Survival International (SI), london based organisation has made an appeal to global tourists, not to visit Indian Tiger Reserves. Responding to this appeal, today the Guides in Pench Tiger Reserve and NNTRconducted meetings today and registered their protest against Survival International and its Director, Stephen Corry.
Stephen Corry Director, Survival International wrote an email from firstname.lastname@example.org to global community that "India's government is illegally evicting tribal people from their forest homes. They are being forced out because the forests that they have cared for since time immemorial have been turned into tiger reserves." He further write that " Hundreds of thousands of tourists in jeeps are permitted to enter the reserves. This disturbs the tigers, gets them used to human presence (which helps poachers), and creates litter and pollution". He further make an appeal "I pledge to boycott Indian tiger reserves .They evicted us on the pretext that we made noise and that we disturbed the forest. But now there are lots of jeeps and tourism vehicles – isn’t that a disturbance for the animals? India’s tribal people are the best guardians of their forest homes. Many of them worship tigers as gods. And in one tiger reserve where their right to stay was recognized, tiger numbers soared." Satpuda Foundation, a leading NGO which works for tribal development as well as tiger conservation in central India has shared this shocking email with the tribals from relocated villages and tribal guides who got jobs due to Tiger Reserves.
"We have not given consultancy to Survival International(SI) to speak on our behalf", said Bandu Uike President of Eco-development Committee of Ghatpendhari village in Pench Tiger Reserve. Its totally un- ethical to make an appeal to foreign tourist by using the name of Indian tribal communities, he stated further. Tomorrow our tribals will gather at Amaltas Ccomplx at 7 am to register the protest against SI and request Indian Government to take strict action against SI and their campaign, he stated further. Pench guides expressed that there is no forced eviction of tribals in Pench Tiger Reserve. Also some villagers themselves want to get relocation package. So who is this survival International to decide whether we should go out or not? We are getting better package outside the core area and within our district where there is no risk to our lives and crops.
The tribal youths have stated that "we have got employment from wildlife tourism. This livelihood has come after a long efforts of conservation. So now we are ripping the benefits of wildlife tourism. What is the problem of Survival International".
Kishor Rithe, President of Satpuda Foundation said that this campaign is against India and its economic development. Our tribals are protecting the forests and ripping its benefit through wildlife tourism. Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve earn more than 5 Crore revenue from tourism every year and most of the share goes back to local communities. Also it has provided direct employment to around 2500 locals. The similar picture can be seen in other Tiger Reserves of Vidarbha as well as India. We condemn this campaign and appeal to foreign tourist that our tribals are happy and their livelihood comes from tourism and conservation and not from bushmeat like Africa.
The Nawegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) is closed for tourism on Thursday. Still the guides were gathered at Mangezari in Nagzira. Mukund Dhurve from NNTR said that tomorrow the guides will have separate meetings at Pitezari and Chorakhmara gates to condemn this international campaign. Abhijit Dutta, Asstt Director of Satpuda Foundation told in a press release that the act of SI will be explained in all the 7 Tiger reserves in central India. We will try to communicate the sentiments and opinion of our tribal communities to the global community.
Vasundhara International Film Festival at Amravati will discuss "Smart and Sustainable City" at length
"Eco-Talk" and thrilling Eco-films will be the attraction for students and college youths
The prestigious awards to be announced on 29th September 2016.
Amravati : Here is a good news for nature lovers in Amravati. Nature lovers to get good feast in October first week. Nature Conservation Society, Amravati while celebrating its Silver Jubilee Year has planned a popular Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival on October 3 to 5, 2016 at Amravati town, grabbing the occasion of World Wildlife Week. This year the organisers have planned several programmes to highlight the different facets of Smart and sustainable cities during the film festival.
The three day long festival will be organised jointly with leading wildlife NGO Satpuda Foundation(SF) in collaboration with Institute of Engineers (IE), Amravati local centre and SGB Amravati University at Engineers Hall, Shegaon naka,Amravati.
SF and NCSA are two leading nature and wildlife conservation organizations in central India. NCSA while celebrating a silver Jubilee year has decided to mark many programmes during the year. The festival is the first in the series. The theme of the festival this year is, ‘Smart & Sustainable cities’. The festival is aimed at creating awareness regarding environmental issues. It involves participation of school students and college youths in various green activities & their presentations, Programme called "Eco-Talk", screening of award winning films dealing with the issues related to environment, wildlife, air, water and energy. Apart from this the festival involves activities like training workshops, lectures and presentations,
It is expected that the total participation in the festival will be around 10,000 people involving college and school teachers, doctors, lawyers, home makers, school and college students etc.
The organisers have decided to announce the prestigious 6 different Awards on 29th September (Thursday) 2016. These awards would be presented on 5th October during the concluding function of this festival.
Kishor Rithe, President of Satpuda Foundation and Dr.Nishikant Kale, President of NCSA has informed this in a press release. (Attached are logo of festival, NCSA's silver jubilee logo and SF logo)--
Nagpur: The solar-mini grid project commissioned in July 2016 in buffer village Ghatpendhari of Pench Tiger Reserve to be inaugurated tomorrow on 27th September at the hands of Chief Wildlife Warden of Maharashtra state Mr.Shree Bhagwan.
Satpuda Foundation a leading NGO in central India which is working hard in the Satpuda Landscape to promote solar power in the remotest forested villages since last 15 years, has made this dream possible with the financial assistance of Conservation Action Trust and technical help from bangalore based SELCO Solar Light Private Limited.
Ghatpendhri village in the buffer of Pench Tiger Reserve, 110km from Nagpur, had to go 40-50km to recharge their mobiles when power went off and had to live a scary life in the darkness as surrounded by wild animals. Today, the village is running on a mini solar grid, giving them the "solar light" of hope for living fearlessly in harmony with wild animals.
Ghatpendhri in Ramtek tehsil, surrounded by thick forests, is the first village in the buffer zone of any tiger reserve in the country to get a renewable energy project, known as Kiran Prabha Solar Mini Grid, generating 2.4KV energy. Currently, the village gets power from Madhya Pradesh. All the villagers are tribals below poverty line (BPL). During power cuts, they use kerosene lamps, which is not only unhealthy and risky but the costly too.
Looking at the hardship and remoteness, Ghatpendhri was selected by Satpuda Foundation for implementing the project funded byMumbai based tiger conservation NGO Conservation Action Trust (CAT). The survey was completed by energy engineers volunteering with Satpuda Foundation Sheldon Mendonca and Brendon Mendonca in 2014, following which the project was initiated by SELCO.
"Of the 200 households in the village, in the first phase, 76 are being connected to the solar mini grid. These houses have been provided with 3 & 2 watt LED bulbs each and a mobile charging socket," says Mandar Pingle, conservation officer of Satpuda Foundation.
"The solar service made operational from June 14 and is available from 6.30pm to 12pm in these 76 houses through 70 poles. The system has been tested in last 3 months and villagers are happy" said Kishor Rithe, president of Satpuda Foundation.
The Bangalore-based solar firm has trained two youths to take care of technical problems. Besides, failures can be monitored through Internet also, as every house has been given unique ID, told Mr.Debi Goenka, Executive Trustee of Conservation Action Trust.
The project would be inaugurated tomorrow on 27th September 2016 at the hands of PCCF(Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden of Maharashtra Shree Bhagwan in presence of Debi Goenka, State Wildlife Board member Kishor Rithe, S.Reddy Field Director of Pench Tiger Reserve and senior manager of SELCO.
Energy sufficient Villages
Nagpur: (22 May 2016) Satpuda Foundation, a NGO working for community based wildlife conservation in Satpuda Landscape in central India, celebrated International Biodiversity Day with the tribal villages situated in the buffer zones of six Tiger Reserves.
United Nations has adopted 22 May as International Day to increase awareness and understanding of biodiversity issues. This year the theme for the celebration is "Mainstreaming Biodiversity, Sustaining People and their Livelihoods".
"Biodiversity is the foundation for life on earth and is an essential part of the living ecosystems. Conservation of biodiversity ensures provision of various essential services through these ecosystems. It is also closely related to people’s livelihood and sustainable development in various areas like agriculture, forestry, fisheries, eco-tourism and so on. It has been observed that there is a substantial loss of biodiversity each year and we need to halt it as soon as possible", said Kishor Rithe, President of Satpuda Foundation and also a member of Maharashtra state Biodiversity Board. We tried to take this message through different tools and programmes to tribal villages in central India, he stated further.
On this occasion, various events were organised in buffer villages of Pench Tiger Reserve Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve, Satpuda Tiger Reserve, Pachamarhi and Kanha Tiger Reserve.
In East Range of Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra, a programme was organised for farmers from Salai, Pipariya, Ghoti and Wagholi villages to explain the issue of conservation if agricultural biodiversity. Around 21 farmers attended the programme at community centre of Satpuda Foundation(SF). Conservation Officer of SF Mandar Pingle and Community Officer, Mr Dilip Lanjewar addressed the farmers and facilitated discussion regarding indigenous crops and organic farming practices. It was urged to control the use of chemical fertilizers and rely on harmless organic fertilizers. It should be noted that the prolonged use of large quantities of chemical fertilizers have caused the loss of agricultural biodiversity.
Several schemes and trainings of the National Centre of Organic Farming for organic farming were shared with the farmers. Various other issues like tree plantation, creation of "Biodiversity Park" near villages, cleaning water bodies etc were also discussed during the event.
Community Officer of SF Mr Bandu Uikey organised a similar program in Ghatpendhari village of West Range of Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra, which was attended by the staff members of the Forest Department and farmers from the Ghatpendhari village.
In Priyadarshini Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, the short-films on the biodiversity conservation were shown to villagers. The drawing and painting competition was also arranged for kids from the villages. Kids painted colourful pictures of various birds, animals, insects and trees seen by them. Community Officer of Satpuda Foundation, Mr Niranjan Hinge arranged these programmes.
Similarly, a shramdaan programme was arranged at Kunai village to construct a water-hole for wild animals and birds. The water accumulated in the waterhole will be useful for birds, animals and many small organisms like bees and butterflies during the hot summer.
In Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, the children were taken to Mohurli lake to explain them the wetland eco-system and the role of various organisms. Similar programme was arranged for the kids of Sitarampeth village in Tadoba buffer.
Mr Anoop Awasthi, Assistant Director of Satpuda Foundation, Mandar Pingle, Conservtion officer, Mr.Bandu Kumare, Community officer of SF in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Mr. Ashfaq Aarbi Conservation officer at Satpuda Tiger Reserve, Community officer, Mr Kamlesh Pawar (Pench MP), Dilip Lanjewar and Bandu Uike (Pench Maharashtra), Mr. Mukund Dhurve at Navegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve took painstaking efforts in scorching heat to make these programmes successful.
Village kids engrossed in watching short films on conservation.
Village kids participated in drawing & painting competition in Turiya village.
Satpuda Foundation staff interacting with farmers in Pipariya village.
Chandrapur/Nagpur: (8th February 2014) Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur district becoming popular in the country. Credit goes to its people who are working hard to make their reserve the best in the country.
This has reflected through a recent activity in Chorgaon village situated in buffer of TATR. School kids came forward and constructed a check dam by Shramdaan. Satpuda Foundation, a NGO working in central India which works in 11 buffer villages of TATR to motivate villagers to generate community actions for tiger conservation helped them to make this possible.
On January 31, Satpuda Foundation had organised a shramdhaan to build a check dam around 2 km from Chorgaon on a stream adjoining the jungle. Three youths from the village, 4 teachers and 69 students from the Zilla Parishad Primary School joined hands with Satpuda Foundation Community Officer Bandu Kumre and his staff and constructed a check dam by digging silt and using sand. "The waterbody thus created will benefit domestic livestock of Chorgaon during the day and will help to restrict cattle movement deep inside the tiger habitat. The wildlife around Chorgaon may use the waterbody at night. Nilgai, wild boars and sambhar are regularly seen in the area while leopards are sighted occasionally", said Bandu Kumre, Community Officer.
Chorgaon - School children get together to build check dam.
Chorgaon - School children get together to build check dam.
Chorgaon - School children get together to build check dam.
Satpuda Foundation demanded a special package to Prime Minister to address Human-Wildlife conflict in Chandrapur district One more death recorded today on 18th April 2013 in Kitali village.
One more human death has been recorded this morning around Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra state. This is the eight case in last eight days. Gopika Kalsarpe (50) from Kitali village (near Padmapur) while going to her farm was attacked by a leopard, on the border of TATR. Leopard had actually killed a goat where staff was doing a panchanama when the animal went away and attacked the lady.
After repeated human deaths in Tiger/Leopard attacks in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, Satpuda Foundation a leading NGO in India who is also member of National Board for Wildlife has yesterday requested a "special package" from Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh who is also a Chairman of National Board for Wildlife.
It is learnt that SF has written a letter on 17th April 2013 to Prime Minister. Kishor Rithe, President of Satpuda Foundation has confirmed this with media.
SF has made the Prime Minister aware about recent seven deaths in TATR. SF claimed that the great efforts of Government of Maharashtra inside as well as outside the protected areas (PA) has resulted in significant increase in tiger/leopard population. SF stated that around 40-50 Tigers are inside the TATR and equal number of tigers are present outside the TATR, in buffer area as well as "wildlife corridor" with nearest PAs like Umred-Karandla sanctuary towards north and Chaparala sanctuary towards south.
While explaining the problem, SF mentioned that the "communities living in buffer villages and "wildlife corridor" have neither taken a serious note of this significant change nor did change their traditional practices. Specially the forest dependent families (landless) which extract minor forest produce (MFP) have not stopped going to the forest for extracting the fuel wood, bamboo, Mahua flowers and tendu (MFP) leaves".
SF has put the finger on problem while stating that the "carnivores who are not familiar to human presence inside the TATR, when disperse in buffer, tend to attack on villagers who go for extracting MFP or livestock grazing. From 2007 to 2013, there are around 83 human death cases, and approximately 5861 (from 2008) livestock loss cases recorded only in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra (Against 223 human and 21,775 livestock death cases in entire Maharashtra-during 2007-Dec.2012)".
While putting the statistics, SF has expressed the need of PMO's intervention to implement the preventive steps rather than simply paying annual compensation through state Government. SF has requested a special package for human-wildlife conflict prone landscape of Vidarbha to implement the "alternate livelihood programme" for MFP and livestock dependent families living in "buffer villages" and in "wildlife corridors".
SF demanded further that the package should fund "alternate livelihood programme" specially for landless families and grazers living in these villages as per the approved "village micro plans" to be implemented by village eco-development committees (VEDC) or joint forest management committees (JFMC). If atleast one tribal youth from such families get the benefit of this programme, he/she would help to discourage old people, youngsters from his/her family from going to the forest for MFP collection and illegal free grazing, SF stated further.
Satpuda Foundation has claimed that they have been implementing such programme in few villages of this landscape with little financial assistance and got good results. SF has come forward to assist the Government to implement the same for affected villages.
Same time, SF has specially requested such package to send a message that tigers must be protected not at the cost of huge human and livestock losses.
Kishor Rithe, President, Satpuda Foundation & Member, National Board for Wildlife told the media that he will also write to MLAs and MPs in Vidarbha to gather their strength and support to design and implement such package.
The copy of the letter has been given to Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Hon’ble Minister of state (Independent), Ministry of Environment and Forest as well as to Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Government of India.