Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Activity Update November 2018: Pench Maharashtra


Ghoti - Dilip and Sumit demonstrate a method to prevent crop-depredation
by wildlife 
Khapa - Dilip talks to villagers about crop protection and reads out
the Government Resolution
Balkrishna talks to students about solar energy, on Dr Salim Ali Day
Sumit speaking at our career guidance workshop in Pipariya

Our eye camp organised with Yogiraj Hospital, at Pipariya

Plastic litter clean-up in Narhar, led by Balkrishna

Dr Zanzal treats a forest guard at our free health camp at Narhar

Nature trail at Shiladevi, with our Field Assistant Balkrishna

Balkrishna speaks to SHG members about livelihood options

Dilip addresses student during a nature sensitisation workshop, Narhar

Jungle safari with students during our nature sensitisation camp

Mandar making a presentation on wildlife during our nature sensitisation
camp at Sillari

Jungle safari during our nature sensitisation camp, Sillari

Wildlife photo display during our nature sensitisation camp, Sillari


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

·      Two community foot patrols
·      One anti-plastic campaign
·      Demonstration of crop depredation mitigation measures to farmers
·      Three awareness programs on Human-Wildlife Conflict, Government Resolution (GR) Reading (Chain-Link Fencing) & Fodder Development
·      Nine awareness meetings and survey of human-snake conflict
·      Two Nature Trails for students; 33 students participated
·      Seven school education programs conducted, 143 students participated
·      Six Education van film show programs conducted, 246 students participated
·      Two residential nature camps with Pench Tiger Conservation Foundation (PTCF) for buffer zone villages; 40 students participated in each of these camps
·      Two livelihood meetings with Women Self Help Group (SHG) members and young villagers
·      Six free medical camps, 201 patients treated
·      A special eye camp conducted in Pipariya, 154 patients treated
·      One research project on snakes underway

Conservation Action and Awareness

On November 9, Balkrishna led a team of three Village Eco-development Committee (VEDC) members from Saleghat village on a foot patrol in the forest area near their village. The team looked out for signs of illegal tree felling or poaching during the patrol. No such illegal activities were detected.

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

Separately, Balkrishna joined the Forest Department staff on a foot patrol in the Ambazari beat on November 10.

On November 12, Balkrishna organised a plastic litter collection drive in Narhar on occasion of Salim Ali Day.

During the program, Balkrishna explained the hazards of plastic waste for birds, the environment, and human health.

Balkrishna explained to the students 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.

Balkrishna then took the students for a cleaning drive from the school to the village.

On November 15, Dilip conducted an awareness program on Human-Wildlife Conflict mitigation strategies in Khudsapar where he read out the Government Resolution (GR) on chain-link fencing and informed farmers about fodder development techniques.

He encouraged villagers to take up fodder plantation and suggested they adopt newer and more scientific ways to ward off wild animals from their agricultural fields.

On November 6, we organised a demonstration on measures to mitigate crop depredation in Ghoti for the farmers. Sumit and Dilip explained a new system developed by Satpuda Foundation wherein light and sound wards off wild animals like wild pigs from the agricultural fields.

On November 6, Balkrishna organised an awareness program on snakes in Chargaon village, where there was a fatality due to snakebite recently.

He explained the importance of cleanliness and keeping rodents out of the house to keep snakes out. He also explained how to differentiate between venomous and non-venomous snakes and what must be done in case of a snakebite.

Later, Abhijit carried out a survey on human-snake interaction and collected data to be analysed for a snake research project. Similar exercises were carried out by Balkrishna and Abhijit in nine buffer zone villages in November.

Balkrishna conducted a nature trail program for school children of Narhar on November 12. He spoke to the students about the importance of conserving local flora and fauna and their role in wildlife conservation.

He told the students about Dr. Salim Ali’s contribution to bird conservation and how they can follow his footsteps.

He also informed them about solar energy and why we must shift to solar from the presently used coal power and hydropower that are ecologically unsustainable.

A similar program was carried out in Shiladevi on November 20.

Environment Education

In November, a total of seven school education programs were conducted by 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 143 students attended these programs (details below).

Education Van Program

The education van conducted six wildlife movie screenings in November.

A total of 246 students and villagers attended these programs.

Satpuda Foundation was asked by the Pench Tiger Reserve Conservation Foundation to conduct 15 residential nature camps for 600 students from the buffer zone villages of Pench Tiger Reserve. The staff of Satpuda Foundation will act as the resource persons and will take students on jungle safaris and nature trails, conduct nature game sessions, lectures and presentations, etc.. to sensitise these children on nature and wildlife.

The inaugural program was conducted on November 28, which was attended by the Deputy Director of Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra, Range Forest Officer (Pauni- Unified Control) and the Range Forest Officer (STPF-Pauni).

Residential nature education camps

Employment Cell

On November 7, our colleague Sumit conducted a career guidance workshop for the young villagers of Pipariya village. He informed students about various competitive examinations and guided them regarding how to attempt and clear the exams.

On November 11, Balkrishna conducted a meeting with SHG members in Shiladevi. He discussed the possibility of setting up a solar-powered flour mill in the village, which can be run by the SHG members.

Livelihood activities & meetings:

Mobile Health Service (MHS)

There were 6 free medical camps in November 2018 in which 201 patients were treated.

A special eye camp was held in Pipariya on November 14, in which Dr. Bhure from Yogiraj Hospital, Ramtek helped treat 154 patients out of whom 102 were detected with bad eyesight and were distributed spectacles free of cost.

22 patients were detected with cataract and were later called to Ramtek to be operated upon.


A field survey on recording snakes, incidence of sighting them and incidence of snake bites in buffer zone villages is currently underway. 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 December 2018.

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