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Satpuda exploring livelihood options to save tigers

Tigers cannot be saved unless interests of those living on the fringes of tiger reserves and national parks are protected. The Satpuda Foundation, which has been working for wildlife conservation, is exploring employment opportunities in villagers surrounding Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve. "We identified 4 village women for training in computer skills to get them jobs. They were sent for a month-long training programme in desktop publishing, data entry and use of tally software package. The training was conducted at STAR Rojgar Training Centre, a Gondia-based institute.


All expenses were borne by the institute," Satpuda Foundation conservation officer Mukund Dhurve said. He said 18 candidates were identified for drivers' training programme in July which will be run by the same centre. The youths belong to Mangezari, Kodebarra, Govindtola and Asalpani villages near Nagzira sanctuary. "We organized a day long workshop at Mangezari to make aware villagers about working of self-help groups and various livelihood options," Dhurve said. Mangezari, Kodebarra, Govindtola and Jindatola villagers participated in the workshop where they were shown how to make pickles from mahua flowers and incense sticks.


They were also shown how to make improved stoves, which emit less smoke and use less firewood. The programme was assisted by Foundation field assistants Jivraj Salam and Salimkumar Dhurve. Satpuda staff joined forest department in night patrols and assisted in fighting forest fires. "We also participated in programmes to clean water holes in the buffer area of Nagzira wildlife sanctuary," said Salam. This apart, six medical camps were organized in which 206 patients were treate.

 Times of India, Delhi, 17th June 2014