Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Activity Update May 2018: Pench Maharashtra


Bordharan: interns working with our team in discussion with guides
for research on the benefits of tourism

Field Assistant Balkrishna along with fire-watchers, cleaning
a forest waterhole

Field Assistant Balkrishna joins a forest guard and volunteers
in a forest patrol

Ghoti - volunteers cleaning the area around a hand pump

Field Assistant Dilip briefing villagers during a nature awareness programme
arranged by the Forest Department

Khursapar: Dr Choudhury and her nurse examine a patient
at our free health camp for women

Nagalwadi: lantana crafts made by villagers
on display at the entry gate

Pendhari: villagers listen to our staff reading out the Government
Resolution on Eco-Development Committees
Dr Choudhury with patients at our free medical camp for women

Pipariya: Field Assistant Dilip talks to children about nature conservation
at our field centre

Pipariya: village children watch a film on wildlife
on International Bee Day

Sawara - volunteers fill water pots for birds 

Shiladevi: conservation rally on the eve of Biological Diversity Day

Shiladevi: volunteers prepare a tank to cultivate Azolla feed supplement
for livestock

Suwardhara: Field Assistant Balkrishna informs villagers
about Government schemes from
the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry departments 


Team: Abhijit Dutta – Assistant Director (Conservation)
Bandu Uikey – Conservation Officer
            Dilip Lanjewar, Balkrishna Bagmare – Community Officers

·      Three community foot patrols
·      One waterhole cleaned and de-silted
·      One hand-pump cleaned
·      One tank prepared for cultivation of Azolla fodder supplement for livestock
·      Four meetings on formation of Village Eco-Development Committees; Govt. Resolution was read out and explained at these meetings
·      One meeting on resettlement/relocation at Kirangisarra
·      One meeting on livestock management and alternative cattle feed
·      Six awareness meetings on forest fires
·      Three programmes to display on information on Government schemes
·      One meeting with safari jeep owners, drivers and guides at Khudsapar
·      Six programmes to celebrate important days in “eco-calendar”
·      Mobilised women for three programs on RFO’s request
·      Lantana craft displayed at Nagalwadi safari gate canteen for sale
·      Five youths sent for hospitality training
·      Special women’s free medical camp covering seven villages
·      Four research projects being carried out by interns from various national institutes

Conservation Action and Awareness

On May 28, a waterhole was cleaned and de-silted in compartment no. 622 in Ambazari beat with forest fire-watchers. The waterholes are critical to wildlife especially in the summer months. Regular cleaning is required to ensure that the water is safe for wildlife.

Three community patrolling programs were organised in Bhivsen, Khapa and Ambazari. Such patrolling, with community participation, helps in checking illegal activities in forest areas adjoining villages.

On May 15, Dilip motivated villagers to volunteer for a programme to clean the area around a hand pump in Ghoti. Such cleanliness drives ensure that the cattle or villagers don’t suffer from any illness due to water stagnation. It also helps prevent possible spreading of any disease from livestock to the wildlife.

On May 4, an Azolla tank was set up in Siladevi village. Azolla is a fern symbiotic with blue-green algae that is beneficial, nutritious and easy to digest for livestock. Azolla feed increases the milk productivity of cattle. It will contribute to reducing dependence on forest fodder and hence reduce the grazing pressure on forests.

On May 6, Bandu was invited by the Range Forest Officer (RFO), Nagalwadi Range to promote awareness among the villagers of Maharkund about the process of forming a Village Eco-Development Committee (VEDC) and the benefits arising from such committees.

Bandu read out the Government Resolution (GR) and explained how VEDC formation in villages has helped in village development and in reduction of man-animal conflict through funds utilised from the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Jan-Van Yojna. The villagers expressed interest in forming a VEDC.

Similar awareness programs were held at Pendhari, Siladevi and Kadbikheda.A survey for VEDC formation was done in Mohgaon and Tekadi.

Six awareness meetings on forest fires were held to raise awareness about the negative impacts of forest fires on forests and villages nearby. Villagers were encouraged to mobilize and participate in fire-fighting.

A meeting on resettlement of villages was conducted by Dilip at Kirangisarra on May 19. Dilip explained the resettlement process and compensation package to the villagers. He encouraged the villagers to unite for this and explained how resettlement will help them avail better infrastructure, schooling and medical facilities, among other benefits.

A community meeting was held on May 4 at Khudsapar regarding the new Gypsy jeep purchase policy which will give a Rs 400,000 loan from the Tiger Conservation Foundation to potential buyers. Dilip encouraged more people to avail this offer and reap benefits from wildlife tourism at Khudsapar Gate where tourists are permitted to enter only through Gypsy jeeps owned by local people which are approved and registered by the Forest Department.

On May 19, Balkrishna organised a program at Suwardhara to display information on various Government schemes offered by the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Departments. He informed villagers about the benefits of these schemes and how to avail of them by filling up forms and submitting required documents. He displayed brochures, information booklets and registration forms related to the schemes.

On May 7, 8 and 9, at the request of the RFO, Dilip mobilised women from five villages to participate in the Forest Department’s programmes to promote awareness about nature.

Several programmes were organised in May to celebrate important days in the “eco-calendar”. The programmes were organised to spread awareness about conservation among villagers. Dilip and Balkrishna organised events on Migratory Bird Day and Endangered Species Day among other important days.

Environment Education

There were no programmes in May as schools were shut for the annual summer vacation.

Bandu assisted Nature Conservation Society, Amravati in conducting nature camps for village children in Melghat.

Employment Cell

During the month of May, five young villagers were sent to a month-long training programme in hospitality at Sillari. They will be provided with placements by the training institute on successful completion of this training.

Market linkage was provided for the lantana craft artisans of Pench by displaying their products for sale at the Canteen/ Souvenir shop at the Nagalwadi safari gate of Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra.

Youths sent for one month hospitality training program at PACE Sillari:

Mobile Health Service (MHS)

During May, a special camp for women was conducted in East Pench. Dr. Jayashree Choudhury accompanied the MHS.


Satpuda Foundation is conducting a study - ‘Assessing benefits of wildlife tourism for communities and conservation in Tiger Reserves of Vidarbha’, the final report of which will be produced in June. Interns working with us are conducting structured/ unstructured interviews, group discussions and questionnaire surveys with tourist guides, drivers, Gypsy jeep owners, people from the hospitality sector and villagers. They are also analysing socio-economic surveys and data from Forest Department records to assess how tourism is impacting the local economy and helping in conservation.

Satpuda Foundation has been asked by Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra to do a project - ‘Comparison of ecotourism patterns in Pench M P and Pench Maharashtra by surveying three wildlife safari entry gates - Sillari, Khudsapar and Turiya’.

Summer Internship research projects:

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