fertility of the area. The most important crop of the region is tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), Paddy (Oryza sativa) crop is another major crop of the area for it’s unique mixture of landscape features. This region also harbours one of the highest densities of sarus crane (Grus antigone) in the state. Although Anand and Kheda district do not have significant forested areas, they have high density of trees in the state and are considered to be the green bowl of Gujarat.