Vijay Pinjarkar,TNN

NAGPUR: The tiger helps the forest regenerate and tiger forests help with water conservation. That is how the tiger helps human development in general and for the Vidarbha region in particular. But for youths around Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), the tiger means employment.

Youths around TATR are now finding more avenues for employment opportunities due to tigers and the increasing tourist flow to TATR, which has inspired local youths to think different ways of earning money.

In the last week of April, Satpuda Foundation, a NGO working for tiger conservation, led a team of 15 such youths from Chorgaon (located in TATR buffer), on a visit to Koustubh Poultry farm at Dhanoli to get business ideas.

Earlier in March, the Foundation trained these youths in poultry farming at Chandrapur. "The visit to Dhanoli was aimed to help them understand practical aspects of poultry farming and learn from the experience of a successful farmer," said the Satpuda Foundation (SF) representative.

Youths were inspired after this visit. Most of them have now decided to start poultry farming business. SF staff are now connecting them with animal husbandry department so that they can get the required assistance.

School kids around TATR have continued to make 'Apala Tadoba Number-One' project successful. They participated in 'shramdaan' to clean the area around a well at Khutwanda on Tadoba's periphery. At Adegaon and Sitarampeth they cleaned up areas around hand pumps to reduce human-wildlife conflict.

As part of the project, an anti-plastic drive was also held at Dewada in which 17 students of the ZP primary school participated. Bandu Kumre, the education officer of SF, explained harmful effects of plastic on the environment and the need to keep plastic litter and waste buried so that they are not blown by the winds into jungle.

They also participated in anti-plastic programmes in Kondegaon and Sitarampeth villages surrounding the park.

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