Monday, January 7, 2019

Activity Update November 2018: Pench Madhya Pradesh


Kamlesh measuring the groundwater level in Thuyepani
during our GPS mapping of open wells
Niranjan measuring the groundwater level in Aamajhari
as part of our study of the water table
The Tribal Dance group performing at Olive Resort, Awargani

Bisenpur students play a nature game

Wildlife film screening at Khamrith

Our computer awareness program at Kohoka, conducted by Sumit

Birding trail with Sumit near Potiya

Nature trail with Kamlesh at Pupuldoh

Sumit briefs students on a nature trail at Pupuldoh

Sumit explains the importance of all species through a nature game
at Pupuldoh

Niranjan conducts a nature education class at Teliya

Niranjan installs an artificial bird's nestbox
on Salim Ali Day 
Dr Zanzal at our free health camp at Tuyepani

Niranjan repairs a biogas stove at Turia


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 231 patients
·      Film show program reached 277 students across 6 schools
·      Education program at 11 schools attended by 311 students
·      Employment of 4 unemployed young villagers and 2 tribal dance programs organised
·      Two computer awareness sessions organised for school students
·      Celebration of Dr. Salim Ali Birth Anniversary  and World Fisheries Day
·      Open well mapping using GPS and groundwater data collection from villages in buffer region
Conservation work

Waste management in the vicinity of the Tiger Reserve is important and, in the absence of adequate facility to dispose of food and kitchen waste, animals such as wild boar can be attracted to villages. Satpuda Foundation has been working to address this issue through the construction of compost pits. 

Composting recycles various organic materials otherwise regarded as waste products and produces a soil conditioner (the compost). Compost is rich in nutrients. It is used, for example, in kitchen gardens, horticulture, and organic farming thus completing the nutrient recycling process. Kamlesh organised the construction of two compost pits at Pulpuldoh and Thuyepani with the aid of volunteers from the villages. Niranjan, with the assistance of members of local self-help groups (SHGs) constructed two compost pits at Turiya. 

Separately, a voluntary work project was organised by Kamlesh on 15th November in which the area next to a hand pump was cleaned with the help of local volunteers. 

On 24thNovember, Kamlesh and Sumit organised a nature and bird-watching trail for schoolchildren of Pulpuldoh village and they were assisted by a guest teacher. During the trail, the students were informed about various bird species and how to identify birds found near the village, the utility of various tree species and also the difference between core and buffer regions of the Tiger Reserve.

Niranjan organised a nature trail on 12th November for school children of Potiya and was accompanied by a school teacher. The students learned techniques of spotting birds and also learned to use binoculars. Nature trails provide interactive platforms for students to learn about their local flora and fauna and understand the issues faced by the local biodiversity in their areas.
On 2ndNovember, Kamlesh organised a rally at Thuyepani Government Middle school in which 50 students participated and raised slogans on wildlife conservation while undertaking a tour of the village.
Salim Ali (12 November 1896 – 20 June 1987) was an Indian ornithologist and naturalist. Sometimes referred to as the "Birdman of India", Salim Ali was among the first Indians to conduct systematic bird surveys across India and wrote several books that popularised ornithology in India.
In order to celebrate his birth anniversary on 12th November, Satpuda Foundation organised a nest adoption program among school students of Potiya Government Middle School. Nests were prepared by Niranjan with local materials and were installed at sites near the school. Each nest was assigned to a group of students who were given responsibility to protect the nest and document any arrival of birds. The activity was organised in order to increase awareness of the local avifauna of the region and instil a sense of the importance of bird conservation among students.
Biogas is a sustainable cooking medium for families close to protected areas. Niranjan attended two biogas repair calls in November: one each from Turia and Aamajhiri villages.
World Fisheries Day was celebrated on 22nd November at Government Middle School, Deori.
Kamlesh gave a classroom lecture on the importance of sustainable fisheries. The importance of sustainable harvesting of fish resources for the long term was conveyed to the students.

Employment Cell
During November, 4 unemployed young villagers got jobs through our Employment Cell. Our employment cell actively followed up with organisations for vacancies and connected young villagers to positions available.

On 18th November, a meeting of the “Unnati “ and “Shristhi” SHGs was held at Turia in which Niranjan discussed the idea of a food complex operated by SHG members at Turia village at the Gram Panchayat building. The meeting was attended by 15 members.

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 Tribal Dance group of Sawara village in Maharashtra, motivating them and supporting them to perform at local resorts. During the month of November, two such performances were organised.

Environment Education

School Education Programs

In November, a total of 11 school education programs were held by Niranjan, Kamlesh and Sumit in which students were given lectures on a wide range of topics such as the role of each species in an ecosystem, pollution, man-animal conflict, biodiversity conservation and other issues related to nature conservation.  A total of 311 students attended these programs.

Education Van Program

The education van conducted six wildlife movie screenings in November. 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 277 students were reached through the sessions.

Satpuda Foundation has been conducting an IT education program for students free of cost since the year 2013. Basic computer skills are taught to the students to make them feel comfortable with technology and improve their IT skills. Operation of various software suites such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel are taught during these sessions.

During November, two such sessions were conducted, one at Kohoka on 20thNovember attended by 29 students and the second one at Khamarpani on 25th November attended by 23 students. At Khamarpani, a career counselling session was also held in which various options available to students after completion of school were discussed.

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

Mobile Health Service (MHS)
Mobile Health Service camps were conducted in six villages in Turia cluster in which a total of 231 patients were treated. Our MHS team on request of the Deputy Ranger of Thuyepani range visited an anti-poaching/ patrolling camp and provided medical services to the staff of the camp.

Wells form an important source of water in rural India for drinking water, for fulfilling domestic water requirements and also for irrigation. Often these wells are not properly fenced nor do they have a proper boundary in many cases. These open wells are a recipe for accidents and as reported in various cases, wild animals accidentally fall into open wells.
Satpuda Foundation, after interaction with Field Director of Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, decided to map these open wells to prevent future accidents. Our team began the exercise of mapping the open wells during the month using a GPSLogger Android app.
Groundwater is an important source of water in rural areas. But often groundwater resources are overexploited without any measure to conserve them. Our team was engaged in measuring groundwater data during November. The data will be analysed for patterns and to identify areas where awareness needs to be generated to conserve the vital resource.

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