Gondia, Maharashtra, March 24, 2018: In celebration of World Water Day on March 22 – mandated by the United Nations as an annual observance day to highlight the importance of freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources – Wildlife Trust of India’s (WTI) Vidarbha Tiger Project team organised a street play performance in Shenda village in the Nagzira-Navegaon Tiger Reserve (NNTR) Corridor.
The 11-minute play was conceptualised by the dramatics society of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and performed by 18 students of the Government Ashram School, Shenda. It emphasised human greed as the primary driver of the exploitation of natural resources and, given the frequent incidences of forest fire in the NNTR landscape, covered key causal issues such as deforestation, water scarcity and unsustainable NTFP collection. The play was performed before an audience of over a hundred villagers, including the sarpanch (village head).
Awareness building and the integration of local communities in wildlife conservation, especially in terms of reducing the degradation of corridor patches that are critical to tiger movement in the Vidarbha Tiger Conservation Landscape, is a vital component of WTI’s Vidarbha Tiger Project. WTI has partnered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund (JTEF), the KFW Group, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Maharashtra Forest Department for this project.