Conservation through Education- First Workshop
In July 2017, the environmental education program in Ashram shalas of Melghat was launched at the Semadoh Ecotourism complex of Melghat Tiger Reserve under the aegis of Forest Department’s project “Integrated Habitat Conservation and Ecodevelopment in Vidarbha Tiger Landscape” supported by IUCN. The launch and the two day training was attended by 40 teachers and 3 school principals from 21 Ashram schools from Melghat Region. The goal of this program is to generate environment awareness among teachers and students of Melghat and inculcating positive attitudes towards sustainable lifestyle.
Two publications were developed specially as part of the programme for students and teachers –
(i) Teacher Resource Book and (ii) Student Journal respectively. The Publications were released during the launch of the Ek Prithvi by two Head Masters of the Ashram Schools. The dignitaries who graced the occasion were Field Director of the Melghat Tiger Reserve Mr. M. S. Reddy and Deputy Conservator of Forests of Sipna Division, Mr. Sunil Sharma.
The event commenced with a formal welcome by Mr. Jayant Kulkarni, Executive director, WRCS who spoke about the integrated approach of this program. His talk was followed by a welcome address by Ms. Vaibhavi Shitut, WWF-India. The Head Master, in his address motivated the teachers and schools to participate in the program. After the launch, an orientation and training programme was conducted for the teachers and principals of the participating schools. The objective of the training programme was to steer the teachers for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programme Ek Prithvi. Through the programme, 960 students in 24 schools across the villages will be engaged in conservation activities in and around their school.
A stakeholder meeting was held with villagers, Range Officers and frontline staff of Forest Department from the 10 villages participating in the IUCN project. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce them to the purpose, the project activities and the implementation process of the IUCN project. They were informed about the livelihood activities that would be implemented through the project by Mr. Jayant Kulkarni, Dr. Prachi Mehta, Mr. Nikhil And Mr. Shubham. The stakeholders were addressed by Mr. Jaideep Das, the Livelihood Development expert from Melghat Tiger Reserve. Later Mr. M.S. Reddy and Mr. Sunil Sharma held a discussion with the stakeholders to understand their problems and their requirements.