Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Activity Update August 2016: Pench Maharashtra


Ghatpendari - Children promise to protect trees
by symbolically tying rakhis to saplings

Ghatpendari - Our field assistant Bandu Uikey leads
youths in clearing a canal connecting a lake to a stream in the jungle

Khapa - Our field assistant Dilip Lanjewar
speaks to villagers about the benefits of solar power

Khapa - Villagers dig soak pit next to hand pump 

Team: Mandar Pingle – Conservation Officer
            Bandu Uikey, Dilip Lanjewar – Field Assistants


·      One soak pit prepared in Khapa with help of 11 villagers
·      One voluntary work project to clean sewage waste in Ghatpendari – 8 participants
·      Celebrated Nag Panchami in Ghatpendari – 26 participants
·      Celebrated Eco-Rakhi festival in Ghatpendari and Ghoti
·      Two nature trails held for students  of  Ghoti and Wagholi – 25 students participated
·      Bandu and Dilip joined Forest Department staff on anti-poaching patrols 5 and 2 times respectively
·      Organized class room lectures in 13  schools - attended by 347 students
·      Organized 6 medical camps – 168 patients treated free of cost
·      Assisted one youth from Ghatpendhari village to get employment with Forest Department  


On August 8, Bandu organized a voluntary work project programme at Ghatpendhari village to clean the waste blocking the flow of water from a lake to a nallah. 8 villagers participated in the programme. There was no way for the excess rainwater to enter the nallah. This nallah provides irrigation to the farms nearby. By cleaning the waste, the farmers are now able to use the excess water from the lake for agriculture.

On August 20, Dilip Lanjewar along with 11 villagers of Khapa village prepared a soak pit near a hand pump in the village. The excess water was being wasted causing unhygienic conditions near the hand pump. The pool of waste water had become a breeding place for mosquitoes. Thanks to the soak pit, the spillover water will now seep into the ground and help improve the ground water level. The area near the hand pump is also clean now and will thus prevent diseases.

Dilip joined village eco-development committee (VEDC) members and Forest Department staff on patrols on August 17 and 31 at Wagholi and Khapa villages respectively. The team patrolled the jungle adjoining the villages, looking out for signs of illegal activities. Bandu joined similar patrols on August 4, 10 and 14 in West Pench Range. No illegal activity was detected on these patrols.

In August, Dilip took students on 2 nature trails during which he spoke to the students about birds, trees and forests. The impact of degradation of natural resources was explained to the students. The kids spotted a number of birds like drongo, tree pie, bush quail, white eyed buzzard, etc…on the nature trails.

On August 7, field assistant Bandu Uikey celebrated the festival of Nag Panchami along with 26 students of Ghatpendari school. In India, snakes are considered by many people to be divine and Nag Panchami is celebrated as a mark of respect to the reptile deities. However, people who pray to the snakes will not hesitate to kill one in case of any confrontation. In villages of the buffer area of Pench Tiger Reserve, one often comes across many snakes during the monsoon season. Villagers kill these snakes out of fear and ignorance. Bandu explained to the villagers that snakes are a very crucial part of the ecosystem and we need to protect them. He told people about the various venomous species and non-venomous species of snakes found in the region.

Further, Bandu informed the villagers about snake-bite management. He explained to the people the correct way to provide first-aid to a snake-bite patient. The students and teachers appreciated the programme and have promised to exercise more care while dealing with snakes in future.

Dilip Lanjewar organized a similar program in Ghoti village.

On August 18, Dilip Lanjewar celebrated Eco-Rakhi festival with 10 students of Ghoti School. Dilip informed kids about the significance of Rakhi festival in which sisters tie threads on the arms of their brothers and brothers promise to protect their sisters. He asked the children to tie Rakhi to the trees and protect them. Saving trees would, in turn, help safeguard the village’s ecological balance. A similar program was organized by Bandu Uikey in Ghatpendari village in which 20 students participated.

Environmental Education

Employment Cell

IT Education Program

Satpuda Foundation has donated desktops as well as laptops to the Zilla Parishad School in Sawara village and has been conducting computer education programmes for the students free of cost since 2013. Basic computer skills are taught to the students to make them feel comfortable with the technology and improve their IT skills. Ms Sita Uikey, a resident of Sawara village, works on an honorarium basis for Satpuda Foundation to conduct this programme.

Mobile Health Unit (MHU)

There were six medical camps in August.


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