NAGPUR: In a unique gesture to celebrate International Biodiversity Day (May 22), nine villagers from Turia, adjoining Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, constructed a waterhole for wildlife in the buffer zone of the Reserve. The waterhole was built 500 metres away from the village boundary adjacent to the protected area. Nine villagers braved scorching heat to complete the project.
The initiative was taken by Satpuda Foundation, a non-government organization working for community-based wildlife and forest conservation. The waterhole will go a long way to quench the thirst of birds and small animals.
A few members of the local women's self-help group 'Shrasti' also assisted with the project. Participants of the programme were briefed about the biodiversity of Pench Tiger Reserve and the surrounding area.
The Foundation's assistant director Anoop Awasthi explained to the villagers the importance of biodiversity and why villagers should conserve it. They were also guided to form biodiversity management committees and set up 'people biodiversity registers' in the area. A member of Shrasti, Anita Bhawre said, "The temperature in Turia has increased to 45 degrees Celsius. We feel the heat and thirst inside the house but what about the animals staying outside. Who will think about them?"
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