Area of Work
Conservation of wildlife & Biodiversity is main area of its work and the area of operation is entire state of Odisha with special emphasis on Human- Elephant conflict localities. The Trust has carried out has carried out many and varied activities on sustained basis during a span of more than a decade since its inception, the gist of which is furnished below.
A. Work Done So Far
- Awareness Campaign for attitudinal changes of local people & forest officials - It is a must to unite all stakeholder for concerted and coordinated effort to fight this menace effectively and being executed as under
- Documentary Film - “ Hati Jeevan Ek Sangharsha Anek” a short film of 20 minutes duration narrating the need for protection & conservation of elephant along with misery & mitigation methods of Human-Elephant conflict has been prepared by the Trust basing on the concept, research and script of wildlife experts. It has already been screened in more than 200 problematic villages and various meetings to motivate the stakeholders. It has also been broadcasted through Door Darshan and uploaded in YOU tube for publicity.
- Rural Folk Song - Daskathia has been prepared basing on the theme “ Forest & Wildlife conservation and already exhibited in 50 meetings and other gatherings.
- Hathi Amar Sathi - Awareness meetings for all stakeholders under this programme have been organized through out Odisha in all Forest Divisions affected by elephant depredation. So far more than 100 such meetings have been conducted. The Forest Division wise & date wise list of this programme is enclosed.
- In situ Conflict Resolution- Trust is making on site problem assessment and consultation with local people and forest officials through field visit and preparing strategy to resolve it.
- Zero Casualty of Human & Elephant- Trust has prioritized to ensure zero human casualty first followed by elephant casualty and damage of crop & properties. In this regard, two areas facing acute problem namely Dhenkanal Sadar & Hindol ranges of Dhenkanal Divison and Athgarh & Khuntuni ranges of Athgarh Division have been taken up on pilot basis. Seeing its success, same will be replicated in other landscapes.
- Constitution of Hathi Sathi Vahini- Energetic, enthusiastic and dedicated adults preferably male residing in village and also willing to render voluntary service only at time of elephant/other wildlife depredation as and when required can be member of this vahini. Such persons will continue their job/ profession as usual but can be put into service at the of emergency. It is basically village voluntary group at grass root level. Each affected village has one group consisting of 10-15 members. Such vahini has been constituted with help of forest officials in 20 affected villages so far and for rest under progress.
- Training to Hathi Sathi Vahini – Trust has imparted necessary training to the members of the vahini about method/ technique to be adopted immediately at the time of depredation to protect human life & property and also long term measures for ensuring zero casualty of both human & elephant and reduction of damage to crop/ proportion to maximum possible extent. Combined training of Hathi Sathi Vahini and Gajabandhu of Forest Deppt. Have also been organized in collaboration with concerned Forest Division.
- Workshop and Seminars- These have been organized by the trust from time to time at periodical interval to upgrade the knowledge & skill of all stakeholders i.e. frontline forest staff, villagers and volunteers.
- Celebration of World Elephant Day/Wildlife Week etc.- Trust is regularly organising World Elephant Day on 12th August every year at Baripada, Mayurbhanj, the registered HQ of the trust involving people form all walks of life to create awareness. Similarily Wildlife week is also celebrated at Bhubaneswar every year during October 2-9th instant.
- Foundation Day Lecture- Trust celebrates 12th December, its foundation day at Bhubaneswar by organizing a state level one day workshop involving all stakeholders starting from field level to state functionaries where presentation, panel discussion and question answer sessions are held regarding problems faced at field to the depredation issues with solution given by experts. This is followed by Foundation Day Lecture given by an eminent elephant expert. Sri S.S.Bist IFS(Retd) former Director, Project Elephant Govt. of India and Prof. Raman Sukumar Indian Institute of Science Center for Ecological Science Bengaluru has already delivered such lectures.
- Rewards- Trust is giving awards & prizes to grass root level workers for their exemplary services in protection and conservation of forest & wildlife specially elephant every year during the celebration of foundation day. On other hand, Trust has also received Prakruti Bandhu award twice from Govt. of Odisha in recognization of its meritorious service.
- Financial Assistance- The trust is providing financial support to elephant workers not able to get any help from Govt. in critical cases with in its meager resource. Some such cases are given below.
- Rs. 30,000/- was given to Nilgiri Forest Range under Balasore Wildlife Division for assistance to daily wage watchers engaged in combating severe depredation by migratory elephants of Dalma sanctuary in Nilgiri area during crop harvesting time for their pains taking and life risk work during.
- Rs.10,000/- was given to Nirmala Topno in recognition of exemplary service rendered by her late father for mitigation of elephant depredation in Rourkela Forest Division during.
- Recently Sri Sujit Kumar Samal, an elephant squad member of Dhenkanal Forest Division fighting for life at Sum Hospital after being critically injured while preparing for elephant drive operation was provided with Rs 50,000/- to augment the hospital expenses in order to save life on 30/06/2020.
- Publication of Books/ Reports- Trust has published a book in odia titled as “ Hati Amar Sathi “ on elephant physiology, food habit, behavior, depredation , necessity for its conservation along with practical tips to protect human life & property in a very simple style for use by all stake holders mainly vulnerable villagers and frontline forest staff. 500 copies of this book have already been distributed so far. Similarly activities of the trust have been published in form of a report and the same has been distributed to all concerned for appraisal. Publication of corridor walk study and wildlife related report are under progress.
- Tiger/ Elephant Corridor Study- Trust has conducted an innovative and first ever corridor walk in Odisha to have an assessment of present state of affairs of tiger /elephant corridor from Similipal tiger/ elephant reserve of Mayurbhanj District to Satkosia tiger/ Mahanadi elephant reserve of Angul District covering a distance of about 400 km over a period of 12 days involving scientists of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, PG students & researchers of college/ universities, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, forest officials and local people etc. Participants have walked in 2 groups from Thakurmunda in Simlipal TR to Tikarpada in Satkosia TR via 2 routes passing through Keonjhar, Debgarh, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur and Cuttack Districts. Not only first hand feedback but also an overwhelming response from local people for protection and conservation of forest & wildlife have been obtained. . The outcome of this study is expected to have great utility for planners, executers & stakeholders involved in wildlife conservation in this vast and strategic landscape from Similipal to Satkosia for mitigating conflict miseries, strengthening corridor and improving management strategy.
B. Work Ahead
The Trust is planning the future activities as under:
- Continuing all above mentioned ongoing activities.
- Augmentation of inadequate compassionate amount given by the Govt. to victims through tie up with corporate sector working in forest and mining area of the through direct funding by them.
- Arrangement for completion of education to the children being orphaned on account of death of the earning father/mother due to elephant attack through adoption funding by charitable institution/good Samaritans.
- Additional benefit to crop damage compassionate amount by tagging it to other eligible scheme of the Govt.