News and Views

News & Views


Elephant Story Contest

First, the long awaited elephant story contest results..Third prize goes to Vinita Agrawal, from Indore. Second prize goes to Suhas Kumar from Bhopal and the first prize goes to an unknown sender who sent in the contest entry without giving his/her email. Our database is not sophisticated enough to track down all the users who logged in. But then, Vivek Menon of Wildlife Trust of India, has the final word on the winners and here they are. You can watch the clips with the captions by clicking here.

Birds 7 ( B-7) -A play

Many of you who visit our website must have seen our page on NGOs. We have included ETF ( Experimental Theatre Foundation) as the second name in our NGO list, though they are not exactly wildlife or nature related. If you have read through and also clicked on the link B-7, a play you will understand why. In a manner similar to us at, where we rely on the power of the internet to create awareness, Manjul Bharadwaj has been using the power of theatre to make people aware about the need for environment conservation. Well ETF has again been chosen to represent India in the Buro Fur-Kultur Und Medien Projekte theatre festival in Germany. The quacking troup of B-7 is busy preparing to face international audiences. To read this play online click here.

The yahoo club has been involved in some healthy sharing of ideas. We have been receiving many e mails from members about volunteering opportunities in the field of wildlife. The following message posted on the yahoo club by Wildlife Institute of India will be of interest to many.


We invite volunteers (Indian nationals only) for assisting the Wildlife Institute of India's Leopard
Ecology project working out of Churna in Bori Wild Life Sanctuary. The major role of the volunteers will
be to walk transects for the estimation of wild prey abundance and assist with other components of field
work which will include collection of scats and collection of large carnivore kill remains.
Ideally we will want the volunteers to be based in the field for a minimum period of 15 days at a stretch. We need volunteers immediately and the field season is till the onset of the monsoon in July. Ideally we want volunteers to come in groups of 2 to 3 people. Volunteers need to reach Itarsi, the closest
railhead. We will be able to provide basic facilities for staying in the field and basic food. Expect hot field
conditions. The volunteers should come equipped with adequate field clothing and their personal medicinal needs. Interested people are requested to respond as soon as possible with a brief cv and a write up explaining why they want to volunteer and indicating dates for which they propose to volunteer to Shri Qamar Qureshi at with a copy to Dr Ravi Chellam at

For those interested in tiger census, here are some helpful contacts supplied by Sandeep

You could contact Mr. Sambakumar at Wildlife Conservation Society
Mr. Praveen Bhargav at Wildlife First.

'Wildlife Film Experience in India'

'Wildeye', UK is organizing 'Wildlife Film Experience in India' based in Corbett National Park, with places for 10 people for 12 days. The cost of this camp which will be held from 14-25 November 2003, is £1,350 per person. For more details visit


(These views of K.S Ram of Van Dhan Mission, Bastar, Chattisgarh, appeared in the Times of India, Newspaper)

" Mango is a major forest produce in Bastar. Provisions of Panchayat Act 1996 ( Extenson to Scheduled Areas) confers ownership status to tribals in respect of non-timber forest produce. Since the Bastar mango is of average quality only, the demand is for cut mango pieces, amchoor. Bastar produces more than 4,000 metric tons of amchoor per annum.
Two grades of amchoor sell in the market - black and white. Customers prefer the white to the black and so the black sells at only half the price. We wondered-the source of the mangoes being the same, how are some white and others black?

With help from the NDDB, we investigated this matter and found that the amchoor cut with iron knives turned black wheras the amchoor cut with steel remained white. A stainless steel knife cost Rs 10, and an iron knife only Rs2. Using iron knoives, the tribals lost out on an income amounting to Rs 400 lakh per annum. The solution was simple- either replace iron with steel or dunk the amchoor in an anti-oxidant like lime water which is easily available in paan shops. "

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