Friday, August 31, 2018

Activity Update July 2018: Pench-Bor wildlife corridor


Students at Nanda Gomukh school watching a film on conservation

Nature game at Telgaon

Conservation rally at Telgaon

Plantation drive at Telgaon

Telgaon - Trainer Abhimanyu Dongarwar teaches villagers
mushroom cultivation

Training programme on mushroom cultivation

Mushroom cultivation training programme

Students at Temburdoh learn about dragonflies


Mandar Pingle – Conservation Officer
Nilesh Telang – Field Assistant


·      Organised programme to train villagers in cultivation of mushrooms – 21 villagers participated
·      Organised plantation programmes to celebrate Van Mahotsav 2018 in Telgaon, Temburdoh and Bidgaon – 210 saplings planted
·      Organised 5  film shows in schools – 616  students and 18 teachers attended
·      Organised 1 film show during weekly market in Telgaon – watched by 80 people
·      Nature game organised in Narendra High school, Telgaon – 54 students participated


On July 29, Global Tiger Day, we organised a one-day training programme on mushroom cultivation in Telgaon village in Pench-Bor corridor. 13 women and 8 men from Telgaon were trained at the programme as part of livelihood and skill-development initiatives of Satpuda Foundation.

Mr. Abhimanyu Dongarwar of Sky Mushrooms, Nagpur, provided technical guidance to the participants. During the programme, the participants were taught to cultivate oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushroom cultivation requires relatively low investment but has the potential to generate high returns. It requires less space for cultivation as it is done in closed sheds and uses vertical cultivation technique.

The cultivation can be done during the monsoon and winter seasons as it requires a milder temperature. The participants were also taught ways to market the produce, prepare products like dry mushrooms, pickles and mushroom powder that can be preserved for a longer duration and provide added source of income apart from the fresh produce.

In July, Satpuda Foundation celebrated Van Mahotsav 2018 by organising plantation programmes in Telgaon, Bidgaon and Temburdoh villages of Pench-Bor corridor.

On July 1, a plantation drive and rally was organised in Narendra High School and Zilla Parishad Primary school, Telgaon. 130 students and 5 teachers participated in the rally to create awareness amongst the villagers to plant trees. During the rally, the students raised slogans to encourage villagers to participate in plantation drive. Saplings were planted along the road near the school and within the school premises. Saplings of neem, banyan, sisam and tamarind were planted by the students and teachers.

During the programme, Mrs. Chandatai Gaydhane, Sarpanch of Telgaon village, and members and employees of Gram Panchayat, Telgaon, were present. Later, saplings were also planted in the Gram Panchayat premises as well.

A similar programme was organised on July 3 in Zilla Parishad Primary School of Temburdoh. 38 students and 2 teachers took part in the plantation drive. Saplings of neem, behda and banyan were planted in the school premises.

Similarly, on July 04, Nilesh organised a plantation programme in Zilla Parishad Primary School in Bidgaon (Jatamkhora).

A total of 210 saplings were planted during these programmes.

In July, we organised 5 film shows in Telgaon, Umri, Lohgad, Temburdoh and Nanda (Gomukh) villages. During the shows, Mandar Pingle and Nilesh Telang taught students about various issues like electrocution, poaching etc as threats to wildlife including fauna like monitor lizards, pangolins and porcupines. They also taught students how to identify venomous and non-venomous snakes and how to avoid conflict with snakes. A total of 616 students and 18 teachers attended the film shows. (Details in table).

A nature game was organised for students of Narendra High school on July 12. Mandar taught students about various birds through the interactive nature game.

On July 12, Satpuda Foundation organised a film show during the weekly market in Telgaon village. During the film show, a film on snakes was shown which featured ways to avoid conflicts with snakes, first aid and treatment to snake bite victims was showcased. Around 80 villagers watched the film.

Education programmes:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Activity Update July 2018: Pench Maharashtra


International Tiger Day celebrations with villagers and Forest Department

Awaleghat students and teachers participating in the plantation program

Field Assistant Balkrishna leading villagers on a forest patrol

Conservation Officer Bandu teaches children the importance of trees
during the plantation program in Ghatpendari

Conservation Officer Bandu with candidates selected
for the tailoring training program

Field Assistant Dilip speaks to villagers about vocational training programs

Sawara students in our IT education class
Digging a soak pit at Wagholi
Balkrishna with Forest Department staff and trainers
during an exposure visit to livelihood training institutes
Balkrishna telling Self Help Group members about the opportunities
for making paper and cloth bags


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


·      Two community foot patrols
·      Eleven plantation programs - 225 saplings planted with 305 participants
·      Four conservation rallies
·      Celebrated International Tiger Day 2018
·      Fifteen school education programs - 430 students participated
·      Six film shows - 220 students participated
·      IT education program resumed at Sawara after summer break
·      Twenty young villagers shortlisted and sent for livelihood training programs in driving, tailoring, hospitality, etc. funded by Pench Tiger Conservation Foundation
·      Seven meetings on various livelihood options
·      Mobilised young villagers for Forest Dept.’s livelihood workshop and exposure visit to training institutes in Chhindwara
·      One research project on snakes underway

Conservation Action and Awareness

On July 21, Dilip organised a voluntary work program to prepare a soak pit in Wagholi village. Villagers volunteered to prepare the soak pit along with Dilip after he explained the importance of water conservation and need to improve ground water level with the help of soil and water conservation structures like the soak pit. The villagers prepared the soak-pit from which the excess water, mostly grey water from a village hand pump, now percolates into the ground.

On July 21, Balkrishna organised a plastic litter collection drive in Chargaon village. During the voluntary work program, Balkrishna explained the hazards of plastic waste for both environment and human health.

Balkrishna explained to the villagers that plastic and non-degradable waste was causing irreparable damage to the ecosystem and adversely affecting birds and other life forms. He also told them that the waste was equally harmful to people. He brought to the notice of the villagers the large amount of plastic waste along the road leading to the school and in the village.
Later, the villagers volunteered along with school students and cleaned the plastic litter in the village and along the road.

During the month of July, our team carried out 11 plantation programs in which a total of 225 saplings were planted. The saplings belonged to various species of plants like Imli, Subabul, Neem, karanj, amla, peepal, sitaphal, banyan, char, Gulmohar.

In one such program on July 3, in Ghatpendari, Bandu planted 20 saplings with school students and teachers in the village community land and celebrated the Van Mahotsav week with the students. He informed the students about the importance of tree plantation and guided them on looking after the planted saplings so that their survival is ensured.

On July 11, Balkrishna conducted a similar program in Awaleghat with villagers and students where the team planted 15 saplings.

Similar programs were conducted by Dilip in East Pench and by Balkrishna in West Pench.

The table below gives details of the programs.

On July 6, Balkrishna led a team of 10 Village Eco-development Committee (VEDC) members from Siladevi village on a foot patrol in the forest area near their village.

The VEDC members looked out for signs of illegal tree felling or poaching during the patrol. No such illegal activities were detected.

Balkrishna joined the Forest Department staff on a foot patrol in the Ambazari beat on July 8.

These community-based patrols are supplemental to the regular patrols being done by the staff of the Forest Department.

On a request by the Range Forest Officer Nagalwadi (RFO), we prepared a poster to promote awareness about human-leopard conflict mitigation strategies that will be displayed in buffer zone villages of Nagalwadi range soon.

On July 12, Bandu organised a meeting in Siladevi to explain to the villagers the process for formation of a village eco-development committee (VEDC) and the benefits that accrue to the village because of the committee. Bandu read out the Government Resolution (GR) and explained how VEDC formation in some villages has helped in village development and in reduction of conflict through funds utilised from Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Jan-Van Yojna.

On July 28, Dilip celebrated Nature Conservation Day with the Forest Department by taking students and teachers from Dahoda and Patrai villages for a nature trail to Khapa.

On July 29, International Tiger Day was celebrated by Balkrishna in Chargaon, Siladevi and Suwardhara by organising a conservation rally with the Forest Department and villagers.

Environment Education

School Education Programs

In July, a total of 15 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 430 students attended these programs.

IT Education Program

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

Education Van Program

The education van held six wildlife movie screenings in July.
A total of 220 students attended these programs.

The focus this month was on awareness about snakes as villagers encounter snakes more often during the monsoon.

Bandu explained to the students and teachers about the behavior of snakes, the reason for them venturing into houses during the monsoons and the action to be taken if a snake is spotted inside human settlements.

He also helped them differentiate between venomous and non-venomous snakes by showing a movie and through a PowerPoint presentation.

He requested students not to panic or kill any snake found inside or in the vicinity of a house. He instructed them to call the forest guard or a certified snake handler.

Employment Cell

Sunil Tumdam from Siladevi was sent by us in June to RSETI (Rural Self-Employment Training Institute) at Nagpur for a ten-day training program in poultry farming. He has now invested Rs. 20,000 to start poultry farming in his house.

He was encouraged by Bandu to take up the initiative as Parseoni provides a big market for poultry. He learned key points for setting up his farm from RSETI’s training and thanked us for sending him to the program.

During July 2018, our team shortlisted young villagers from buffer zone villages for various residential livelihood training programs like driving, JCB operator, tailoring, motor-mechanic, electrician, etc. funded by the Pench Tiger Conservation Foundation.

The Deputy Director of Pench Tiger Reserve had earlier asked our team to submit lists of candidates from villages to the respective Range Forest Officers (RFOs).

In July, our team identified 20 young villagers from various villages. The details are given below.

Young villagers informed, mobilised, encouraged and sent for livelihood training programs funded by Pench Tiger Conservation Foundation:

On July 13, Balkrishna conducted a meeting with Self-Help Group (SHG) members of Suwardhara. He encouraged them to undergo training to make and sell cloth and paper bags and cash in on the state government’s ban on plastic (polythene) bags.

Dilip conducted livelihood meetings in Ghoti, Kadbikheda, Sawara and Kirangisarra in July to encourage young villagers to register for livelihood training programs in Nagpur and Chhindwara. Officials from CII Skill training institute and PACE hospitality training center accompanied Dilip to various villages in East Pench to motivate the young villagers.

Other livelihood activities meetings:

On July 24, the Pench Tiger Conservation Foundation arranged for an exposure visit for young villagers to livelihood training institutes in Chhindwara.

Balkrishna mobilised young villagers from West Pench and accompanied them to these institutes.

On July 30, the Forest Department conducted a livelihood workshop for youth where officials from training institutes presented their courses.

Balkrishna mobilised young villagers for this program from West Pench and attended this workshop.


A field survey on recording snakes, incidence of sighting them and incidence of snake bites in buffer zone villages is currently under way. This study will help us in preparing a checklist of snakes for Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra and will also help in noting the snake species that are more prone to come into contact with humans. The study will conclude in November 2018.