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Friday, October 12, 2012

Large-scale awareness marks wildlife week near 4 tiger reserves

Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Oct 11, 2012, 09.54PM IST NAGPUR: Even as a lot of noise was made in cities while celebrating wildlife week, the tiger conservation body Satpuda Foundation (SF) concentrated on tribal villages on the fringes of four tiger reserves in the Central Indian region. Several events were organised for a week around Pench tiger reserves on Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh side besides Tadoba-Andhari in Chandrapur and Kanha in Madhya Pradesh. The SF had organised a host of events in eight schools in villages around TATR. Two nature trails for students, three conservation rallies, an essay-writing competition, two drawing competitions, nature games and plantation programme for tribal kids marked the wildlife week around TATR. ""Our basic purpose was to educate these tribals on why the forests and tigers need to be protected,"" said Bandu Kumre, field officer of the SF. Bandu, a former guide with Tadoba, took students for a walk through the jungle adjoining the village in which he helped them identify various species of local flora and fauna. He explained importance of nature and wildlife conservation. At a similar rally at Adegaon, school kids walked through their village forest raising slogans like 'Jal hai to jungle hai, jungle hai to jal hai' and 'Tiger hai to hum hai, hum hai to jungle hai'. An essay-writing contest for zilla parishad school students was also held at Katwal. At Kondegaon, drawing contest was organised. Similarly, the SF team held a nature trail and conservation rally at Khutwanda on the outskirts of Tadoba. Various events were also held in Sitarampeth. In Pench tiger reserve, volunteers organised activities in nearly 13 villages. Here, 7 nature trails for students of village schools, 9 conservation rallies, 5 essay-writing competitions, 9 drawing competitions, face-painting programme and 4 rangoli contests were held. Conservation officer Anoop Awasthi and field assistants Bandu Uikey and Dilip Lanjewar spoke about starting a nursery school in one of the villages. Two film shows on wildlife and nature conservation were conducted apart from guest lectures, quiz etc. The week-long programmes started with a conservation rally at Sawara in which 90 students participated. Similar rallies were organised at Kadbikheda, Zinzeriya and Ghatpendari, Pipariya and Salai, Khapa, Fulzari, Kolitmara, Ghoti and Aamajhari. Near Priyardarshini-Pench reserve, SF organised activities in 10 villages. As a special activity, SF helped four schools set up nurseries. ""We gave 100 polythene bags to each school, along with seeds of heta, kaner and neem. The nurseries were set up at Tuyepani, Khamrith, Telia, and Aamajhari,"" Awasthi said.

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