Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Activity Update October 2018: Pench Madhya Pradesh


Aamajhiri - Niranjan repairing a defective biogas stove

Students at Aamajhiri take part in an ephemeral art contest during
Wildlife Week

Ambadi - Niranjan explains the food web through a nature game,
during the visit of Born Free Foundation

Ambadi students pose after a nature trail during Wildlife Week

Kamlesh conducts a nature education class at Deori

Sumit talks about nature to students at Doodhgaon during Wildlife Week

Dr Zanzal examines a patient at our free health camp at Kohoka

Kohoka students participating in our collage making
contest during Wildlife Week
Students display their creations after the collage making competition

Sumit discusses livelihood options with SHG members at Kundai

Niranjan identifies a bird during our bird-spotting trip during Wildlife Week

Conservation rally about to kick off, at Pupuldoh, during Wildlife Week

Conservation rally at Pupuldoh during Wildlife Week

Satosha farmers and Sumit discussing ways to reduce crop depredation
by wildlife 

Wildlife film screening at Sauri

Niranjan conducts a nature education class at Teliya

Kamlesh with volunteers and Forest Department staff
during an anti-plastic drive

Thuyepani resident Mrs Sanjana Dhurve, one of the villagers who received
LPG cylinders

Students from Thuyepani on a nature trail jointly organised with
the Forest Department

With our team and the Forest Department before the nature trail

Our team and Born Free Foundation attending an SHG meeting at Turia

Dr Chaitanya Vaidya coordinating a telemedicine session from Nagpur
with a patient at Turia

Dr Zanzal and a patient during a telemedicine session at Turia,
using a Lifecycle platform

Niranjan talking to SHG members about livelihood options, Turia

Niranjan explains climate change through a nature game, Turia

Sumit conducts a session with Turia children,
on computer skills and internet use 

Prototype of a system based on flashing LEDs
made by our team to deter crop-raiding by wildlife

After the workshop on computer awareness, Turia

Mohgaon - volunteers with Kamlesh at the check dam they've constructed


Conservation Officer – Sumit Kumar Kar
Field Assistant – Niranjan Hinge (Turia cluster)
Field Assistant– Kamlesh Pawar (Khamarpani cluster)

Major highlights of the month

·      Mobile Health service camps at 6 villages treating 141 patients
·      Wildlife week celebrations across 14 villages consisting of 17 activities
·      Film shows in 6 schools reaching 348 students
·      Formation of new SHG at Turia
·      Education program at 8 schools attended by 236 students
·      Formation of farming support network and anti-predation system
·      Check Dam construction through voluntary work project near Mohgaon
·      Celebration of World Food Day, International Day for Climate Action
·      Six livelihood related meetings with SHGs and farmers
·      Two computer awareness sessions organised for school students

Conservation work

On 2ndOctober, Niranjan organised a nature trail and bird-watching program for schoolchildren of Khamba village. During the trail, he gave information on the various bird species found in the vicinity of the village, the ecological significance of birds and also the difference between core and buffer region of the Tiger Reserve. He was assisted by Mr. Rajesh (local naturalist for Pench Tiger Reserve).

Similar activities were undertaken on 4th, 18th and 27thOctober at Potiya, Ambadi and Khamba.
Kamlesh organised a nature trail for school children of Thuyepani along the buffer region beside Thuyepani gate during Wildlife week and was accompanied by Sumit and Mr. Verma (Forest Guard). Students were told about the relocation process of Spotted Deer (Cheetal), significance of water bodies in forest and tiger census methodology during this trip.

Another nature trail was organised on 15th October by Kamlesh at Mohgaon. Nature trails provide an interactive platform for students to learn about their local flora and fauna and understand the issues faced by the local biodiversity in their areas.

On 4th October, Kamlesh organised a rally at Pulpuldoh Government Primary and Middle school as part of Wildlife Week activities in which 89 students participated and raised slogans on wildlife conservation while undertaking a tour of the village. Niranjan had organised a similar rally on 3rd October at Khamrith.

Plastic pollution poses a serious issue around protected areas and, to address this, anti-plastic drives are undertaken regularly. Kamlesh organised an anti-plastic drive on 2nd October with the help of local volunteers and Forest Department staff near the Thuyepani gate.

Wildlife Week is celebrated in India during the first week of October every year. This year it was celebrated with the theme “Big Cats: Predators under Threat”. Wildlife Week was conceptualized in 1952 with the aim of raising awareness on wildlife conservation.

Satpuda Foundation organises a variety of activities to celebrate Wildlife Week each year. Various competitions such as collage making, drawing, quizzes, etc... were organised during 1-7th October focusing on local biodiversity and their conservation. 17 activities were undertaken in 14 villages as part of our Wildlife Week celebrations.

World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.
Satpuda Foundation also celebrated World Food Day by organising a meeting with farmers of Satosha Village and forming a farmers’ network.  During discussions with farmers, the issue of crop-raiding by wild boar and spotted deer was raised.  Man-animal conflict can often result from such crop-raiding incidents.

To address these issues, our team held further discussion and subsequently designed a prototype system based on blinking LED lights to scare off wildlife. The system, which we have named “Sentinel 1.0”, is based on Arduino open-source electronics prototyping platform. Our team is currently testing the system.

Biogas is a sustainable cooking medium for families close to forests. Niranjan attended two biogas repair calls from Aamajhiri village in October.

Tribal families often use firewood for cooking which is detrimental to forests and also causes indoor air pollution. Kamlesh assisted families at Thuyepani in applying for and subsequently obtaining LPG cylinders through Ujjwala Scheme of the government.

Climate change is very serious issue having wide ramification for humans as well as wildlife. Satpuda Foundation celebrated the International Day for Climate Action by organising an awareness session on the possible impact of climate change. The program was held at Turia High School on 24th October.

Water scarcity is an issue which is slowly growing in magnitude. To improve water availability to wildlife, Satpuda Foundation routinely undertakes check dam construction. Check dams have been shown to reduce surface runoff, recharge groundwater and reduce soil erosion. Kamlesh motivated a group of villagers to construct a check dam along a small ditch near Mohgaon village on 22nd October. 


During October, six livelihood-related meetings were organised. On 12th October, a new Self Help Group (SHG) was formed by National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) team with assistance from Niranjan. On October 24th and 25th, subsequent meeting of the newly formed SHG were held which focused on documentation and various government schemes available for SHGs.

On 28thOctober, a SHG meeting was held in the presence of Kishor Rithe, founder of Satpuda Foundation and representative from Born Free Foundation in which new ideas and existing issues were discussed.

On 16th October, a farmers’ meeting was organised at Satosha by Sumit and Niranjan. The agenda was issues faced by farmers in the village and how to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. A farmer consultancy group was formed to help farmers on issues like pest problems and better seed collection. The group members would be linked to the SMS-based farm advisory system of the government-run KVK in the coming months.

Environment Education

School Education Programs

In October, a total of 8 school education programs were held by Niranjan, Kamlesh and Sumit during which students were given lectures on pollution, man-animal conflict, biodiversity conservation, climate change and other issues related to nature conservation. 
A total of 236 students attended these programs.

Education Van Program

The education van conducted six wildlife movie screenings in October. A short introduction before the screening and a short conclusion after the screening was conducted at each session to reinforce the conservation message advocated through the wildlife movie.

A total of 348 students attended the sessions.

IT Education Program

Satpuda Foundation has been conducting IT education program for village 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. During the month of October, two such sessions were conducted, one at Turia on 21st October attended by 13 students and one at Deori on 23rd October attended by 50 students.

Nature games

Nature games are invaluable as they impart important conservation related messages through fun-filled games. They are more interactive than a traditional lecture and are more effective in capturing the attention of young minds.

Mobile Health Service

Medical camps were organised in six villages in Turia cluster in which a total of 126 patients were treated. A telemedicine session was also conducted using the Lifecycle Health session with Dr. Chaitanya Vaidya coordinating the session from Nagpur and Dr Zanzal on site.

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