Monday, January 21, 2019

Activity Update December 2018: Pench Madhya Pradesh


Dr Zanzal examines a patient at our free medical camp at Aamajhiri

Awarghani - Members of tribal dance group perform at Olive Resort

Bisenpur - Our colleague Sumit discusses conservation
and livelihood issues with members of the EDC


Chirrewani - Our colleague Kamlesh teaches students
how to prepare a leaf book and tree atlas

Doodhgaon - Our colleague Sumit explains the role of spiders
to students on a nature trail 

Our colleague Niranjan explains the role of termites to students
on a nature trail 

Karmajhiri - Our colleague Niranjan guides students playing a nature game

Karmajhiri - Our colleague Sumit speaks to students
about common birds found in Pench 

Karmajhiri - Students learn about birds through a presentation
during the nature camp

Kohoka - Students and their teacher with plants grown in discarded bottles

Kohoka - Students use computers during a computer literacy session

Pulpuldoh - Unemployed young villagers attend
 our counselling and awareness session 

Satosha - Volunteers join Niranjan in cleaning the area
around a hand pump before digging a soak pit 

Sauri - Our colleague Kamlesh conducts
an environment education programme

Turiya - Members of Shristhi SHG in their newly started tiffin centre 

Karmajhiri - Students who attended our two-day nature camp 


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

Major highlights of the month

·      Open well mapping using GPS and groundwater data collection from villages in buffer region
·      Meeting with members of Village Eco-Development Committee (VEDC) at Bisenpur
·      Prepared two compost pits, a vermi-compost tank and a soak pit
·      Two-day nature camp held at Karmajhiri complex attended by 20 students and 2 teachers
·      Education program at 9 schools attended by 251 students
·      Two nature trail and birding sessions attended by 48 students
·      3 tribal dance programs organised
·      1 unemployed youth placed in a job
·      Five farmers sent for training in mushroom cultivation
·      Career counselling and awareness session at Pulpuldoh attended by 15
·      Mobile Health service camps at 6 villages treating 179 patients

Conservation Action and Awareness

Satpuda Foundation organises residential two-day nature camps every year to promote nature education and sensitise local children about wildlife and forests. Moreover, practical, field exposure helps these children in being better decision makers in the future thus contributing actively towards wildlife conservation.

As part of our annual activities, we organised a nature camp at Karmajhiri Tourist complex on 18th and 19th of December in association with the Forest Department. Twenty students and two teachers of Turiya High School attended the camp.

The camp had a range of activities to engage and provide information on a variety of nature and conservation related areas. The students were taken on a nature trail to sensitise them about the local flora and fauna and how these interact with each other.
The students were divided into groups and given topics at the start of the camp and were asked to make presentations on their chosen topics at the end of the camp based on information gained during the sessions and on some of their previous knowledge.

A safari trip was also organised as part of the camp to take students up close with wildlife of Pench Tiger Reserve. During the safari, students observed various herbivores such as spotted deer, sambar, wild boar, nilgai and bison and birds such as racket-tailed drongo and grey hornbill. A tiger’s roar was heard but they didn’t get to see a tiger.

On December 31, Niranjan organised a voluntary work program to prepare a soak pit in Satosha village. Five villagers volunteered to prepare the soak pit along with our team. Niranjan had earlier explained to the villagers the importance of water conservation and the need to improve the ground water level with the help of water conservation structures like soak pits. The spillover from the hand pump, mostly grey water which was resulting in a foul odour, now percolates into the ground effectively thanks to the soak pit.

On December 21, Kamlesh organised a nature trail for students of Doodhgaon Middle School. During the nature trail, Kamlesh and Sumit spoke about various birds found in the vicinity of the village and their role in the ecosystem. Kamlesh also explained the utility of various medicinal plants found in the forest.

On December 21, Niranjan organised a similar nature trail for students of Durgapur village. Students spotted birds using binoculars and were given tips on how to spot and identify birds.

Creativity can help in solving some major problems faced by humanity and what better place to foster creativity than schools. In a discussion with students and teachers of Kohoka Government Middle School, our team had mooted the idea of a vertical garden where plants would hang in the air. Students had prepared a few samples last month. During the second and third weeks of December, students completed building the vertical garden project from discarded plastic bottles and had them installed in their classroom windows. They had planted seed of lentils, wheat and coriander. They monitored the plant growth and calculated the growth rate of seedlings with the help of their science teacher Mr. Santosh. The project was meant to teach students the concept of reusing old waste materials for novel purposes.

A similar activity based on constructing nests from waste material was undertaken by Kamlesh at Sauri Middle school on 5th December. Kamlesh assisted students in building and installing bird nests near the school to encourage youngsters to work towards conservation of birds.

On December 2, an awareness lecture was organised by Kamlesh at Thuyepani to celebrate National Pollution Prevention Day. Kamlesh also organised a rally on December 28 to spread awareness on pollution at Chirrewani Government Middle School.

On 17th December, Kamlesh and Sumit attended a meeting of Village Eco-development Committee (VEDC) members. VEDC is made up of inhabitants of the village, under the supervision of the Forest Department, and works for sustainable development of the village through funded projects such as installation of solar power lights, biogas plants, solar fencing etc. During the meeting, various issues such as stall feeding of animals, fisheries in village ponds, vermi-composting and funding status of the committee were discussed.

On December 23, Kamlesh held a program at Chirrewani Middle School to make a leaf book and tree atlas. The activity was based on collection and identification of leaves of various trees found in the vicinity of the village along with the listing of their properties such as medicinal values, fruiting and flowering season. The activity was meant to create interest among students in the floral diversity of the area.

Environment Education

In the month of December, a total of nine school education programs were held by Niranjan, Kamlesh and Sumit in which students were given lectures on a wide range of topics such as pollution, man-animal conflict, biodiversity conservation and other issues related to nature conservation.  A total of 251 students attended these lectures.

School Education Programs

Satpuda Foundation has been conducting an IT education program for 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. During December, a computer awareness and hands-on practice session was held in Kohoka Middle School on 10th December. 27 students participated.

Employment Cell

During the month of December, one youth of Turiya village was placed at the Corbett Foundation as a nature game coordinator.

Satpuda Foundation has been working with tribals for their empowerment and exploring new employment opportunities for them. Since 2008, the Foundation has been associated with the 'Saila Tribal Dance Group' of Sawara village in Maharashtra, motivating them and supporting them to perform at local resorts. During the month of December, three such performances were organised.

Awarghani- Tribal dance program at Olive Resort

On 20th December, a counselling and awareness session was held at Pulpuldoh village for unemployed young villagers of the village in which 15 persons participated. The attendees were provided information such as duration, fees and scope of various skill development programs of government and private bodies. 

One of the activities related to employment is supporting Self Help Groups (SHG) for starting and sustaining new ventures that can give adequate financial returns. Discussion and support during the last several months with Shristi SHG of Turiya made an impact in December when the members decided to resume operations of a tiffin center. They rented a shop near the Turiya-Awarghani road and started a meals service for tourist and locals. Niranjan and Sumit assisted them in setting up their shop and guided them on various business decisions.

During December, a training session on mushroom cultivation was organised by our colleagues based in Maharashtra. Our team at Madhya Pradesh informed farmers of the opportunity and subsequently Niranjan and Kamlesh attended the training with five farmers. After the training, Bharat Marskole of Thuyepani started mushroom cultivation at his farm. He was also motivated by Kamlesh to construct and operate a vermi-compost unit.

Number of people mobilised for ‘Mushroom Training’ at Khudsapar:

Mobile Health Service (MHS)

During December, 179 patients were treated through Mobile Health Service (MHS) at our free medical camps.   


Wells form an important source of groundwater for villages in the buffer region of Pench Tiger Reserve. Often these wells are not properly fenced nor do they have a proper boundary in many cases. These open wells are a recipe for disaster, and as reported in various cases, wild animals accidentally fall into them. Satpuda Foundation has been mapping open wells in the buffer region of Pench Tiger Reserve. Our team has been mapping location of wells along with their groundwater level. The data was analysed in a Q-GIS platform to reveal the location and the status of groundwater in the region.

An example of well data being recorded on a GIS map  

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