Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer 2012 Activity Update: Pench, Maharashtra

Team: Anoop Awasthi – Conservation Officer
            Bandu Uikey, Dilip Lanjewar – Field assistants


  • Team was busy working on micro-plans for Kolitmara, Narhar, Khapa, Tuiyapaar, Mehkepaar, Surera, Ghatkukda, Kirangisara, Usaripar, Sawara, Wagholi
  • One shramdhaan to clean a waterhole at Ghatpendari
  • One shramdhaan to clean a water tank , hanging water pots for birds  at Ghoti
  • Field assistant Bandu Uikey joined Forest Department staff in water hole census
  • Field assistant Bandu Uikey joined Forest Department staff on anti-poaching patrols four times
  • Assisted in fighting fires in forest once
  • 6 medical camps – 183 patients treated
  • Tribal Dance group earned Rs 4,000 during the month
  • 6 unemployed youths placed in jobs

Conservation work:

On May 6, field assistant Bandu Uikey joined local staff of the Forest Department in a water hole census at Bailghat waterhole.

Field assistant Bandu Uikey joined local staff of the Forest Department in anti-poaching patrols on four occasions in May - on May 16, 17, 28 and 31. Members of the eco-development committee (EDC) of Ghatpendari and Bandu took part in the patrols in the jungle near Ghatpendari. Normally, there is a rise in poaching and fire incidents during the peak summer season.

On May 19, Bandu Uikey and  EDC members saw a fire in the forest area of  near south Matamai beat adjoining Ghatpendari village. They informed forest officers. A team of 6 Forest workers, 2 EDC members and Bandu doused the fire using leaves and branches from the trees.

On May 27, Bandu Uikey led a team of 6 unemployed youths of Ghatpendari village along with 3 staff of the Forest department in a programme to clean a waterhole near Ghatpendari in core area of Pench Tiger Reserve. Leaves and other organic matter had fallen into the waterhole and clogged it up, making it difficult for wildlife to drink.

Waterhole cleaning at Khamba

On May 17, Dilip led 9 children from Kadbikheda village on a nature trail in the jungle adjoining the village. On the trail, Dilip explained to the children them the importance of trees and wild life in our ecosystem.

During the month, our team also worked with the Forest Department in preparing micro-plans. As part of this exercise, we held awareness programmes jointly with the Department in villages to explain to the villagers about micro-plans, Joint Forest Management and Eco-Development Committees.
The meetings were held at :



Employment Cell

During May, we helped 6 unemployed youths get temporary jobs with the Forest Department. Local youths interested in such jobs inform us and we, in turn, keep track of vacancies with the Forest Department. When vacancies arise, we introduce the youths to the Department and give feedback to them about the abilities of the youths. 

A tribal dance group, comprising villagers from Sawara, earned Rs 4,000 in May through 2 programmes. The group was set up with our assistance and we help it by speaking to resort owners to organize performances by the group. 

Tribal dance performance at Royal Jungle Retreat

Mobile Health Unit (MHU)
There were 6 camps in May. 


Summer 2012 Activity Update: Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

Team: Anoop AwasthiConservation Officer
            Niranjan Hinge – Field assistant
            Bandu Uikey – Field assistant

  • Assisted in fighting fire in forest near Telia
  • 2 nature trails for students at Satosha, Amazhari
  • Cleaning of water body for domestic cattle at Amazhari
  • Installing water pots for birds at Satosha
  • Medical camps in 6 villages – 223 patients treated 

 Conservation work 

 On May 24, Niranjan led 5 children from Satosha village on a nature trail in the jungle adjoining the village. On the trail, Niranjan identified various species of local flora and fauna and explained the need for conservation to the children. A similar trail was organized for 6 more children of Amazhari on May 27.
With the summer heat at its peak, water is a major issue for birds. During this period, our teams across the landscape organize programmes to put up pots with water for birds to quench their thirst. At Pench, Niranjan led 6 children from Satosha village in a programme on May 25 to hang pots with water in trees.

On May 28, Niranjan led a team of 
6 children from Aamazhari in a programme to clean a water body for domestic cattle on the outskirts of the village. The water body had become clogged with litter and a layer of scum covered the water. The team cleaned up the water body and made it fit for use by animals to drink from. It is mainly used by domestic livestock and occasionally by wildlife at night.

    On May 25, Anoop was returning from a field trip. He saw a fire in the forest adjoining the road near Teliya village. He doused the fire using leaves and branches from the trees. 

Mobile Health Unit (MHU)

We assisted Nature Conservation Society, Amravati in holding 6 medical camps in May.



Monday, June 25, 2012

Nature Conservation Society Amravati sets an example by constructing a lake at community centre in Melghat

Amravati (June 26, 2012)

With no financial support from any Government department, Nature Conservation Society, Amravati has constructed a lake at its community resource centre (CRC) in Melghat Tiger Reserve. NCSA has set an example for others by doing water conservation work. The lake was inaugurated yesterday by wildlife conservationist and Satpuda Foundation President Kishor Rithe.

The lake will be called "Nishisagar" and will store approximately 13 lakh litres of water, doing a great amount of water conservation work every year.

The Community Resource Centre is locally known as "Muthawa centre". (Muthawa is a god of the Korku tribe). NCSA had set up this centre in 2006 to promote sustainable village development activities in Melghat villages. NCSA is trying to showcase conservation models and rural development technology so that tribal villages can adopt such conservation initiatives.

"The lake will also help to conserve more water as we had already constructed another percolation tank at the downstream end of this lake", said Nishikant Kale, former President of NCSA and architect of this lake. "It has cost us around Rs. 2 lakh and a lot of work has been done through shramdaan (voluntary work) by our members during this summer."

NCSA has developed three nurseries including one exclusively for medicinal plants. Artificial water holes have been created for wild animals along with the grasslands around the water bodies. "It has actually attracted chital, sambar and some carnivores at the community centre", said Neharu Yewale, CRC in-charge.

NCSA has planted many indigenous agro-forestry plants, an orange and mango orchard and other forest fruit species like Chironji and custard apple. The plantation has come up very well and started producing fruit.

NCSA generates solar power and bio-fuel to run the CRC. The Muthawa centre has also installed some innovative items like a sewage treatment plant, gravitational water distribution system, bio-fuel plant, solar cooker and solar water-heater like appliances, water conservation structures and spot-feeding fence for livestock.

 In fact we had also approached the Government but the concerned department did not show any interest even after written orders from Collector and Divisional Commissioner, said Dr. Anil Asole, President of NCSA. 

Kishor Rithe's article about tiger poaching in Sanctuary Magazine (June 2012)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer 2012 Activity Updates: Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve


  • Assisted in fighting fire in forest once
  • Follow-up to tree plantation in 4 schools
  • 2 nature trails for village children
  • Public/village hygiene programmes in 3 villages
  • Cleaning of 2 water bodies used mainly by domestic livestock and birds
  • Water pots put up for birds in 3 villages
  • Anti-plastic programme in one village
  • Medical camps in 6 villages  - 225 patients treated
  • Two visits to Bhagwanpur to follow up status of relocated villagers

  On May 6, our field assistant Bandu Kumare went to Kondegaon Zilla Parishad (ZP) Primary School to monitor the progress of saplings planted in July-August 2011. Bandu conducts regular follow-up visits to ensure that the saplings are watered properly and that they get adequate protection from livestock. A similar follow-up visit was made to Dewada on May 15, to Adegaon on May 25 and to Katwal on May 31.

On May 6, Bandu led 16 students of ZP Primary School, Kondegaon on a nature trail in the jungle adjoining the village. Bandu, who earlier worked as a guide in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, helped the children identify local flora and fauna and explained the need for nature and wildlife conservation to them.

    A similar bird-watching trail was organized on May 22 at Moharli for 6 children of the village.

On May 6, Bandu organised a programme at Bamdeli to promote awareness about public hygiene. He and 2 unemployed youths of the village cleaned up the area next to a well, which had turned into a bog, and dug a channel to drain the spillover water away.
Similar programme were organised on May 11 at Sitarampeth and on May 16 at Chorgaon.

With the summer at its peak, our teams have been motivating villagers across the landscape to put up pots in trees and bushes for birds to quench their thirst. Bandu organised 3 programmes in his area of operations – on May 9 at Kutwanda, at Adegaon on May 9 and at Moharli on May 22.

  On May 18, Bandu and Yogesh organised an anti-plastic programme at the ZP Primary School at Kutwanda in which school students cleaned up the main village road of plastic litter and waste. They then cleaned up the school premises. The litter/waste was then buried in pits. 7 students of the ZP Primary School joined hands with Bandu in this task.

On May 16, Yogesh, Bandu and 3 unemployed youths of Katwal joined hands to clean a water body around 1 km from the village. The water body had become clogged with branches, leaves and other organic litter. This water body is used by birds and domestic livestock. Wild boar and barking deer are regularly spotted at this water body. 

A similar programme was organized on May 22 at Moharli to clean up a water body in the jungle around 1.5 kms from the village. Wild boars, spotted deer and barking deer are spotted in the area regularly. 4 youths from Moharli joined Yogesh and Bandu in this programme.

On May 19, Bandu and Yogesh helped in fighting a fire in the forest around 3 kms from Moharli. Our team saw smoke rising from the forest in the area towards Irai dam. When they went to investigate, they saw around 7 staff of the Forest Department fighting the fire. They joined in the effort and helped douse the fire after about 3-4 hours.


 MHU - Mobile Health Unit

There were health camps in 6 villages in May.

Sonegaon - medical camp

Kutwanda - waterhole before clean-up

Moharli - cleaning of soak-pit in progress

Rajkumar Saosakde of Bamdeli, who got a job at Chandrapur with our assistance