Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Activity Update June 2019: Navegaon-Nagzira


Our volunteers on forest patrol in Compartment No. 56

Volunteers clean waterhole in Compartment No. 111 

Asalpani - Villagers meet Agriculture Officer in programme organised by us

Kurhadi - Students display seeds collected by them
which will be planted in the monsoon

 Mangezari - Volunteers clean the area around a hand pump 

Jindatola - Volunteers participate in a plastic clean-up drive


Mukund Dhurve - Asst.  Conservation Officer
Jivraj Salam  - Field assistant

Highlights (See Table 1)
  • Joined Forest Department staff on foot patrols on 5 occasions
  • 3 voluntary work programs to clean water holes
  • 6 voluntary work programs to clean area next to hand pumps
  • 6 anti-plastic programs 
  • Prepared 7 compost pits in 3 villages 
  • Organised 1 demonstration workshop for farmers
  • Helped 2 young villagers join hospitality training program at PACE Academy, Sillari
  • Organised 2 environment education programs -  316 students attended
  • Celebrated World Environment Day -  45 students and VEDC members participated
On June 9, 10 and 25, we cleaned artificial water holes in Compartment no. 109, 111 and 96 respectively. Our volunteers from Kodebarra and Mangezari participated in the voluntary work programs. Our team, along with Forest Department staff, cleaned the leaf litter and scum from the water holes and later filled them with clean water. 

Wildlife in these areas will now have access to clean water during the dry summer season. If these water holes were not cleaned, then the wild animals may wander close to human habitation in search of water, increasing the chance for human-wildlife conflict.

Our team organised 6 community assistance programs on June 3, 8, 11, 12, 20, and 23 to clear areas around hand pumps at Jindatola, Mangezari, Balapur, Chorkhamara, Bhajepar and Pitezari. Unemployed young villagers from Mangezari participated in all the programs, led by Mukund and Jivraj. Details of the programs are given in the Table 1.

Water had spilled over while people drew from the hand pumps and had stagnated, leading to proliferation of mosquitoes and insects. Our teams cleared the area, removing scum and organic growth and dug canals to drain away the water.

Our team joined the Forest Department in day and night patrols in Compartments No. 109, 111 118 and 96 and on the path linking Mangezari to Jindatola. Besides our staff, volunteers from a youth club at Mangezari also joined in the patrols. The youth club was set up with our assistance and is mentored by our Conservation Officer Mukund Dhurve.

During the month, our team organised 6 anti-plastic programs to clean polythene/plastic litter from villages. The programs were organised on June 3, 8, 11, 12, 20 and 23, at Jindatola, Mangezari, Balapur, Chorkhamara, Bhajepar, and Pitezari villages respectively. Mukund and Jivraj organised the programs, and they were attended by villagers and Village Eco-development Committee (VEDC) members. The plastic litter has been kept in our Mangezari office and will be sent to Tiroda for recycling. 

On June15, Satpuda Foundation organised a farmers meeting with District Agriculture Officer Mr. Sanjay Chowdhary. He gave information about Government schemes to support farmers and also on pre-monsoon preparations for farming. 23 farmers from Asalpani, Bagadband and Govindtola attended the meeting.

On 5 June, we celebrated World Environment Day at Mangezari. 40 students, VEDC members and Forest Department staff were present. During the program, our team spoke to the gathering about our environment and the need for conservation. 

During the month, we helped seven villagers dig compost pits as part of our program to promote organic farming in areas adjoining forests. This helps reduce the usage of chemical-based fertilisers  which leech into the ground and pollute water bodies.

Education (See Table 2) 
There were 2 education programs in June.

Employment Cell Training activities (See Table 3)

In June, we assisted 2 unemployed young villagers attend a hospitality training program organised by Pratham Arora Center for Education (PACE) at Sillari, Pench Tiger Reserve. The program is funded by the Pench Tiger Conservation Foundation.   

Activity Update June 2019: Satpura Tiger Reserve


Students and a teacher of the village school in Pisuwa plant saplings

Matkuli - Awareness programme on Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve 

Matkuli - Our colleague Ashfaq examines pits
dug for our proposed plantation programme

Matkuli - Pits dug for plantation programme during the monsoon

Matkuli - Saplings to be planted during the monsoon

Matkuli - Villagers participate in an awareness programme
on Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve 


Team: Ashfaq Aarbi – Conservation Officer
            Hamid Khan – Field assistant
Aabid Khan - Field assistant
Highlights (See Table 1)

  • 3 water bodies cleaned through voluntary work programs
  • 9 awareness programs and preparation of pits for sapling plantation
  • Revived nursery and prepared saplings at Matkuli
  • Plantation drive organised at Pisuwa - 100 saplings planted
  • Celebrated World Environment Day at Matkuli
  • Organised environment awareness program at Matkuli

During June, we organised 3 programs related to water conservation. 

On June 2, we organised a program to clean a water body in the jungle some distance from Mehandikheda village. The water body was covered with leaves and organic litter and animals were finding it difficult to drink. Our team, consisting of field assistant Hamid Khan and 13 children from Mehandikheda village, cleared the litter and made the water body accessible to the animals again. Spotted deer are regularly seen around this water body while there are occasional sightings of sloth bears, wild pigs, wild dogs and leopards. 

Two similar programs were organised at Jhirpa and Khanchari on June 4 and 5.

During the month, our team organised 9 awareness programs in Jhirpa, Khanchari, Karer, Matkuli, Pisuwa, Duddi, Bandhan, Almod, Aaritodiya, Mohgaon, Tekapar, Chandanpipariya, Bindakheda and Chirrai villages to promote awareness about forests and the need to maintain and increase green cover. At these programs, our team explained to villagers how the forests could be maintained and green cover could be added through plantation drives. Villagers were motivated to collect seeds of native species which could be used in plantation drives during the monsoon. We arranged saplings of neem, jamun, kosam, pipal, bargad and mahua with the support of the Social Forestry wing and prepared pits for plantation.

In June, we organised the planting of 100 kosam and teak saplings in Pisuwa village, with the support of the local school management. 

World Environment Day

On June 5, we organised a function to celebrate the World Environment Day at Matkuli. This program was attended by Mr. Kamal Pal (Sarpanch, Matkuli), Omprakash Sahu, Vimlesh Vyalsa, (Forest Guard) and EDC members of Matkuli, Mehandikheda, Chirrai, Tekapar and Khari.

Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve awareness program

On June 13, we organised a function at Matkuli to promote awareness about the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. This program was attended by Mr. Kamal Pal (Sarpanch- Matkuli), Mr. H.L. Sharma, Mr. Beniprasad Dhurve (Deputy Ranger), Principal and staff of Government Higher Secondary School, Matkuli. 

Activity Update June 2019: Pench Maharashtra


Unemployed villagers attend our livelihoods workshop

Dahoda - Recruitment drive for security guards by Checkmate Security 

Fulzari - Villagers participate in a forest patrol 

Ghoti - Members of women's SHG attend our meeting
to discuss livelihood options

Nagalwadi - Attendees at our livelihoods workshop


Team: Kaustubh Marpalliwar – Conservation Officer
             Dilip Lanjewar, Balkrishna Bagmare – Community Officers

Highlights (See Table 1)
  • Organised 3 foot patrols with young villagers and Forest Department
  • Organised World Environment Day program at Sillari and Chargaon
  • Organised a meeting to inform young villagers about security guard jobs, 35 young villagers present
  • Encouraged 33 young villagers to participate in employment drive at Nagalwadi Forest Range Office
  • Provided list of candidates for Primary Response Team to the Pauni (Unified Control) Range Officer
On June 1, 8 and 21, three community patrolling programs were organised in Shiladevi, Makardhokda and Fulzari beats respectively with forest guards. Such patrolling helps in checking illegal activities around village forests through community participation. 

On June 29, Balkrishna organised a program to clean the Zilla Parishad School premises at Chargaon before the start of the new academic session. Facilities like washrooms, drinking water storage and taps, and electricity outlets were checked and repaired. The aim of this initiative was to ensure that students get a safe and healthy environment at school. 

On June 30, we assisted Range Forest Officer, Pauni (Unified Control) to formulate six ‘Primary Response Teams’ (PRTs) at Ghoti, Usripar, Kadbikheda, Sawara, Tuyepar and Khapa. Each PRT comprises of 5 young villagers from the village. These young villagers will be provided initial equipment and training for carrying out foot patrols, conducting wildlife rescue operations and controlling of mobs in conflict situations. These PRTs will be responsible for assisting Forest Department staff to prevent and manage human-animal conflict situations in their respective villages.

On June 12, Dilip organised a meeting with members of a Women's Self-Help Group (SHG) of Ghoti village. During this meeting, Dilip explained that they can take up manufacturing of cotton bags  to earn alternate incomes. He also explained that they can get training for sewing and manufacturing of these cotton bags. With a ban on the use of plastic bags in Maharashtra state, cloth bags have good demand and, thus, represent a very good opportunity for setting up a micro-enterprise. 17 women along with members of the Gram Panchayat were present at the meeting.

On June 5, we organised a World Environment Day celebration program in Amaltas Tourism Complex, Sillari. It was a joint program with the Forest Department. In the presence of the Chief Conservator of Forests, the Assistant Conservator of Forests and various Range Forest Officers, numerous aspects were covered like human-animal conflict, wildlife road accidents, rainwater harvesting and water management, and also career guidance for unemployed young villagers. Over 150 people from different villages were present. 
Balkrishna organised a plantation program at Chargaon on the occasion of World Environment Day along with Forest Guards and villagers. 

Employment Cell

During June, two employment programs were conducted. On June 21, Checkmate Industrial Services, Pune, conducted a recruitment drive with the help of Satpuda Foundation at Dahoda forest protection hut, at which some Forest Department officials including the RFO and RO were present. 35 young villagers attended the program. 

On June 24, Balkrishna assisted 33 young villagers to participate in an employment drive at Nagalwadi Range Forest Office. During the employment drive, the young villagers also attended a workshop on skill development and employability improvement schemes being implemented by Government agencies. (See Table 2)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Activity Update June 2019: Pench Madhya Pradesh


Khamarpani - Recruitment drive conducted by Checkmate Security

Kohoka - Our colleague Sumit explains the concept
of water management in an environment education programme

 Potiya - Students learn about nature through a nature game
organised by our colleague Niranjan
Satosha - Our colleague Niranjan organises a game
to teach students about nature and wildlife

Turiya - School students on a nature trail 

Turiya - Volunteers prepare a soak pit 

Turiya - Volunteers help in setting up a nursery
 in a programme organised by us


Conservation Officer – Sumit Kumar Kar
Field Assistant – Niranjan Hinge (Turia cluster)
Field Assistant– Kamlesh Pawar (Khamarpani cluster)

Major highlights of the month (See Table 1)

  • Recruitment drive conducted in association with Checkmate Security Pvt. Limited for unemployed young villagers 
  • SHG meeting and training program  
  • Nursery preparation 
  • Nature trails conducted in Turiya and Potiya 
  • Environment education program in 4 schools attended by 71 students

With the arrival of the monsoon, planting drives are organised by Satpuda Foundation across the landscape. To provide seedlings for planting, Niranjan conducted nursery seedling plantation activities with the help of local young villagers,  from seeds collected last month. Seeds of trees such as neem and mahua were planted, and other nursery related operations were conducted.

On June 6, Niranjan assembled a group of volunteers at Turiya to dig a soak pit. Niranjan had earlier explained to villagers the concept of groundwater recharge and how soak pits can help in faster percolation of waste water and reduce the spread of water-borne insect vectors. 

On June 21 and June 16, Niranjan organised nature trails for students. During the nature trails, Niranjan explained about the various birds found in the vicinity in the buffer region of Pench Tiger Reserve and their role in the ecosystem. A visit was organised to a nearby dry river bed to create awareness on water conservation and importance of water hole for wildlife conservation. 

Environment Education (See Table 2)

In June, a total of four school education programs were organised by Niranjan and Sumit in which students were given lectures on a wide range of topics such as water conservation, pollution, human-animal conflict, biodiversity conservation, and other issues related to nature conservation.  71 students attended these programs. 

Nature games (See Table 3)

Nature games are useful as they impart important conservation-related messages through interesting and simple games. They are more interactive than traditional lectures and are more effective in capturing the attention of young minds. During June, two such nature games were organised. 

Employment Cell

Satpuda Foundation has been helping local young villagers get employment by connecting them to potential recruiters. During June, Satpuda Foundation organised recruitment workshops in association with Checkmate Industrial Services Pvt. Ltd., Pune, in the Khamarpani cluster. The recruitment drive was conducted for the position of security guards, to be employed in Pune. The drive was successful with many young villagers of the region registering.

One of the activities related to employment at the Foundation is supporting Self Help Groups (SHGs) start and sustain new ventures which can give them adequate financial returns while reducing their dependence on forests for livelihood. During June, with the efforts of our team and support from the government’s NRLM (National Rural Livelihood Mission), a new shop was allocated by the local Panchayat for women SHG members to operate in Turiya village. The new shop will enable the SHG members to expand their food business and also act as a selling point for SHG-made handicrafts. A meeting was organised in which Sumit and Niranjan discussed the future course of action. A training session in accounting and book-keeping was organised by Sumit for the SHG members.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Activity Update June 2019: Kanha


Batwar- Volunteers clean the well and its surroundings 

Batwar- Volunteers clean the village well 

Bhagpur: Seeds of local plants collected by villagers,
to be planted during the monsoon

Bhagpur - Young villagers collecting seeds of local plants
to be planted during the monsoon

Chapri - Villagers dig pits for planting saplings

Chapri- MLA Narayan Singh Patta meets villagers to discuss local issues 

Kutwahi- Sampathlal Dhurve conducts
an environment education programme in village school

Manegaon - Sampatlal conducts an awareness programme on conservation

Samaiya- Field assistant Sampathlal Dhurve
talks to village students on a nature trail


eam: Amit AwasthiConservation Officer
            Sampathlal Dhurve – Field assistant


  • Micro-plan PRA work done in 2 villages
  • 2 voluntary work projects for community assistance 
  • 5 awareness programs on plantation 
  • Dug 115 pits for sapling plantation in 3 villages 
  • One person trained in preparing vermi-compost 
  • 3 compost pits prepared in 4 villages
  • Environment education  program conducted in 5 schools - attended by 125 students
  • 1 nature trail program 
  • Seed collection done by villagers 
  • 1 unemployed young villager placed in job in local resort
 (See Table 1)

In June, we assisted the Forest Department in preparing micro-plans for Chapri and Mocha villages. The micro-plans will be the basis for undertaking various sustainable and eco-friendly village development activities. Activities related to wildlife, water and soil conservation have been included in these micro-plans while taking into consideration the socio-economic requirements of the villagers. 

In community assistance work, our team organised one program on June 10 to clean a well at Batwar. Organic litter had accumulated in the well, blown in by the wind. 3 women and 5 young villagers joined Sampath and Amit in  removing the litter and de-silting the well. 

A similar program was organised on June 4 to clear the area next to a hand pump at Sautiya.

During the month, Amit organised 5 awareness programs on improved farming techniques so that farmers can improve their yield. During the programs, the farmers were also taught how to treat seeds before planting. 

In June, we encouraged villagers from Batwar, Bhagpur and Chapri villages to prepare a total of 115 pits for sapling plantation during the monsoon season. Saplings of local trees will be planted in these pits. 

On June 6, our team provided training in preparing vermi-compost to Suman Aarmo of Batwar village. During the training, she was taught techniques to prepare, maintain and use vermi-compost.

Our team encourages organic farming as part of our strategy to reduce the impact of chemical fertilisers on fields adjoining prime wildlife areas. Part of our work includes assistance to villagers in setting up vermi-compost tanks and compost pits. 

During June, we helped 6 villagers dig compost pits –Bisto Bai Markam of Manegaon on June 3, Gulab Maravi of Patpara on June 11, Drup Singh of Batwar on June 14.

On 21 June, we organised a meeting to resolve various issues of the villagers. On our invitation, Shri Narayan Singh Patta, MLA of Bichiya (Mandla) attended the meeting of the Local Advisory Committee with guides and gypsy drivers. During the meeting, the guides and gypsy drivers requested the committee members to try and increase the number of gypsy vehicles and provide tourism-related livelihood to more young villagers. They also requested them to shift a proposed tiger safari from Chapri to Kutwahi. Shri Narayan Singh Patta has agreed to work on these issues.

Amit and Sampath led children of Sautiya on a nature trail on June 2. On the trail, they helped children identify various species of plants and animals and explained the importance of preserving our environment. Children collected seeds of local trees during the trail.

There were 5 classroom programs in schools. (See Table 2)

We helped one young villager get a job in June (See Table 3).

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Activity Update June 2019: Tadoba


Mudholi - In community assistance programme,
volunteers clean blocked drainage canal

Katwal - Saplings prepared by school children,
 to be used for planting during the monsoon

Katwal - Village children prepare saplings from seeds of local plants 

Khutwanda - Members of women's SHG make bags from old newspapers

Khutwanda - Paper bags made by members of women's SHG

Khutwanda - Young villagers participate in a forest patrol 

 Khutwanda - Young children set off on a nature trail 

Kondegaon - A nature game to teach how all life on the planet
is inter-connected

Kondegaon - Villagers dig pits for a plantation drive 

Mudholi - Meeting to discuss use of solar-powered fencing
on farms to mitigate crop depredation by wildlife

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

Mudholi - Villagers dig pits for planting saplings 


Conservation Officer: Mr. Ajay Poddar
Field Assistant: Mr. Kishor Dudhbarai
Highlights of the month:
  • 3 programs to clean areas around bore wells and remove plastic litter to reduce chances of man-animal conflict - 85 villagers participated
  • 260 pits dug for plantation - 22 villagers participated
  • 1 foot patrol – 8 local young villagers participated 
  • 6 environment education programs-176 students attended 
  • 1 nature club activity - 50 saplings prepared - 15students participated 
  • 8 women’s SHG meetings organised - 104 members attended 
  • 7 VEDC meetings organised - 147 members attended

On June 6th, 13th and 17th, we organised cleanliness and anti-plastic programs at Katwal, Khutwanda and Mudholi. The programs were organised in order to sanitise the area around villages, as litter sometimes leads wildlife to venture into the village and causes man-animal conflict. We collected over 5 kilograms of plastic litter through public participation ('shramdaan.') A total of 85 villagers including members of women’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and children volunteered. 

On June 22nd and 24th, ahead of the monsoon, we organised a pre-plantation drive with villagers of Mudholi and Kondegaon. Villagers dug 260 pits for plantation around their villages through voluntary work project. A total of 22 villagers participated in the drive. 

Following recent reports of snares and wire traps in sensitive areas, on June 11th, we organised a foot patrol in the buffer area around Khutwanda village involving local young villagers with Forest Guard. Participants learned about key points to notice during patrol like scat identification, directions etc. A total of 8 local young villagers participated in the patrol. 

Education Program (See Table 3)

During the month of June, we visited and organised environment education  programs in Kondegaon, Katwal Mudholi and Khutwanda villages. We organised these programs with students and teachers 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 176 students participated in the programs. 

Students of Nature club ‘Ashwal’ from Katwal village prepared 50 saplings to be planted around their school’s premises. A total of 15 children participated in the activity and said they were willing to prepare more saplings. 

Employment Cell (See Table 2)

During June, we organised 7 Village Eco-Development Committee (VEDC) meetings and 8 women Self-Help Group (SHG) meetings, focusing on alternative livelihoods which would reduce dependence on the forests that leads to man-animal conflict and degradation of forests. A total of 251 villagers attended these meetings and shared their thoughts. 

In the SHG meetings, we discussed several livelihood-related issues. We also formed groups of interested members who are willing to take up training in making paper bags and in embroidery. A total of 104 members attended these meetings. 

In the VEDC meetings, we discussed the proposed plantation to be done, collection and distribution of saplings. We also focused on increasing usage of solar-powered fencing in farm lands to prevent herbivore conflict as well as carnivores and other wildlife from being electrocuted by electric fencing. We also discussed and explained short- and long-term benefits of fodder plantation. We discussed the increasing number of man-animal confrontations in Moharli buffer area and how to prevent it by adopting cattle sheds and stall feeding for their cattle, which often fall prey to medium and large carnivores around the area. A total of 147 villagers attended these meetings.