Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hands-on volunteer work to learn nature conservation

Satpuda Foundation and NCSA have always encouraged volunteer participation in our different projects. The objective is not really to seek extra help for ourselves, but to provide nature lovers with an introduction to the tiger habitat we work in, the problems on the ground and the real conditions in which our wildlife has to survive today.

For instance, by living and working with our Mobile Health Unit for three days you would get an 'inside view' of the human societies that share space with wildlife, and of how wildlife and humans impact each other. In some cases this introduction has led individual volunteers to evolve their own projects for conservation, using their own unique skills.

Here are three of our projects volunteers can choose from as a first step to a deeper involvement with conservation. We recommend that volunteers combine this activity with the orientation course from 7-11 March, 2012.

Volunteers would have to spend three days (not including the orientation course)
. They would have to bear their own travel expenses from their own city to the site of the project.

A. Help at the Muthawa Community Resource Centre (Melghat Tiger Reserve).

Activity list:

1. Construction of a small water body at Muthawa
2. Soil conservation work
3. Creation of compost pit
4. Re-arrangement of plantation nursery
5. Putting up display boards
6. Volunteering at the medicinal plant garden
7. Oil expelling at our mahua biodiesel plant
6. Cleaning of waterholes in Melghat Tiger reserve
7. Village need-assessment survey for Melghat
8. Visit and feedback of village electrification site using solar energy

B. Mobile Health Unit

The unit conducts three-day free medical camps for villagers in Pench, Tadoba and Melghat Tiger Reserves. Volunteers travel with the ambulance and help with paperwork and dispensing medicines. Direct interaction with these villagers (almost all tribals), opportunities to visit the forest and see how it is impacted by humans, will we hope lead you to think of new ways in which you can help in conservation of the area.

C. IT education programme

This programme is an extension of our employment cell. It aims at training young people of forest-dwelling communities in IT skills, to empower them to get good jobs and reduce their dependence on forests. The programme has been introduced in some villages in the Pench TR buffer zone. Volunteers are needed to visit once a month, check the systems and monitor progress.

If you would like to volunteer in any of these projects, please email us on or

Volunteer Orientation Programme, 7-11 March 2012

Nature Conservation Society, Amravati is conducting a programme to train new volunteers and nature lovers in environmental conservation. The course is an introduction for those wanting to work in this field.

Duration: 5 days, from 7 to 11 March
Venue: NCSA's Community Resource Centre at Muthawa, on the border of Melghat Tiger Reserve
Schedule: Still to be finalized, but this is a tentative programme -
Morning - nature walk, bird watching
Voluntary work at the Muthawa centre
Afternoon - two lectures
Evening - wildlife observation and studies at trails and waterholes, followed by a film show

Satpuda Foundation founder and President Kishor Rithe will be conducting the programme, along with other experts and conservationists.

Approximate fee: Rs 3500 per participant

More details about this course will be posted shortly.

We suggest that participants follow this up a few days hands-on volunteer work at one of our projects (see the next post in this blog).

Read about our earlier courses and programmes here.