Celebrating the frog at FrogFest in Delhi
Did you know that in ancient Egypt, the frog was a symbol of life and fertility? Heqet was a goddess of childbirth and creation, and was often depicted as woman with the head of a frog. In Japan, travellers often carry a kaeru (Japanese for frog) amulet for a safe return home.
The frog, often seen only as a creature found in swamps and marshy land and maybe in cartoons, has been represented in cultures the world over. An exhibition at Delhi’s World Wildlife Fund (WWF) office aims to bring this small amphibian into the limelight by focusing on the role they play in our lives.
The FrogFest consists of over 500 artefacts collected by Seema Bhatt, an independent consultant working on issues related to climate change, biodiversity and ecotourism in Asia. Bhatt started her collection around 30 years ago—with a cane pot holder shaped like a frog from Nairobi. Over time, there have also been gifts from friends.
“I travel a lot, and I soon realized that frogs are represented in almost all cultures, differently but they are there, be it in Asia or Africa. Being a biologist myself, I knew the role they play in maintaining the balance in our ecosystem as well,” says Bhatt.
The items on display at the exhibition include keyrings, statues, tribal paintings, locks and boxes. Quizzes, games, workshops, films and eco trails for children and adults are also part of the exhibition, which hopes to raise awareness about the amphibian.
“Research on frogs has not happened as much in the past. But now it has picked up pace. We have actually discovered a number of new species in India, including the India Purple Frog, and India’s smallest frog species—the Nyctibatrchus Minimus, a mere 10mm in length,” says Payal Narain, senior manager, environment education, WWF-India. “It is time we recognized how important this tiny creature is.”
FrogFest is on till 30 April, 10am-5.30pm, at the WWF India office, Pirojsha Godrej Building, Lodhi Estate.