The Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), a Mumbai-based public charitable trust is dedicated and committed to the preservation, protection and conservation of wildlife across India. It believes that natural ecosystems are the backbone of India’s water, food, climate and economic security and endeavors to supplement the work of the government in protecting, maintaining and safeguarding them.
WCT has adopted a three-part approach – a) strengthening the protection mechanism of the forest department by providing vehicles and basic equipment for anti-poaching camps and forest outposts, b) providing skill training to youth living alongside protected areas to enhance their livelihood options thereby reducing their dependency on the forest for their day-to-day requirements and c) encouraging the forest department to join hands with them to provide basic medicines along with health and hygiene guidance to villages situated along the periphery of protected areas thereby improving the relationship between villagers and forest officials.
Another important aspect of WCT’s interventions is the ‘WCT Wildlife Service Awards’ which were introduced to motivate the forest staff along with associated agencies such as the judiciary, police department, eco-development committees and NGOs who work closely with the Forest Department to curtail man-animal conflict, forest degradation and poaching. These cash awards go a long way in recognizing the efforts of people who make a difference at the ground and provide an incentive for other forest staff to perform better. So far WCT awards have been conducted in Gir, Ranthambhore, Kanha and Pench (Madhya Pradesh) and are scheduled for several other parks in the coming two months.
WCT is the implementation partner for the Aircel-NDTV’s Save Our Tigers television campaign. As part of the campaign, a twelve hour save our tigers telethon was held on NDTV on the December 12, 2011. The campaign received huge public support and a sum of over Rs. 2 crore was generated through public donations. Shri Hemendra Kothari, the Founder and Chairman of WCT donated another Rs. 2.5 crore. The resulting funds will be used by WCT to donate Rapid Response Kits (RRK) to 23 tiger reserves across India for addressing wildlife emergencies along their periphery. Each RRK contains over 30 items ranging from a customized four wheel drive vehicle, three motorcycles, six survival kits, personal protection gear, binoculars, GPS and much more.
The Wildlife Conservation Trust is a prime example of an organization with an in-depth understanding of the conservation issues in India and working closely with existing government machinery to bring about desired conservation results through practical, scalable and reproducible interventions.
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Author: Mansi Bagga
Mansi Bagga is an MBA student, pursuing a course in Communication Management. She is a highly enthusiastic person, always willing to learn more and do more. She is an Indian by origin and a Thai citizen by virtue. She can be reached at [email protected].
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