Saturday, May 25, 2019

Activity Update April 2019: IUCN Project in the Pench-Bor Corridor

Members of women's SHG from Bidgaon visit Saoner
to assess market trends

Umari - Our colleague Nilesh guides students on a nature trail

Mandar Pingle – Conservation Officer
Nilesh Telang –
Field Assistant

      Assistance to one Self-Help Group to start food processing micro-enterprise in Bidgaon
      One nature trail session organised in Umari

In April, Satpuda Foundation assisted Jai Seva Mahila Bachat Gat, a women’s Self-Help Group (SHG) from Bidgaon to start up a micro-enterprise for food processing. The group comprises 13 women who are daily wage farm workers. Earlier this year, in March, we had organised a training program for these women to train them in processing spices, food products and dehydrated vegetables.

Following the training, the group had decided to set up a micro-enterprise for spice processing. Our team organised meetings with the group during April to help them decide on various aspects of the unit they intend to set up.

A market visit was also arranged on April 26 for these women. We took them on a market visit to Saoner to help them understand the various aspects of marketing the products, the potential demand and current sale price of products comparable to what they will be producing. 

We assisted the group in applying for food registration under Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. This registration is mandatory for setting up food processing units. The group will receive their food registration during the first week of May. We also assisted them in applying for an Udyog Aadhaar card. The Udyog Aadhaar registration gives the micro-enterprise recognition from the central government. It will also enable the group to tap any government scheme meant for micro-enterprises.

On April 25, Nilesh organised a nature trail for children of Umari village. 6 children joined Nilesh on the trail near Kolar Lake near Umari. During the nature trail, Nilesh gave detailed information on trees and birds seen during the walk. He helped the children spot birds like drongo, black redstart, wagtails and ibis. At the end of the trail, Nilesh involved the children in a discussion about their observations. He explained that, during the summer season, the children should make arrangements for water pots for birds.

Activity Update April 2019: Tadoba


Adegaon - Our colleague Kishor conducts
an environment education programme in the village school

Katwal- Kishor briefs SHG members about
the business potential of paper straws and paper bags

Khutwanda- Members of the Nature Club 'Aaswal'
with seeds collected for planting during the monsoon

Kondegaon - Villagers clean village in a public hygiene programme

Moharli - Children participate in an anti-plastic programme

Sitarampeth - Our colleague Kishor speaks to villagers about forest fires

Sitarampeth - Students learn about nature through a game 

Conservation Officer: Mr. Ajay Poddar
Field Assistant: Mr. Kishor Dudhbarai
Highlights of the month:
·      3 anti-plastic drives and programs to reduce man-animal conflict - 68 villagers participated
·      1 check-dam built- 9 villagers volunteered
·       4 women’s SHG meetings were organised - 48 members attended
·      7 VEDC meetings were organised - 82 members attended
·      5 environment education programs in Zilla Parishad (ZP) schools – 192 students attended
·      Nature club activity - Seed collection with students of Zilla Parishad (ZP) School, Khutwanda - 18 students participated

Conservation work: (Table 1)

On April 4th, 15th and 27th, we organised cleanliness and anti-plastic programs with villagers and children of Katwal, Moharli and Kondegaon. Programs were organised to clean the main public areas in and around the villages and around the hand pumps and wells. Wild growth and litter provide shelter to snakes and scorpions and attract scavengers. 68 villagers participated in activities organised by us.

On April 21st, nine villagers of Khutwanda volunteered to construct a check dam.

Environment Education: (Table 2)

On April 4th, 9th, 16th and 24th we visited UdiyaTola, Adegaon, Bhamdeli and Khutwanda Zilla Parishad Schools to conduct programs in order to teach students about Tadoba’s biodiversity and its importance in the landscape. During these visits, our team interacted with students and organised lectures and presentations on forest fires. Various documentaries and film shows on wildlife conservation were shown to the students. A total of 160 students attended.

On April 21st, we organised a nature trail for students of Zilla Parishad School, Sitarampeth. During the nature trail, students spotted various birds and learnt about biodiversity and its conservation. A total of 32 students participated.

On April 27th, we also organised a walk for students of ZP school Khutwanda. During the walk, we collected over 1 kilogram of mixed seeds of local trees. A total of 18 students of the nature club ‘Aswal’ participated in the drive.

Education Program (Table 3)

Employment Cell (Table 4)
During April, we organised 4 Self-Help Group (SHG) meetings and 7 Village Eco-Development Committee (VEDC) meetings, focusing on alternative livelihoods which would reduce villagers’ dependence on forests. 130 villagers attended these meetings.

In the VEDC meetings, we discussed about man-animal conflict in the summer season when villagers tend to venture into conflict prone areas for minor forest produce (MFP) which often leads to confrontation with large carnivores and fatal attacks. We discussed about ways to reduce villagers’ dependence on forests through the adoption of alternative livelihood options. We also spoke about forest fires during the season, ways to prevent fires and the need for all villagers to support fire-fighting efforts when fires do break out. A total of 82 villagers attended these meetings.

In the SHG meetings, we held review discussions with women of Katwal and Mudholi villages, who we had earlier trained in making paper bags. We also arranged a video tutorial for women who are interested in paper straw and bag making.  A total of 48 women from different SHGs attended these meetings.

Activity Update April 2019: Satpura Tiger Reserve


Matkuli - Environment education programme
organised by us in the village school

Matkuli - Our colleague Ashfaq addresses gathering
at a World Earth Day celebration

Matkuli - Villagers put water in containers for birds

Matkuli - Workshop for members of SHGs 
Pisuwa - School children dig a soak pit
Mehandikheda - Volunteers clean water body in the jungle 

Pisuwa - Soak pit dug on school premises


Team: Ashfaq Aarbi – Conservation Officer
            Hamid Khan – Field assistant
            Aabid Khan -  Field assistant


·      12 water conservation voluntary work projects during the month – 10 water bodies cleaned; 2 soak pits dug
·      6 vermi-compost units prepared
·      21 awareness programs on forest fires
·      16 forest patrols jointly with Forest Department
·      22 awareness programs on need to provide water for birds and putting up of  1,100  water pots/containers
·      4 unemployed young villagers placed in Madhya Pradesh Silk Federation, Pachmarhi
·      Organised Self-Help Group workshop
·      10 village meetings on Ujjwala Yojana.
·      Organised program on seed collection and nursery
·      Visit to check on status of  9 villages which have already been relocated
·      Celebration of World Earth Day at Matkuli

Conservation work: (Table 1)

During April, we organised 12 programs related to water conservation.

On April 7, we organised a program to clean a water body in the jungle near Mehandikheda village. The water body, which is located in the buffer zone, was covered with leaves and organic litter and animals were finding it difficult to drink. Our team, consisting of field assistant Hameed Khan and 14 students of Government Primary School (GPS) Mehandikheda, cleared the litter and made the water body accessible to the animals again. Spotted deer are regularly seen around the water body while there are occasional sightings of sloth bears and leopards.

Nine similar programs were organised at Pisuwa, Almod, Matkuli, Maili, Jhirpa, Aaditoriya, Karer and Khanchari on April 7, 12, 13, 14, 18, 25 and 26.

On April 15, we organised a program to dig a soak pit at the Government Middle School (GMS), Pisuwa. 12 children joined hands with Hameed in digging the pit, which will take spillover water from a hand pump on the school premises. The pit will help to recharge the water table around the hand pump.

A similar program was organised at GPS, Pisuwa on April 15.

Organic farming- Drip irrigation and solar-powered water pump: (Table 2)

During the month, we helped construct 6 vermi-compost tanks at Mehandikheda, Aaditoriya, Khanchari and Karer with the support of Agriculture Department. We also trained villagers in making vermi-compost to reduce their dependence on chemical fertilisers and to promote organic farming in the upcoming agriculture season. We spoke to them about water conservation through drip irrigation and use of renewable energy like solar-powered water pumps, etc.

Forest fire management awareness program: (Table 3)

During the month, our team organised 21 awareness programs on forest fires. Fires are a recurring hazard during summers – both deliberate and accidental. Sometimes, villagers start fires as they believe that tendu leaves sprout better after such fires. In our awareness programs, we explained the dangers that such fires cause to the forest and to wildlife and how they could harm villages if they blazed out of control. In 2 of the meetings, local staff of the Forest Department joined us in addressing the villagers.

The details are given in the table above.

Forest patrolling: (Table 4)

During the month, we participated in forest patrols with Forest Department in buffer zone villages. Participants included Mr. Shivnarayan Devda, P.R. Moodotiya (Forest Guards), forest chowkidars and Eco Development Committee members.

Water pots for birds: (Table 5)

Our teams work across the landscape to provide water to birds during the scorching summer. Our team motivates villagers to put up small containers with water around the villages and their outskirts for birds to quench their thirst.

During April, we arranged for 1,100 containers to be placed at suitable places in trees, roofs of houses and buildings.

Employment Cell - Placement: (Table 6)

Four young villagers got jobs in April with our assistance.
Details of the placements are in the table above.

Self-Help Group Workshop

We organised a Self- Help Group (SHG) workshop at Matkuli on April 15 which focussed on SHG review, grading, selection of livelihood activity and loan distribution. This program was attended by Block Coordinator NRLM, bank officials and SHGs from 10 villages.

Ujjwala Gas Yojna

During the month we organised 10 programs on Ujjwala Yojana, under which eligible applicants get free cooking gas connections. This helps reduce villagers’ dependence on firewood and thus eases pressure on forests. The programs were held at Matkuli, Mohgaon, Chillod, Khari, Duddi, Bandhan, Nandiya, Gutkheda, Sakri, Churni and Supdongar between April 20 and 25. This program was supported by the Food Inspector, Pipariya and Tamiya.

Seed collection and Nursery

On April 9 and 18, we organised programs to collect seeds of native plant varieties that can be used for our proposed plantation programd during the forthcoming monsoon. Participants included teachers and students of Government Higher Secondary School Jhirpa, Matkuli and Government Middle School Tekapar, Pisuwa.

Relocated villages

Ashfaq and Hameed Khan visited the relocated villages of Anjandhana, Jamandhonga, Dhargaon, Sonpur, and Muar during April to follow up on the status of the relocated villagers. Satpura Tiger Reserve and the Zilla Panchayat administration have asked Satpuda Foundation to focus on young villagers from relocated villages in our livelihood activities.

Celebration of Earth Day

On April 21, we organised a program to celebrate Earth Day at Matkuli. Water conservation was discussed at the meeting. Following the meeting, villagers voluntarily dug a trench to collect water leaking from an overhead tank. This makeshift water tank now provides drinking water for domestic livestock, while, earlier, the water was being wasted. The program was attended by Mr. N.P. Tiwari (Range Officer East Pachmarhi), Mr Kamal Kishor Pal (Sarpanch - Matkuli), Deputy Ranger, Forest Guard and around 50 villagers from Matkuli.