Date: April 2022 – March 2023
Last Wilderness Foundation in association with the Panna Tiger Reserve Management initiated the Gram Rakshak Programme in 2021. The idea behind this project is to rope in selected community members from sensitive villages situated in the buffer zone of the reserve to act as ‘Rakshaks’ or guardians appointed from each of these villages to protect people as well as wild denizens in the forests. The main role of the Rakshaks is to pass on any information about untoward incidents of forest fires, hunting or any ill legal activity that is encountered around their respective areas. Apart from sharing information, the selected community member is also responsible for conservation outreach and the precautionary measures to be taken while living around the tiger reserve. They have already been through an initial training process, wherein they have been oriented about their roles and responsibilities and trained on working in tandem with the Forest Department on information sharing.
As of March 2023, 20 Rakshaks from 20 sensitive villages have been chosen. Awareness and education activities have reached over 2000 people across 20 villages.
This initiative is being supported by Astral Foundation.
To read our report about this project, click here.