Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Activity Update January 2019: Pench Madhya Pradesh


Ambadi - Students learn to identify wildlife through a nature game

Awarghani - Tribal dance artistes supported by us perform at Olive Resorts 

Volunteers dig soak pit at Chirrewani

Khamba - Our colleague Niranjan discusses livelihood issues with villagers

Kohoka - Our colleague Niranjan guides students on a nature trail

Mohgaon - Dr. Khode treats patients at our free medical camp 

Potiya - Our colleague Sumit conducts a computer awareness session
for students of the village school

Wildlife film screening at the Potiya school

Satosha - Our colleague Niranjan conducts an environment education class
Thuyepani - Our colleague Kamlesh speaks to villagers
about conservation issues

Thuyepani - Villagers learn about mushroom cultivation
Turiya - Our colleagues Sumit and Abhijit discuss
livelihood issues with members of the SHG

Aamajhiri - Our colleague Niranjan repairs a faulty biogas stove


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 293 patients
·      Education program at 11 schools attended by 371 students
·      Two Tribal Dance programs organised
·      One youth placed in a local job
·      Three nature trails attended by 49 students
·      Five farmers trained in mushroom cultivation
·      Listing of  22 unemployed young villagers in driver training institute
·      Two computer awareness sessions organised -- attended by 51 students
·      Career counselling and session on how to handle examinations  at Turiya High School attended by 53 students
·      Meeting with village eco-development committee (VEDC) members at Ambadi
·      Presentation at Central India Landscape Symposium on Open well mapping using GPS and Groundwater data

Conservation Action and Awareness

On January 31, Niranjan organised a voluntary work program to clean the area next to a hand pump at Khamba village. Six villagers volunteered to undertake the activity along with our team. Niranjan had earlier explained to the villagers the importance of cleanliness and how water stagnation could create a mosquito problem. The villagers cleaned the area of weeds and also cleaned the soak pit as a result of which the spillover water from the hand pump operations now percolates into the ground effectively.

On January 28, Kamlesh assembled a group of volunteers at Chirrewani to construct a soak pit. Kamlesh had explained the concept of groundwater recharge and how soak pit construction can help in faster percolation of waste water and reduce the spread of water borne insect vectors.

On 26th January, Niranjan attended a meeting of Eco-development Committee (EDC) members. Eco-development Committee (EDC) is made up of inhabitants of the village, under the supervision of the Forest Department, and works towards ecological development of village through funded projects such as installation of solar power lights, biogas plants, solar fencing etc The agenda of the meeting was to discuss the funding status of EDC and prepare a list of activities which could be undertaken from EDC funds. During the meeting Niranjan recommended a variety of activities to the members such as stall feeding of animals, vermi-composting and organic farming.

On January 24th Kamlesh assisted villagers of Kundai village in enrolling in the Ujjwala scheme (LPG Cylinder connection scheme) so as to reduce dependence on firewood for cooking purposes.

Biogas is a sustainable form of energy which is used mainly for cooking purpose, reducing the need for fuel wood and thereby reducing pressure on forests. Biogas is produced from a slurry of cow dung through anaerobic decomposition. Satpuda Foundation has been undertaking repair activities of these biogas production units and stoves. During January, Niranjan repaired a faulty unit at Aamajhiri village.

On January 26 Kamlesh attended a Gram Panchayat meeting at Thuyepani. He discussed various issues with villagers and the Sarpanch such as defunct Eco-Development Committee (EDC) in the village, water conservation activities, vermi-composting and stall feeding. The meeting was attended by 54 villagers.

Environment Education

In the month of January, a total of eleven 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 371 students attended these programs.

School Education Programs:

On January 13, Niranjan organised a nature trail for students of Kohoka Middle School. During the nature trail program, Niranjan and Sumit spoke about the various birds found in the vicinity of the village and nearby Kohoka Lake and their role in ecosystem. Kohoka Lake, being a site for migratory water birds, presented an opportunity for the students to explore the water bird diversity. A similar trail was earlier conducted by Niranjan on January 2 at Potiya. Kamlesh also organised a nature trail in Mohgaon on 4th January.

On January 7, Niranjan held an activity at Potiya Middle School to make a leaf book and tree atlas. The activity was meant to create interest among students in the floral diversity of the area and to better understand medicinal plants used in traditional medicine. The activity was based on collection and identification of leaves of various trees found in the vicinity of the village along with listing of their properties such as medicinal values, fruiting and flowering season.

During January, the Education Van organised 6 film shows in which 188 students from six schools participated.

Satpuda Foundation has been conducting 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. During January, computer awareness and hands-on practice sessions were held in Potiya Middle School and Kohoka Middle School on 21st January and 22nd January respectively which were attended by a total of 51 students.

The High School Certificate examination is an important one for school students. With the state level examination due to be held next month, our team visited Turiya High School and held a session on motivating students for the upcoming examination and also discussed various techniques to boost performance in the final exam.

Nature   games

Nature games impart important conservation-related messages through simple games. They are more interactive than traditional lectures and are more effective in capturing the attention of young minds. During the month of January, three such nature games were organised .

Employment Cell

Satpuda Foundation has been assisting local young villagers to obtain employment by connecting them to potential recruiters. During the month of January, a youth of Aamajhiri village was placed at the Jungle Home Resort as a waiter with our assistance.

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

One of the Foundation’s activities related to employment is supporting Self Help Groups (SHGs) for starting and sustaining new ventures which can give them adequate financial returns. A Tiffin Centre started by the SHG members at Turia last month was supported by Satpuda Foundation. A training program on documentation, record keeping, inventory management and related issues was conducted by Sumit and Abhijit during January. Another training program was conducted by Sumit and Niranjan to improve the service quality at the tiffin center. Our team has been guiding them on the menu and inventory purchases as well.

Last month, we organised a training session on mushroom cultivation in which some farmers and our field assistant were trained. During January, another training program on mushroom cultivation was organised by Kamlesh at Thuyepani in which 8 farmers were trained. Post-training, Sunil Pathe of Thuyepani was motivated to start mushroom cultivation (around 6 kg seed) at his farm.

During January, Kamlesh identified 22 unemployed young villagers of the buffer region of Khamarpani cluster for commercial driver training at Ashok Leyland Institute. The program is funded by the Panchayat and Forest Department. A list of the young villagers was drawn up and submitted to the appropriate government channel.

Mobile Health Service (MHS)

During January, 293 patients were treated through at our free Mobile Health Service (MHS) camps.       


A research project to understand the status of groundwater in the buffer region of Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh was undertaken last month. The data was analysed in Q-GIS platform to reveal the location and the status of groundwater in the region. A poster was prepared based on the findings and was presented at 3rd Central India Landscape Symposium (CILS) held at Melghat from Jan 3rd – Jan 7th.

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