By Vijay Pinjarkar
NAGPUR: In a unique effort, a green force comprising school students for protecting wilderness of Central Indian highlands, came forward to construct a check dam in Chorgaon in the buffer zone of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur.
Tadoba is becoming increasingly popular for its tigers and village students too are coming forward for tiger conservation. "The credit goes to its people who are working hard to make the reserve best in the country," said Kishor Rithe, former National Wildlife Board (NBWL) member and president of Satpuda Foundation that took the initiative.
School students came forward and constructed a check dam voluntarily by 'shramdaan'. Satpuda Foundation, a NGO working for tiger conservation in 11 buffer villages of TATR, motivated villagers to generate community actions for tiger conservation.
On January 31, Satpuda Foundation had organised a programme to build a check dam around 2 km from Chorgaon on a stream adjoining the forests.
Three village youths, four teachers and 69 students from the zilla parishad primary school joined hands with Satpuda community officer Bandu Kumre and his staff and constructed a check dam by digging silt and using sand.
"The water body thus created will benefit domestic livestock of Chorgaon during the day and will help to restrict cattle movement deep inside the tiger habitat," said Kumre.
The wildlife around Chorgaon may use the wate rbody at night. Nilgai, wild boars and sambar are regularly seen in the area while leopards are sighted occasionally near Chargaon.
"The dam will prove to be a good drinking water source for wild animals. It will also help control man-animal conflict," said Rithe.