Monday, June 10, 2013

Activity Update April 2013: Kanha

Team: Amit AwasthiConservation Officer
            Sampathlal Dhurve – Field assistant

  ·  4 awareness programmes on forest fires arranged for members of 7 women’s SHGs
  ·  2 vermi-compost tanks prepared in 2 villages
  ·  2 voluntary work project programes to clean areas next to hand pumps
  ·  3 anti-plastic programmes in 2 villages
  ·  9 waterholes cleaned
  ·  2 nature trails for village children
  ·  Environment education programme conducted in 10 schools - attended by 302   
  ·  3 unemployed youths placed in local jobs
  ·  7 film shows on nature and wildlife – attended by 352          people


Forest fires are a major problem in summers across the landscape. As part of our conservation activities, we organize awareness programmes to sensitize villagers about the harmful effects of such fires and the impact on forests and wildlife and how to prevent or contain them. Villagers sometimes start fires deliberately to clean the growth from the forest floor. Once the undergrowth has been burnt, it becomes easier for them to spot and pick mahua flowers which fall to the ground during this season. Villagers collect the mahua flowers, dry them and sell them to local traders. This is a seasonal activity, which normally lasts a month or so. Villagers also say that tendu leaves which sprout after such fires are superior in quality and command better prices from traders. These local fires sometimes escalate into large scale forest fires and cause severe damage. It is, therefore, necessary to make villagers aware about the dangers of forest fires and explain to them the need to join hands in fighting this menace.

Bhagpur - awareness programme on forest fires for Sheetal and Sharada
women's SHGs

Kutwahi - Amit conducts a programme on forest fires for members
of Roshni women's SHG

During April, our Kanha team organized programmes in 3 villages in which members of 9 women’s SHGs participated and promised assistance in tackling such fires. Details of the programmes are given in the table above.

Amit and Sampath organized programmes during the month to clean 9 waterholes inside the jungle used mainly by wildlife. All the waterholes had become clogged with organic litter. Our teams cleaned up the waterholes and deepened them to ensure better supply of water. Details of the programmes are given in the table above. The waterholes are located around 1-2 kms from the villages inside the forest.

In April, we assisted two villagers in preparing a vermi-compost tank each as part of our goal to encourage organic farming. One tank was prepared in the residence of Kantabai Tekam at Patpara and the other at the residence of Ramprakash Pusam at Batwar.

Patpara - vermi-compost tank prepared at Kantabai Tekam's house

During April, our team organized 2 programmes to clean areas surrounding hand pumps. In both cases, spillover water from the handpumps had stagnated and created bogs. Our volunteers cleaned the areas, dug canals to drain the spillover water away and then dug soak pits at the end of the canals to take the water. Details are in the table above.

Bhagpur - Area around handpump before cleaning

Bhagpur - spillover water flowing into soak pit after the project

On April 7, our team organized an anti-plastic programme at Sautiya. Amit and Sampath spoke to the students of the primary school about the harmful impact of plastic/polythene on the environment and motivated them to remove such litter from the village. The students went around the village, collecting plastic and polythene litter/waste, which was then buried in a pit on the outskirts of the village. Similar programmes were organized at Manegaon on April 14 and at Dhamangaon on April 22.

During summer, our teams across the landscape motivate villagers and children to put up water pots in suitable spots so that birds can quench their thirst. In Kanha, we arranged for pots to be put up in 4 villages – Chapri, Bhagpur, Manegaon and Batwar.

Chapri - Sampath talking to children about birds' water needs during summer

Chapri - village children set aside a little precious water for birds

Chapri - filling a water bowl for birds

Manegaon - setting up a water pot for birds


During the month our team organized environment education programmes in 10 schools in the villages in our area of operations.

Manegaon - environment education for primary school children

Manegaon - Sampath identifies a local plant during a nature trail

Amit and Sampath led children of Manegaon and Dhamangaon on nature trails on April 19 and April 20 respectively. On the trails, they helped children identify various species of plants and animals and explained the importance of preserving our environment.

Employment Cell

We helped three youths get jobs during the month of April.

Education Van programme

Batwar - film show on wildlife conservation

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