Konkadasa (East Singhbhum) (Jharkhand), Nov.2 : Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, a home to several rare and endangered species of deer, leopards, sloth beers and elephants in Jharkhand's East Singbhum district, has adopted an innovating mode of forest conservation.
The Forest Department here has adopted two neighbouring villages around the sanctuary as part of forest conservation programme.
Keeping in view the various man-animal conflicts that have upset the serenity of many sanctuaries of the country, the Forest Department is developing a sense of responsibility among villagers for the protection of Dalma sanctuary, without displacing resident families here.
Spread over an area of 192 square kilometers, Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary is located near Jamshedpur city. Along the slopes of Dalma Hills, 3036 feet above sea-level, there are several villages such as Konkadasa, Chimti, Bota and Randoha situated in the vicinity of this sanctuary.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests here has decided to involve the villagers for the proper upkeep of the sanctuary. As part of this plan, the two adopted villages are being developed by the forest department and ensured a better life for the residents.
Besides, villagers are being motivated to take up the responsibility of safeguarding the sanctuary from the mafia of forest produce.
As part of the pilot project, two villages--Konkadasa and Chimti--were selected initially for the execution of this plan
At the outset, solar street lamps were provided in Konkadasa village and the villagers were explained how these lights worked with the help of the sunlight.
After installation of solar streetlights, each house was provided a solar lamp to enable the women to handle their household chores even at night and children could study even after dusk.
Besides, schools offering education from fifth to first standard have been set up in these villages. Students are also being taught extra curricular pursuits like music and singing.
"If the solar lamps that we have provided to these villagers stop working, then we have these repaired and returned to the villagers. In the past, the children of these villages had no scope to study. But now with the school and these solar lamps they can study without any hassle," said Amulya Ratan Mahto, Forest Ranger, Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary.
To solve the local residents' major problem of water shortage, the Department has installed three hand pumps and also bored a well. Villagers have been involved to carry out such an initiative and develop a sense of involvement among them.
"We are constructing a kilometer long road connecting Konkadasa village with Pindvabedam, as we do not have any proper roads to go out of the village and communicate with the world outside," said Pawan Singh, a resident of Konkadasa village.
Morevoer, these villages were prone to unexpected visits by herds of elephants. To check this menace, the Forest Department has erected fencing around the village. The moment elephants come across this solar powered fencing it renders mild shock to them.
Meanwhile, village women in Chimti have been provided a machine to make plates from tree leaves. These women search for selective leaves from the forests to make these plates that are later marketed in different towns and Jamshedpur city of Jharkhand.
Villagers, following such an initiative of the Forest Department, are better placed and inching towards progress alongside avowing to protect the sanctuary. By Girija Shankar Ojha