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People

The people of Kanha have one crop a year (rainy season):  rice

They suffer with 60 - 70% unemployment

When work is available, they earn USD 1/day

Besides being important in its own right, improving the lives of people around the tiger takes stress off the tiger's environment, and poachers are less likely to get help from a community that earns its livelihood from tiger ecotourism and spin-off activities connected with the tiger.  We are unique in planning to run the people programs outlined below.

Photo by Mr. Anand Jagdale at the Tiger Center, Kanha Nature Reserve, India   
Villagers digging the Tiger Center well, which supplies water to us all   

 

How We Help

 

We are currently seeking donors for the school and clinic/hospital.  Current and planned programs and their impact include:

 

Clothing & Water Filters for the community - come see the wonderful visit by Retired Principal Home Secretary Nanhey Singh to distribute water filters and clothing to the community!

 

Usha Sewing Schools to teach local women how to sew with a machine.  Once certified by Usha Int'l. Ltd., each lady can start her own tailoring business to serve clients locally and nationally, and to make products for our Cottage Industries program.  In total for our two schools, we currently have capacity for 60 students in our 6-month program.  That means a potential new livelihood for 120 families a year!  We're thrilled that a second Usha sewing school is up & running.  Our students have been selling their works locally and negotiating with a fashion designer in Bangalore, and we are aiding the search for additional clients.

 

Clinic, with a full-time doctor and dhoula (local nurse).  After an initial period running the facility, we plan to upgrade it to a sleep-in hospital.  The nearest medical facility is 60km away (37 miles), and the prime needs in this community are for snakebite, malaria (especially infants), and childbirth complications. Target partners: Lions Clubs & Doctors Without Borders.  Currently, we are holding medical camps in temporary facilities until a permanent facility is built.

 

Medical Camps - We're thrilled to have hosted our first medical camp in Kanha!  More than 300 people came to our multi-specialty clinics, and many conditions were diagnosed and treated, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, gynecological issues, malaria, tapeworm, & more. This poor community was treated by a staff of qualified doctors for the first time!!!!!  Follow-up treatment was provided in Nagpur, and additional trips with medicine and medical staff are ongoing.

 

School for 100 village children, using curriculum and teacher-training provided by the Loreto Day School, Sealdah, which has trained over 1,000 teachers for 20,000 students in over 400 centres across Kolkata (Calcutta).  Loreto is the order of nuns to which Mother Teresa belonged.  We also plan to offer training in English, computers, and more.  Until the school is built, we will continue to give toys, biscuits, and other items of use to the children.  Feel free to visit our Loreto school photo album.

 

Cottage Industries to help local people make items to sell to the fast-increasing flow of tourists, as well as to start other businesses serving the broader community.  We are investigating micro-credit funding, as well as training materials and mentorship with existing entrepreneurs and local businesspeople, to launch and grow family-based businesses successfully.  So far, we have introduced a design of stuffed tigers and hope to expand to leopard, cheetal, sloth bear, and other animals of the Kanha forest.

 

Employment at the Tiger Center.  We also have a policy to use local materials, furniture, soft goods, food, laundry service, and other local goods and services, where available.  This extends our employment reach beyond our own Center into the broader community.

 

Educational Materials (English & Conservation) - ITC has generously included photos of our wildlife and our website address on 25 million children's writing tablets, for distribution to schools across India. What a fabulous way to capture children's interest and begin the journey to conservation for children and their parents!  In the long-term, we also hope to produce children's books in Hindi and English about tigers, their habitat, and conservation.  Further, our multi-lingual flashcards (currently in development with our local artist) will make learning English fun -- an increasingly important skill for employment in many parts of India today. 

 

 

Potential Future Initiatives include assisting in technology transfer of biodigesters, solar panels, water harvesting, etc., especially since we have experience with them.  We may also begin farming programs, e.g. for poultry, cattle, dairy, etc., since the community has to buy all its food from outside Kanha (except rice).  In fact, water harvesting might enable our local agricultural industry to double -- from one crop a year to two!
 

 

Special Features of the Tiger Center

 

 

Employment

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construction

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maintenance

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operations

 

Local Supply Policy - wherever we can buy locally, we do!

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bricks, tiles, & other building materials

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furniture - designed by us and constructed nearby

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crafts

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soft furnishings & textiles

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food - rice and foods made locally from nearby produce

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laundry service

 

Micro-Credit Fund

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we will provide seed money AND mentoring

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new businesses for tourism products

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new businesses that supply the tiger center (see above) and the community

School

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100 students, aged 4 - 6

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in future, we hope to expand to age 9 and package our curricula, materials, teacher training, and school design for replication throughout the region

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after age 9, children can continue their education in a government school

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school design, curriculum, & teachers from Loreto Day School, Sealdah, which has trained over 1,000 teachers who handle 20,000 students in over 400 centres across Kolkata (Calcutta)

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meals provided

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English education materials

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conservation materials

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computer lab with internet access - the only one in Kanha

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in future, may include after-hours vocational & adult education

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safe location

Clinic/Hospital

 

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free or nominal charge

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full-time doctor on-site, perhaps to include a rotation of international doctors

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full-time dhoula (local nurse)

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basic on-site lab

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after initial experience, we plan to convert to a sleep-in hospital

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secure location & a safe for valuables (e.g. medication)

 

Asia

Prof. Nishi Mukerji & Mr. Anand Jagdale

46 Ramdaspeth (near Lokmat Building)

Nagpur-10, Maharashtra  440010

India

+91 97 6400 8434, +91 98 2270 8434

nishi@tigercenter.org, bhau@tigercenter.org

Europe

Dr. CJ Meadows & Dr. Kristina Taioli

Les Courtals
1 Rte. de l'Ancien Tramway
Caunes Minervois 11160  France

+33 6 4714 5672

cj@tigercenter.org, kristina@tigercenter.org

USA

Dr. Christopher Lee Marshall

340 East 74th St., PHE
New York, NY 10021
USA

+1 212 249 7361

chris@tigercenter.org

 

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