Saturday, May 12, 2018

Activity Update March 2018: Pench Maharashtra



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

·      Four community patrols at Ghatpendari, Saleghat, Khapa & Siladevi
·      Assisted in fighting fire in forest at Kirangisarra
·      One waterhole cleaned and de-silted at Ghoti
·      One check dam repaired at Siladevi
·      Two cattle vaccination programs, 340 cattle vaccinated
·      Two tanks to provide supplementary fodder to cattle built
·      Celebration of World Wildlife Day, Sparrow Day, International Day of Forests and World Water Day
·      Two nature trails, 28 students participated
·      Sixteen school environment education programs, 554 participants
·      IT Education program inaugurated at ZP School, Siladevi
·      Two Job Placements, three lantana craft displays, marketing linkage for three lantana craftsmen and four youths sent to livestock training
·      Six free medical camps, 278 patients treated

Conservation Action and Awareness 

On March 27, Dilip along with a few villagers cleaned and de-silted a waterhole near Ghoti village. Wild animals traverse large distances for water during the summer season due to water scarcity. The cleaning and de-silting of waterholes ensures water is available at the spot throughout the summer for the animals.

On March 29, a check dam was repaired in Siladevi by Balkrishna and villagers so that water is available for agriculture and for livestock in the village during the summers.

Community patrolling was organised on four occasions on March 1, 2, 11 and 14 in Ghatpendari, Saleghat, Siladevi and Khapa respectively. Such patrolling ensures tight vigil by the villagers themselves and reporting of any incidents to the Forest Department. On March 30, Dilip helped local Forest Department staff and villagers to fight a forest fire in Kirangisarra.

On March 3, Bandu and Dilip celebrated World Wildlife Day in Ghatpendari and Ghoti respectively by organising awareness rallies with students and villagers. On March 21, a similar awareness rally was carried out by Dilip from Sillari to Pipariya on the eve of International Day of Forests with villagers and trainees of the hospitality training course at PACE Sillari.

On March 20, World Sparrow Day was celebrated with school students in Chargaon, Awaleghat and Ghoti. Water pots were installed in schools so that water is available to small birds like sparrows in the village during the summer. A short movie on sparrow conservation was screened in Awaleghat School by Balkrishna.

On March 22, World Water Day was celebrated by Dilip with school students and villagers of Sawara village. An awareness rally was organised, with participants going through the village shouting slogans on water conservation. Dilip explained the need to conserve forests and water to the villagers.

On March 19, our team organised a demonstration of setting up of an Azolla tank in Ghoti village for the livestock. Azolla is a fern symbiotic with blue-green algae that is beneficial, nutritious and easy to digest for the livestock. The Azolla feed increases the milk productivity of milch animals and improves the quality of meat of poultry. In a way, the Azolla feed will marginally reduce dependence on forest fodder and hence reduce the grazing pressure on forests.

Environment Education

School Education Programs

In March, a total of 16 school education programs were conducted by Dilip and Balkrishna in which students were given lectures on man-animal conflict, biodiversity conservation, climate change and other issues related to nature conservation. 

A total of 554 students attended these programmes.

IT Education Program

Satpuda Foundation has donated desktops as well as laptops to the Zilla Parishad School in Sawara village and has been conducting IT education program for the students free of cost since the year 2013. Basic computer skills are taught to the students to make them feel comfortable with the technology and improve their IT skills. Ms. Sita, a resident of Sawara village works on an honorarium basis for Satpuda Foundation, wherein, she is able to earn a livelihood as well. Four such classes were held in March in ZP School Sawara for the students of this village.

This concept was extended to Siladevi village and a new IT Education program was inaugurated in ZP School Siladevi on March 16, 2018 wherein a new Raspberry-pi system was donated by Sushant Kudagi from Karnataka through Satpuda Foundation. As this village lies in interior area of the buffer zone of Pench Tiger Reserve, such an initiative will help students gain IT skills, confidence and help in gathering support for grassroots conservation work from the villagers. The head teacher Rathore and VEDC President Arun Naikam applauded this initiative and were present to encourage the students to learn about IT and contribute to conservation.

Employment Cell

Satpuda Foundation provided the opportunity for lantana craftsmen trained by us to display and sell their lantana products at various lantana craft melas during March. Lantana craft products and catalogues were displayed in 3 such melas in Nagpur and information was provided to visitors about how purchasing lantana craft products help in conservation and tribal community upliftment.

Moreover, a market linkage for this craft was created for the craftsmen of Pench Tiger Reserve in Bangalore through Raghu, who is associated with ‘Ragi Kana’, a weekly rural display market in Bengaluru. He has placed some orders on test basis from three craftsmen in Pench Tiger Reserve. Depending on the demand for these products in Bengaluru, he will place further orders for varied range of lantana products.

Lantana Craft Mela

Lantana Craft Marketing Linkage (Bulk order placed by Raghu from Bangalore)

Four youths from Ghoti village were encouraged to participate in a three-day livestock management training program organised by the Animal Husbandry department in Khumari from March 21 to 23. They were helped by Satpuda Foundation in registering for the event. They underwent training in livestock and poultry management and animal care, health and medication.

We assisted 2 youths, one each from Ghoti and Ghatpendari, in getting jobs with the Forest Department as fire-watchers on daily wages. Fire-watchers are recruited for three-month spells.

Job Placement (Forest Department Fire-watchers)

Mobile Health Service (MHS)

There were 6 medical camps in March in which 278 patients were treated.

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