Monday, April 29, 2019

Activity Update March 2019: Melghat-Yawal Corridor


Kushagra Gupta - Conservation Officer
Anirudh Kawishwar - Assistant Conservation Officer

  • ·      Organised meeting with Sarpanch to form Women’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs)
  • ·      Organised meetings with one SHG to provide information on government schemes
  • ·      Organised one meeting with villagers of Zari to provide information on livelihood options
  •      Conducted three nature education programs at Zari, Pingali and Bhingara - 58 students attended

Livelihood and training activities:

On 1 March, Anirudh organised a meeting with Sarpanch (the village headman) Mr. Suratney to form a Women’s Self-Help (SHG) Group in Zari village. During this meeting, Anirudh provided information on various government schemes aiming to provide livelihood assistance to women. He also provided ideas on starting micro-enterprises like paper bag making and mushroom cultivation.

Anirudh explained to the gathering that since a ban was passed on the use of plastic bags in Maharashtra state, paper bags are in demand in the market, and the making and selling of paper bags will help the SHG members earn well. Anirudh explained that these types of micro-enterprises need relatively little financial input while the profits are good.

On 2 March, Anirudh and Mr. Surtaney met with six women and explained the concept and benefits of SHG formation.

On 4 March, Anirudh met with Mr. Bharasale, president of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Jan Van committee of Pingali village, to discuss the organising of a program to train women in sewing and tailoring. Anirudh explained to Mr. Bharasale that thanks to this training, women from the village will be able to earn a steady income throughout the year. As many of these women are daily wage farm labourers, they fail to get employment during the summer season. Sewing and tailoring work can be done from their homes with little investment.

On 5 March, Mr. Bharasale introduced Anirudh to four women from the village who showed interest in the program.

Education and Awareness programs

On 9 March, Satpuda Foundation organised a film show and classroom awareness program for students of Pingali village. During the session, Anirudh spoke to the students about wildlife conservation issues. 20 students of Zilla Parishad Upper Primary school attended the program.

On 18 March, Satpuda Foundation organised a classroom education and awareness program to celebrate World Sparrow Day in Zilla Parishad Upper Primary school in Pingali village. 22 students were present.

Anirudh made students aware about the sharp fall in the population of sparrows and how this is a cause of concern for humans. Anirudh explained to the students that climate change, human activities and degradation of habitat are some of the causes for the drop in sparrow populations. He further explained that as birds are indicators of ecosystem health, this population dip indicates that our environment is in bad shape.

He urged students to put up box nests, bird feeders and water pots for not only sparrows but other birds as well during the summer season.

We organised a similar program for students of Zilla Parishad Upper Primary school in Bhingara village on 23 March.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Activity Update March 2019: Melghat


Villagers from Nagartas and Barukheda
who have been selected for the driving training programme

Dhargad - Our colleague Anirudh briefs young villagers
selected for the driving training programme

Dhargad - Our colleague Anirudh conducts
an environment education programme in the village school

The selected candidates for the driving course


Team: Kushagra Gupta - Conservation Officer
Anirudh Kawishwar - Assistant Conservation Officer

·      Two meetings on livelihood project (driving training program) at Kelpani & Dhargad
·      One meeting on livelihood program at Barukheda
·      4th batch of driving training program started in Dhargad village for 12 candidates


Melghat Tiger Reserve administration, with the help of Satpuda Foundation, is implementing a scheme for tribals to buy four-wheeled vehicles, with the aim of providing livelihood opportunities for unemployed tribal villagers of recently relocated villages from Melghat Tiger Reserve.

Under this scheme, the Maharashtra Forest Department is providing an eighty percent subsidy to unemployed tribal villagers in the age group of 18 to 55. 

In the month of March our field staff organised meetings with villagers of Dhargad and Barukheda to provide details of this scheme. 

On 31 March, the fourth batch for the four-wheeler driver training program commenced the course. 11 young villagers from Dhargad village are being trained by teachers from Akot Motor Driving School.

Prior to the start of the training program, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Akot division, organised a meeting with these candidates. During this meeting, the trainees were provided with information about the training program and the vehicle purchase scheme.

Activity Update March 2019: Tadoba


Adegaon - Students and villagers participate in an anti-plastic programme

Junona - Our colleague Kishor speaks to members
of the Women's SHG about the earning potential of mushroom farming

Katwal - Awareness programme organised by us
to promote the use of solar-powered fencing
Katwal - Members of the Women's SHG learn to make reusable paper bags
Katwal - Samples of paper bags made by SHG members

Khutwanda - Nature club Aswal, founded and mentored by us,
shows off local seeds they have collected for use during the monsoon

Kondegaon - Members of nature club Wagh, formed and mentored by us,
tend to their kitchen garden

Kondegaon students learn about the ecosystem on a nature trail

Bird bath prepared by school students using recycled materials

Mudholi - Students learn about nature and wildlife through a nature game
Mudholi - Villagers build check dam in a programme organised by us


Conservation Officer: Mr. Ajay Poddar
Field Assistant: Mr. Kishor Dudhbarai
Leave: Nil
Highlights of the month:
·      3 anti-plastic programs and programs to clean areas around bore wells to mitigate man-animal conflict - 108 villagers participated
·      2 check dams built through voluntary work project - 35 villagers participated
·      1 foot patrol in forest – 12 local young villagers participated
·      8 environment education programs - 274 students attended
·      4 nature club activities - seed collection, birdbath and feeder making - 121students participated
·      7 women’s SHG meetings were organised - 106 members attended
·      8 VEDC meetings were organised - 216 members attended
·      World Forest Day and World Wildlife Day 2019 celebrated


On March 6th, 11th and 19th, we organised cleanliness and anti-plastic drives with villagers of Katwal, Kondegaon and Adegaon. Programs were organised in order to sanitise the area around villages, which sometimes leads wildlife to venture into the village and causes man-animal conflict. We also collected over 8 kilograms of plastic litter through voluntary public participation. A total of 108 villagers including members of women's SHGs volunteered in these activities.

On March 12th and 16th, we constructed check dams near Bhamdeli, Kondegaon and Mudholi villages through voluntary work projects. 35 villagers volunteered.
During the months of March to May, forest fire incidents increase in the buffer zone.

On March 23rd, we organised a foot patrol in the forest around Khutwanda village involving local young villagers and the Forest Guard. We are also helping the Forest Department in its forest fire mitigation plan.

Education Program

During the month of March, we visited and organised environment education  programs in Mudholi, Sitarampeth, Dewada, Kondegaon, Khutwanda, Adegaon, Katwal and Bhamdeli villages. We  organised these programs with students and teachers in order to make them aware of the importance of biodiversity and conservation. We taught them about nature and wildlife’s value through interactive sessions and various nature games. A total of 395 students participated in the programs.

Students of Nature club ‘Vagh’ also participated in a seed collection drive and collected over 2.5 kilograms of mixed seeds of endemic tree species. They are also preparing saplings for our proposed monsoon plantation drive. 53 students from Zilla Parishad schools of Khutwanda and Kondegaon participated in the drive.

Students of Khutwanda and Mudholi also prepared 4 bird baths and hung them on trees around their school premises.

Celebration of important days in the Eco-calendar

World Wildlife Day

On March 3rd, on the ocassion of World Wildlife Day, we organised a conservation awareness rally with students of Zilla Parishad School, Mudholi. During the rally, students walked through the village and chanted slogans on wildlife conservation. After the rally, we organised a class room lecture on tiger ecology and how it functions.  30 students participated in the program.

World Forest Day

On March 21st , on the occasion of World Forest Day, we organised a conservation awareness rally and nature games with students of Zilla Parishad School, Kondegaon. After the rally we organised a meeting with VEDC members and other villagers to discuss issues like, water conservation, village sanitation and usage of solar-powered fencing to prevent crop depredation.

Employment Cell
We organised 8 Village Eco-Development Committee (VEDC) meetings and 7 Women’s Self Help Group (SHG) meetings, focusing on alternative livelihoods which would reduce dependence on the forest that leads to man-animal conflict and degradation of forests. A total of 322 villagers attended these meetings and shared their thoughts.
In the SHG meetings, we formed a group of interested members who are willing to take up training in making paper bags and in embroidery. A total of 106 members attended the SHG meetings. Some members prepared 15 paper bags as samples.
In the VEDC meetings, we focused on increasing usage of solar-powered fencing in farm lands to prevent conflict with wildlife as well as to prevent wildlife from being electrocuted by electrified fencing. We also discussed and explained short- and long-term benefits of fodder plantation. We also discussed the increasing numbers of man-animal confrontations in the Moharli buffer, and how to prevent this by using cattle sheds and stall feeding for their cattle, which often fall prey to carnivores in the area while grazing in the forests. A total of 216 villagers attended these meetings.

Details of the programs are given below: