Sunday, August 29, 2010

Excursion to Melghat - Nature Education Programme for CBSE high school students

NCSA announces its nature education programme for CBSE students, to be held as always at Melghat Tiger Reserve. There will be two programmes a month from October 2010 to February 2011, and bookings will be made from September 1-15 2010. Email for programme schedules and menu and for booking.

Melghat Tiger Reserve:
Situated in northern Maharashtra in the Satpuda landscape, the Melghat Tiger Reserve was once the logging and hunting grounds for British people. The river Tapti in the north and five rivers which actually contribute huge amount of water to Tapti flows through Melghat Tiger Reserve and enrich the flora, birdlife, reptiles, butterflies, spiders and many more creatures. This is one of the best places in the country to see raptors in good numbers including the newly discovered family of spider and endangered Forest Owlet. (Detailed information on Melghat would be circulated separately)

Nature Conservation Society, Amravati (NCSA):

Nature Conservation Society, Amravati (NCSA) started in 1990 and was officially registered on September 9, 1991 under Society's Registration Act-1860 and Mumbai Public Trust Act 1950. It is also registered under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 1976 (FCRA) (Reg no.083740067) and sec.12-A and 80-G of Income Tax Act 1976. NCSA is a non- profit organisation working in Central India with the focus towards conservation of wildlife and Bio-diversity of this region through education, research, protection and consultation with various sections of the society. NCSA has been fighting on lot of conservation issues in central India since past two decade and also earned credibility of being a “dedicated grass root level NGO” which has established a unique wildlife conservation model by involving local communities.

(More on NCSA and its conservation achievements can be read on its website

Muthawa, A Community Resource Centre of NCSA in Melghat:

Muthawa is a God of Korku Tribals. NCSA has created a small camping facility near the Sipna river on 8 hectare land and also have been developing a “Community Resource Centre”(CRC). The CRC is locally famous as “Muthawa” centre.

The location is scenic and situated near village Kotha on Bori-Kotha road close to Harisal town on Paratwada-Dharni highway. The CRC is surrounded by forest from two sides and you get a good view of Melghat Tiger Reserve from the Muthawa centre. The natural regeneration at the CRC land is very high. There are around 80 plant species and it has become a paradise for raptors specially Crested Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Shikra and Common Kestrel. The chital, four-horned antelope and black-naped hare are occasional visitors at the centre as they get ample fodder and water at the centre.

Presently we do organic farming, agro-forestry and implement many community-based conservation programmes at the CRC. (Detailed information on Muthawa CRC would be sent separately)

Details of nature education programmes


The programme allows only 25 students in one batch. If you have a greater number of students you can arrange more programmes but the outer limit for every batch should not cross 25 students.

The number of teachers accompanying every batch should not exceed 3. Students’ composition may be 50% girls and 50% boys in case of educational institutes where co-education is allowed. The course is best suited to age group: 11-14 yrs (6th to 8th Std)

Programme Schedule

The students batch should arrive before lunch time preferably at the CRC. The five- day duration would be like 15th February 20xx, Departure -20th Feb 20xx.The programme booking starts from 1st September to 15th September of every year.

The actual programmes start from 1st October of every year. Once the education institute book the programme by paying 50% fees, NCSA would send the confirmation letter with payment receipt and the institute will have to pay remaining fees at the most a week before commencing their course.

Note: If the school is unable to attend the course due to some reason,75% course fees would be returned back to the institute immediately. If same thing happens from the NCSA, we will return 100% fees to the institute within 8 working days from the date of cancellation informed to the school.

February is pleasant in Melghat. Nights are a little cold but you can
comfortably sleep with one blanket. Afternoons would be little hot and kids need to bring their caps.


Accommodation: The accommodation would be provided in tents. There would be a total of 6 tents, as big as 10 feet X 12 feet. Every tent accommodates 6 Kids (Or 3 elders) comfortably. The tents are neatly floored with mud and dung. We also put a nylon carpet and on the top of it there would be cotton carpet. It would be better if the kids brings sleeping bags.

Lavatory Block: Lavatory block includes 3 toilets and 3 bathrooms for girls and
separate set of 3 toilets and 3 bathrooms for boys. (Including one each western type) There is a provision of hot water in each block.

Indoor training sessions: The in door training sessions would be conducted in theopen air hall of 30 feet X 35 feet. The hall is floored with mud and dung and sitting arrangement during the training sessions would be on the carpet.

Library: The library has also been established in 2009.There are some books for sale too.

Power: There is no power supply from state Electricity department. CRC produces its own power with Mahua based bio-diesel. Recently in 2009, the training centre at CRC has been made fully solar-based.

Utensils: CRC would provide each student a set of plate, glass, tea mug, spoon and blanket (they may like to bring one shawl to attach to the blanket). This set of utensils and goods provided by CRC would be with the kids throughout the programme duration. Students are advised to bring their clothing and essential medication. Every student must carry a cap and a torch. They should bring extra sleepers to wear. But shoes are compulsory during the field work in the forest.

Education Material: Participants would get a note book, pen, pensil, sharpener and eraser at the time of registration. They would also get the information material kit with CD. There is a library available at CRC where kids can refer the books and magazines. Every participant would get the Certificate, CD of photographs and a programme report after completion of training programme.

Health: Students are advised to bring their essential medication. Nearest PHC is at Harisal and it is just 3 km away from CRC. There would be Gypsy parked at the CRC for 24 hours to transport patients from CRC to PHC.

Food: The food would be strictly vegetarian and very simple. There would be plain rice, Chapati and a vegetable during the lunch with green salad and buttermilk. Poha, upama, gram, bean would be in the breakfast. There would be fruits after the meals. Kids would get tea/coffee in the morning and afternoon. (Tentative menu attached)

Water: The drinking water would be underground tubewell pure water. We serve it after boiling the same. It is sweet in taste and pure in quality. But Kids would be free to even use their bottled water.

Communication: For communication, there are two phone numbers of CRC-
9421789144(BSNL), 09325088197 (Reliance).BSNL is not reliable due to poor
reception. But Reliance communication is very good. Students can also avail email facility which will be available on payment basis. (Rs.50 for minimum 15minutes)
(office email id is ) Only one node would be available. We would request the kids not to use their cell phones throughout the day.

Travel: Khandawa or Akola / Badnera. From both stations the distance of "Muthawa" community resource centre (CRC) is same and approximately 135 km. Please contact Mr.Vishal Bansod (9422916150), Education Officer of NCSA at Amravati for any specific help in booking some vehicles and sending them to Khandawa/ Badnera/ Akola station.

Cost: Rs. 3000/ participant (student/teacher) which includes accommodation, food, utensils/goods, training charges and travel during the field modules in Melghat. It also includes the entry fees and tourist charges of Melghat Tiger Reserve. This does not include any charges of bringing the kids up to CRC.

Mode of Payment: You can send the said cost by Demand Draft or cheque drawn in favour of “Nature Conservation Society, Amravati” payable at Amravati. You can also send the same by money transfer or electronic transfer. The payments (booking amount as well as final amount) should be paid by Demand Draft only payable at Amravati.

Other discipline: Kids need to get the utensils and essential goods described above from programme organizers. While accepting the same and returning the same, participants should ensure that it is in good condition.

They will have to wash their plates and glasses after every meal/ breakfast. No
disposables please. If the Kids use their own bottled drinking water, they will have to take back their empty bottles.

Students are advised to bring their clothing which suits to forest and should be
comfortable for them while trekking. It should be preferably green, bottle green and should avoid red and white.

At the agriculture field they will have to work bare-footed too. If some participants have some health problems, it would be better to inform the programme organizer in advance.

Participants should not carry any item in polythene bags or plastic wrappers.

Littering, playing recorders, musical instruments is not allowed during the
programme. There would be an eco-friendly “cultural night” on the last evening arranged by participants themselves. This should not disturb the peace of the surrounding environment.

Safety measures and precautions: NCSA and organizers would take all the
precautionary safety measures during the training programme. However NCSA, its trustees and organizers, accept no responsibility, of any accident/ misshap, that may occur during the programme.
Read about a typical nature education programme here.

Please email for information and booking, and also for the programme schedule and menu.

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