The International Union Of Conservation Of Nature (IUCN) is conducting an online poll inviting people to vote for their ‘Heritage Heroes’. The site has selected three individuals for their exemplary work in the field of conservation and ecosystems. One of the three individuals shortlisted is Mr Bibhuti Lakhar of Manas Wildlife sanctuary, the sanctuary was listed as a natural world heritage site in 1985 due to its exceptional biodiversity and ecosystems which provided critical habitat to rare and endangered species.
Mr Prabal Kr Das in his words has detailed the work and efforts taken by Bibhuti for the purpose of conservation and development of the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary. He talks about how Bibhuti who came as a student to the sanctuary and committed himself to preserving and betterment of the ecosystem by forging relations and building bonds with all stakeholders for the betterment of the sanctuary. One of the tangible outcomes of his efforts according to Mr. Prabhas words is that Manas Wildlife Sanctuary has been taken off the list of world heritage site in danger from 2011.
Some of the other accolades and appreciation Mr Prabal gives to Mr Bibhuti in his testimony to his work includes:
1. Bibhuti held dozens of public meetings in which locals were made aware about the value of Manas as a natural World Heritage site and as an ecotourism destination. While Bibhuti sought help from local communities, he was also resolved to empower youths to gain opportunities for sustainable livelihoods. With no external aid available, he singlehandedly motivated about 100 youths to learn the basics of wildlife monitoring and act as tour guides. Today they are engaged in ecotourism ventures and support their families.
2. He played a critical role in the rehabilitation of surrendered poachers, enabling them to lead a dignified and socially meaningful life and his team trained around 600 members of local grassroots NGOs, including ex-poachers who now act as protectors of Manas.
3. He focused on women and offered them regular income opportunities. More than 100 ‘self-help groups’ were formed, encouraging women to engage in alternative livelihoods such as food processing, weaving, and fishery. This came as a succor in an area where income avenues were scanty.
4. He oversaw the installation of a 14-km long electric fence to safeguard around 1,000 economically weak households from elephant depredation in a buffer area of the World Heritage site. No causality of humans or elephants was recorded since it was installed in 2013.
5. He played the leading role in connecting Manas Wildlife Sanctuary with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. Now a system of transboundary wildlife monitoring supports management in the entire Manas natural area that spreads across India and Bhutan. He also conducted the first GIS surveys of the park, which became a critical component for drawing the management plan for the site.
Among many other tributes and appreciation were given to the work Bibhuti. The Logical Indian appreciates the efforts of Bibhuti and other conservationists who have been listed and we wish all of them good luck.
Cast your vote to choose the prestigious World Heritage Hero, one among the three nominees is a low profile Indian conservationist Dr. Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar.
It is the 21st century and India is developing rapidly, however, the pace of development in rural and urban India is varying due to the lack of accessibility and opportunities in rural India. While children in these areas have limited access to quality education leading to unemployment and social exclusion, women are still at the back seat of household decision making and contribution to household income.
To break through the traditional norms and empower women in rural India is an ongoing endeavor. Project Nand Ghar, spearheaded by Vedanta Group, a globally diversified natural resources company, brings a ray of hope to rural India by providing education, nutrition, and healthcare to thousands of rural children and empowering women to gain economic independence through livelihood training workshops.
Nand Ghars are state-of-the-art modern Anganwadis built across rural India with a holistic approach to child welfare and skill development for women. Trade-based skill training workshops carried out at Nand Ghars have impacted women from the remotest part of the country enabling them to earn their own livelihood.
Their recent campaign on International Women’s Day was a celebration of #BalanceForBetter where women shared their stories of discovering pathways to self-reliance with help and support by Nand Ghar.
“The outside world was a far off reality for me from inside the boundary of our house. Nand Ghar helped open up the horizons and today, I am earning a livelihood and have found a purpose in Life,” says Dharma Maurya from Varanasi.
Thousands of women like Dharma Maurya have in them the urge to do something but do not have a platform, to begin with. Nand Ghar is giving them a purpose in life and wings to their dreams. Click on the link below to explore their stories.
Anil Agarwal, Founder, and Chairman, Vedanta Group, believes that a nation can only progress if we invest in the future of children and women. Vedanta in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development aims at constructing 4000 Nand Ghars across 11 states in India with the potential of impacting lives of 8.5 Cr children and 2 Cr women in rural India.
In a milestone achievement, Vedanta recently announced the inauguration of its’ 500th Nand Ghar at Chaksu Block in Jaipur. Today, 502 operational Nand Ghars across Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh are changing the lives of 17,000 children through pre-school learning imparted through advanced teaching with more than 11,000 of them being served nutritious meals every day. More than 8,000 women have obtained trade based skill training at Nand Ghar.
With more than 70% of the population living in rural India, the need for early childhood education and women empowerment cannot be undermined. The Logical Indian appreciates the efforts of Vedanta which is tirelessly working towards transforming the women and child development landscape in India.