Shola canopy (Photo: Lathika George)

Letter to The Kodai Chronicle

Dear Kodai Chronicle team,

This publication is going to be a great thing for Kodai and will, I hope, play a part in its preservation and eco-supportive development. I hope that you folks will consider inviting experts in the fields of the environment, heritage and sustainable development to write in-depth pieces, which will then be used and quoted by other sources.

Our little cyclostyled newsletter, Hamadryad, became an important reference for herpetology because we ‘published’ seminal articles on reptile surveys and studies all over the country. It is now one of the most quoted references, when herpetologists write about Indian species.

So, I hope the same happens in this instance.  Kodai is still at the stage where it can be ‘saved’, but meaningful dialogue needs to happen, for example, about human-wildlife conflict and specifically the bison issue.

I hope, also, to see profiles of local people who have lived for generations in these hills and struggled with poverty, corruption, rapidly decreasing water supply, etc. Fluent Tamil speakers could do interviews with these communities, and bring them closer to those of us who live in such a different planet from them with our entitled world-views and expectations.

Bon voyage with this,

Zai Whitaker

Zai Whitaker

Zai Whitaker is a writer, conservationist and Managing Trustee of the Madras Crocodile Bank/ Centre for Herpetology. She is the author of many books for adults and children, including Cobra in My Kitchen, Andamans Boy, and, most recently, the e-book Zyrus the Virus. A former long-term Kodai resident, she currently lives in Chennai and is Advisor to The Kodai Chronicle.

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