The Nature Volunteers

An Informal Pressure Group of Environmentlly Restless People


About the Green Volunteers

The Nature Volunteers (TNV) is a leading conservation movement NGO and a not-for-profit organization functioning from Indore, MP. It celebrated its silver jubilee in 2016-17. TNV is a registered organisation with a top track record of variety of works such as wetland conservation, bird habitat protection, save tiger campaign, raising environment and climate issues at national and international fora, publishing books to create awareness in the masses, especially among the student community, organising bird watching camps, participating in bird surveys, vulture counts and so on. Much before the climate change and environment degradation emerged as global challenges, TNV had started its modest field work in these areas.

Our Vision

A well-protected, healthy and beautifully green environment!

Our Mission

To conserve birds and their habitats; secure wetlands and its biodiversity; and constantly work with people and governments to protect wildlife, to improve upon our natural ecology and urban chaos while ensuring the well being of trees, animals and people!

Pug marks In The Media

Feathers in the TNV cap


Trail From the past - Complete conservation of Sirpur Lake, Indore

Indore's famous Sirpur Lake, which is 120 years old, was a natural bird habitat but fell on bad days due to the negligence of its owners, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC). TNV, led by its president - an acclaimed environmentalist, Bhalu Mondhe (Padma Shri), took upon itself to conserve the wetland and its flora and fauna. He, along with his young journalist friend Abhilash Khandekar, then working with Free Press Journal as a sports correspondent, set up The Nature Volunteers (TNV) -- "An informal pressure group of environmentally restless people". Their love for the city and its well being was a common point of interest. They teamed up to save Sirpur. It was 5th June 1992. Since then their untiring multi-pronged efforts have resulted in the lake and its biodiversity being protected completely. It took them and their colleagues almost 15 years of sustained efforts which brought back to life this Heritage Lake, the biggest chunk of carbon sink around Indore and ensured it regained its pristine glory. The successful conservation of Sirpur Lake, as an urban water body, is now a well known success story across the country. We refer to it as the Sirpur Bird Sanctuary (SBS) in reverence to the 150 colourful species of resident and migratory birds.


Paryavaran Prahari
Initiated an environment award in 2018
Paryavaran Prahari to be awarded to someone doing outstanding work for the environment and nature in the region.
Started celebrating the World Wetlands Day in Indore annually on 2nd February.
Abhilash Abhilash Khandekar
He won the coveted Royal Bank of Scotland's Earth Heroes Award in the 'Inspire Category' and was honoured by the Vice President, Shri Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi in 2018. He has also been a core member of the India Rivers Week--a national level group which is working for the conservation and rejuvenation of Indian rivers.
Bhalu Mondhe
Bhalu Mondhe
Awarded the prestigious, civilian honour Padma Shri (2016).
Bhalu Mondhe and Dev Kumar Vasudevan
Attended the International Sarus Crane Conference (Saifai, UP, 2016)
iba Indore declared Sirpur Lake an ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Area’ (IBA, 2015)
Sirpur has received international recognition. It has been declared an ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Area’ (IBA) by the International body, Birdlife International, London, on the recommendation of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). It is one of the 19 IBAs in Madhya Pradesh.


birds of sirpur

Birds of Sirpur

Bhalu Mondhe, Abhilash Khandekar and Kaustubh Rishi

This is a book for all nature lovers and birders. Released in October 2012, Birds of Sirpur has described 130 species of birds in great detail. All the photographs have been clicked in the Sirpur Lake and surrounding areas. The book has categorised birds into three groups – Water Birds (23 species), Wetland birds (41 species) and Tree birds (66 species). A foreword by the eminent environmentalist and urban planner Mr M N Buch adds value to the book.

birds of sirpur

Vultures of Panna

Bhalu Mondhe and Abhilash Khandekar

Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan released the book Vultures of Panna on 11th August 2015. The book has been published by TNV with the support of WWF, New Delhi. The Panna Tiger Reserve had the dubious distinction of being known as the Tiger Reserve which lost all its tigers. But it is now attracting praise for having restored and achieving a healthy tiger population. Very few people know that the vanishing vulture has also found a sanctuary here. This book is a celebration of the protection that Panna has given to vultures. The book has stunning photographs clicked by Mondhe. The text by eminent journalist Abhilash Khandekar gives insight into the vulture species in India with specific reference to Panna. It has a detailed account of how the Reserve has become a home for eight species of vultures.

birds of sirpur

Patrick Geddes – Town Planning towards City Development

Realising a century old dream for a glorious future.

The TNV reproduced Sir Patrick Geddes’ first development plan of Indore was launched on 12th February 2016 by the Union Minister for Urban Development, Mr Venkaiah Naidu. Sir Patrick A Geddes (2.10.1854 – 17.4.1932) was a globally acclaimed urban planner, sociologist, botanist and educationist. He created many institutes and designed many cities around the world and India. A man of many talents, Geddes was invited by Maharaja Tukojirao III to Indore to design and plan for the evolving city of Holkars in the early 20th century, 100 years ago! TNV decided to bring back this historically important document into the public domain with the hope of shifting focus and resuming scientific debate on better urban planning practices that would make Indore a well-planned, green and beautiful city, much the city Sir Patrick Geddes had planned it to be.
Rs. 3500 (Set of 2 volumes)

On The Horizon

Nature Knowledge Centre

The construction work is under progress of a wetland Nature Knowledge Centre in the Sirpur Lake area, Indore, with the help of the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC). The upcoming Centre will be a highly advanced interpretation centre. It will provide an incredible insight into all aspects of nature, focusing on wetland ecosystem and wildlife of Central India.

Nature Knowledge Centre

The Nature Knowledge Centre will include the following:
1.A Butterfly Conservatory
2.A Biodiversity Park
3.Auditorium and amphitheatre for environment related programmes
4.Residential facilities for researchers

Save Sarus Campaign

Launching Save Sarus Campaign at Yashwant Sagar, Indore: Yashwant Sagar is another IBA in Indore’s vicinity. It was designated so because of the breeding population of the threatened Sarus Crane (Antigone antigone). The wetland is engulfed by various problems that require immediate attention.

Lesser Florican

Large scale awareness campaign for the highly endangered Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indicus) in the districts of Dhar, Ratlam, Jhabua (Madhya Pradesh)

Save tiger campaign

Renew the Save tiger campaign in Central India.

Migratory patterns of birds

Intensive study of migratory patterns of birds at Sirpur and other wetlands of the Malwa region

Jungle Chatter


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1 January 2005
Chief Minister, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan visited Sirpur Lake on 1st January 2005.
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1 December 2014
Dr Archana Godbole, a Founder director of the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) and represents it as an observer on the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) Sub-committee, visited Sirpur Lake on 1st Dec, 2014
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9 May 2015
Shri Jairam Ramesh, former Minister of Environment and Forests, visited Sirpur Lake, Indore on 9th May, 2015.
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25 July 2015
On 25th July, 2015, team TNV visited the Indore zoo to meet Dr Uttam Yadav and expressed its concern over the sudden death of recently born 3 tiger cubs in less than one month and requested zoo authorities to initiate adequate steps to prevent recurrence of such instances.
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1 October 2015
Indore MP and Lok Sabha Speaker, Smt Sumitra Mahajan visited Sirpur Lake on Oct 1st, 2015. TNV President and Vice President and other TNV members briefed her about the proposed Nature Knowledge Centre. The construction of it was soon to start.
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24 October 2015
Virginia Jealous, poet & writer from Australia visited Sirpur on 25th October, 2015. TNV members Bhalu Mondhe, Dev Kumar Vasudevan, Vijay Rangekar, OP Maheshwari and Ravi Gupta took her around. Shri Bhalu Mondhe, President TNV presented her copies of its publications “Birds of Sirpur” and “Vultures of Panna”.
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22 November 2015
Shri AR Yousuf, NGT-Expert, New Delhi, visited our new IBA, Sirpur on 22nd November, 2015



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May 25, 2016 4

Sirpur Lake and bird sanctuary – A Treasure in our neighbourhood

~Vindhyeshwari Kumari

It was a surprise, a very pleasant one indeed, when I visited Sirpur lake for the first time a couple of months ago. I have lived in Indore for more than three decades and like most residents had only heard of Sirpur Lake.
December 29, 2015

Birds of Sirpur – A Book Review

~Dev Kumar Vasudevan

This is a book which is a must have for all nature lovers and birders not only in Indore and around but for anyone who is interested in knowing about a lake which was almost given up for dead before it was revived by a group of passionate nature lovers.
January 2, 2016

The Breeding Behaviour of the Indian Grey Hornbill

~An Inside View By Ajay Gadikar

This is an article about the breeding behavior of the Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros birostris) observed at the bio-diversity park in the Residency area in Indore city.

On Our Trail