Balugaon, a small coastal village located on the periphery of Chilika Lagoon supports fisherman population of around 1500. The fishermen and their children who live right next to the Chilika Lagoon never got a chance to see the microscopic world that also reside in Chilika. Fisherman, the resource user and their children must be better educated about this microscopic world because it plays a crucial role in sustaining the fishery and bird population of lake that provides economic security to these coastal community. In resource constrained villages like Balugaon where schools are located right next to Chilika within 10 minutes of walking distance, nobody has ever analyzed a sample from Chilika in their science class. In such circumstances, Foldscope has plenty of opportunity to offer as a first portable microscope for the school children where costly microscope cannot be provided. These students can utilise the foldscope to understand the microscopic biodiversity of apart from fishes, birds, and doplphins Chilika which is surrounding their village.
On 22th Jan 2019, Foldscope Team of Wetland Research and Training Centre, Chilika Development Authority visited Jugal Charan Girls Hgh School, Balugaon, Odisha Odisha to educate the girls students of 9th standard on Seagrass biodiversity of Chilika and use of Foldscope in various fields. Around 60 students and teachers of school took an active participation in the interactive programme to know about the Foldscope and its application as a portable microscope. A detailed presentation on Chilika, a Ramsar site of India, its macrophyte diversity with special emphasis on seagrasses and their ecosystem services was delivered by Chilika Development Authority. The concept of frugal science and invention of foldscope was introduced to the participants, which was well received by students and teachers. Foldscope videos of live rotifer engulfing feed, oligochaete and its internal structure, spirogyra were demonstrated. Foldscope was appreciated as an efficient tool to study about the seagrasses, microorganisms, food web and how to take steps in conserving them for their betterment.