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Proposal - Where the wild things are


The both of us are avid trekkers and camping enthusiasts. Why we say this is because we have been drawn to nature and feel quite comfortable roughing it out. Both of us love the outdoors and are very distressed by the way we all treat our natural environment. We see an immediate need to change the way we live and make special efforts to take care of what we are losing. Extinct is forever. 


What do you want to do?

We would like to be a part of (visit and volunteer for) two Conservation Projects in the country. One is a wildlife conservation project and the other a habitat protection project.

We do not wish to simply visit these places as outsiders on a sight-seeing tour but want to learn through volunteering. We would also like to trek in the area if possible. We will record our experiences through a photo journal.

SNOW LEOPARD PROJECT

The award winning Snow Leopard Project conducted in the Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh is one of the most successful wildlife conservation projects in India. It is carried out by the NCF in partnership with the international snow leopard trust. This unique project has involved the local communities and has helped them change their previously hostile attitude towards the snow leopards. Since its implementation the death count due to hunting is almost nil.

http://www.ncf-india.org/viewprojects.php?class=ecosystem&type=high+altitudes

SILENT VALLEY PROJECT

The silent valley national park (SVNP) is one of the most protected bio-diversity hotspots in India. This untouched region is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna. This park’s objective is to keep the habitat as untouched as possible which is why permission to enter the core area of the park is extremely difficult. 

http://www.silentvalleynationalpark.com/index.htm 


Why do you want to do it?

Coming from the Arts stream the two of us may not get a chance to conduct scientific wildlife research that easily. By volunteering with the NCF’s Snow Leopard Project, we will get a chance to do field work with distinguished wildlife researchers as well as explore the region of Spiti and Kibber in a way that we otherwise couldn’t. This will also give us first hand experience of how Wildlife Conservation Programs are successfully implemented.

By visiting SVNP we would get a chance to see nature in its utmost virgin state and to be a part of the system that is trying their best to sustain the natural habitat of the millions of plant and animal species. 


How will you do it?

We have got in touch with Yash Veer Bhatnagar who is the director of the Snow Leopard Trust in India and Charudutt Mishra (NCF Trustee) through Coralie D’lima (NCF Researcher), and he will inform us about when we can volunteer for the program. Most probably this will be during the month of May. 

Unfortunately we have been unable to get in touch with the Authorities at SVNP. From our research, we have found out that entry into the core area is near impossible without some influential contact. However we won’t give up and will continue to try and get the necessary permissions. We shall apply again to SVNP for permission in October or December if we do not get permission in the summer.


Budget?

Tentative Budget for 2 people: [Hopefully our expenditure will decrease if our hosts (NCF and the SVNP authorities) assist with cheaper accommodation.]

SNOW LEOPARD PROJECT

Travel from Mumbai to Kalka and return (train) - Rs. 2000               

Travel to and within high altitude region- Rs. 4000

Accommodation in Kibber, Spiti for 15 days @ 200 a day- Rs. 3000

Food in Kibber, Spiti for 15 days @ 300 a day - Rs. 4500 

Trekking in Spiti -       Rs. 3000

SILENT VALLEY

Travel from Mumbai to Coimbatore/Cochin and return (train) Rs. 2500

Travel to and within the Park (Jeep Hire and Guide Charges) Rs. 4000

Accommodation in SVNP for 15 days @ 200 a day- Rs. 3000

Food in SVNP for 15 days @ 300 a day - Rs. 4500 

Total:         Rs. 30,500