Friday, March 28, 2014

Activity Update February 2014: Pench Maharashtra

Team: Saket Agasti - Assistant Conservation Officer
            Bandu Uikey, Dilip Lanjewar – Field Assistants


  • Two voluntary work projects to build check dams at Khapa and Wagholi
  • One voluntary work projects to build a plastic disposal pit  in the buffer zone area of Pench Tiger Reserve
  • Celebrated Wetland Day by assisting Forest Department in special patrol
  • Field assistants Bandu Uikey and Dilip Lanjewar joined Forest Department staff on anti-poaching patrols four times
  • Environment education programme in 13  villages in which we addressed 291 students
  • Conducted six medical camps at which 260 patients were treated
  • Organized village meetings at Sawangi, Shiladevi to form Village Eco Development Committee (VEDC)
  • Completed the survey for micro-plans of Shiladevi village

  • Conservation

    On February 18 and 19 Field Assistant Dilip Lanjewar organized voluntary work project programmes at Khapa and Wagholi respectively. Villagers and VEDC members teamed up with Dilip to build a check dam on streams near the jungle. Both sites were around 1 km from the respective villages. The water bodies will be useful for wildlife in the summer, when there is a scarcity of water. Photos of the Khapa check dam below.

    Water backs up after completion of the dam

    On February 26, Field Assistant Bandu Uikey arranged a voluntary work project at Ghatpendari to dig plastic disposal pits in the village area to dispose of plastic/polythene litter from the road in the village. As there is forest around the village, there is a danger that wildlife, which is frequently seen in this area, could eat the plastic bags. Below: photos of the volunteers digging a pit.

    On February 5 and 26, Dilip joined members of the village eco-development committees (VEDC) of Khapa and Wagholi respectively on patrols in the forest. No illegal activity was observed by the teams on these patrols. There were 6 other community patrols by VEDC members of these villages in February. Details are given in the table above.

    Dilip and VEDC members on patrol near Khapa

    Villagers and our staff on patrol with the Forest Department staff
    on World Wetland Day - Kolitmara

    From Feb 13 to 23 Bandu Uikey carried out baseline surveys for the preparation of a micro-plan for Shiladevi village. The data collected from this survey will be analyzed and suitable beneficiaries for government schemes will be identified. This will help the government in carrying out village development along with forest conservation. Photo below.

    Similarly, Bandu Uikey joined patrols on February 1 and 9 in West Pench. In these patrols, besides VEDC members, there were local staff from the Forest Department and members of the Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF). The team also did special patrolling on the occasion of 'Wetland Day' around the water bodies of the area checking for any water poisoning crimes.

    On February 5, we assisted the Gram Panchayat Secretary Mr. Kalambe in conducting a meeting at Ghatpendari to explain various government schemes for village development to the villagers. The schemes benefit both villagers and forests.

    Environmental Education Programmes

    In February, our team conducted environment education programmes in 13 schools in our area of operations. 

    Classroom talk at Kadbikheda

    Talk by Bandu at Kirangisarra 

    Playing nature games at Kirangisarra

    Nature game at Sawara

    On February 26 Dilip led 20 children from Kadbikheda on a nature trail in the jungle adjoining the village. On the trail, Dilip spoke to the children about the importance of birds and spiders in our eco- system.

    Nature trail guided by Dilip

    IT Education Programme

    We are running our IT education programme at Sawara and Pipariya in Pench (Maharashtra).

    Pipariya - Nikhil teaching MS Word to students

    Employment Cell

    Dilip assisted in organizing a meeting of VEDC members and Forest Department’s Round Officer Mr. Sager Bansod for the process of recruiting 'Fire Watchers' from the villages. VEDC members will now suggest people for the daily wage positions in Forest Department.

    The recruitment drive for the new position 'Forest Watcher' only from 41 buffer villages of Pench Tiger Reserve was carried out by the Forest Department. Field Assistant Dilip Lanjewar and Bandu Uikey actively helped the eligible candidates in the application process, as the process was a bit complex and villagers needed assistance for it. We also tried to spread the news of the drive in as many villages as possible from our area of operations.

    Mobile Health Unit (MHU)

    There were 6 medical camps conducted by Mobile Health Unit in February.