Worldwide, the experience is that if the poor tribes and local people living near the wildlife forests, actually earn from Tourism and other Eco-friendly activities, they become strong protectors of the wildlife, because they realize that if the wildlife is there it will continue to attract tourists, and so they and their children & grand children will continue to earn.
Recognizing the need for such an initiative in Tiger Country Central India, VED has started a charitable Trust FRIENDS OF TIGER COUNTRY Central India (FTCCI). Founder President of VED, Govind Daga is the Chairman, IPP of VED, Vilas Kale, is the Managing Trustee and the current President of VED, Devendra Parekh is the Vice-Chairman.
FTCCI Trust, is initiating its first project for the year 2014-2015 by launching boating activity for tourists at Pench, Maharashtra. The mission of the Trust is to create sustainable livelihood by exploring self-employment opportunities for the unemployed tribal youth in the villages around the ten Tiger Reserves in Tiger Country Central India.
Under the able guidance of the CCF & Field Director, Pench Tiger Reserve, M. Srinivas Reddy, the picturesque Kirangisara village has been chosen as the place to locate this facility. Tourists can enjoy boat rides for short trips as well as for 1 to 2 hours & more visiting nearby villages, tourist places along the Pench River. The project is designed to have 2 rowing boats and 2 motor-boats. The entire management will be done by the Eco-Development Committee of Kirangisara, under the auspices of the Forest Department. Kirangisara can be reached through the Chorbahuli & Sillari gates of Pench Tiger Reserve. It is estimated that this will create jobs for more than 50 families residing in Kirangisara, Kolitmara and surrounding areas.
The first row- boat will be handed over to the Secretary, Eco-Development Society of Kirangisara, Mr. Tumbdum, on Wednesday the 27th Aug 2014.
This is one of the 10 projects that FTCCI Trust has planned for this financial year.
FTCCIT Team, particularly Sulabha Chakravarty & Anup Ghumare, are working hard to raise funds for all these projects by approaching all segments of society. The generous contributions extended by the Principal, staff and the students of Rajendra High School, Sandipani High School, Dinanath High School, Sanjiv Singh (Senior Scientist, NEERI), Dr. Rajaram Tripathi (CEO, CHAMF, Bastar), Beena Sunkar (Executive Member, Village Uplift Society) and Dr. Neelam Tikkha (Professor, Mahila Mahavidhyalay) has helped to start the Boating Project at Kiranagisara.
Vilas Kale , Managing Trustee of FTCCI, has appealed to all members of society to give their generous donation to FTCCI Trust to carry out this mission of converting POACHERS TO PROTECTORS, by creating sustainable jobs from Eco-tourism so that they know that as long as the tiger lives, tourists will come & they will continue to earn.