Jabalpur, 6 November 2015: The Kanha-Pench Walk -- a 100km trek into the forest corridors connecting the Kanha and Pench tiger reserves, undertaken by a motley team of nature loving city-dwellers – drew to an end on Thursday, 5 November 2015. In the course of the walk, the 40-odd youngsters from developed cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Ahmedabad, experienced the joy of living close to nature and learning from it. With limited access to technology, the nature enthusiasts were however amid a treasure trove of experts including veteran wildlifers, forest guards, forest conservators as well as with WWF-India’s Satpuda-Maikal Landscape team.
Focused at raising awareness and gathering public support for securing the wildlife habitats not covered under the Protected Area regime, the walk attempted to highlight the rich biodiversity of the Kanha-Pench corridors. The participants were also introduced to tribal villages, where they could interact with forest dwellers and learn the ways of harmonious coexistence with wildlife. On the route, the participants experienced the thrill of sighting a leopard and encountering the remains of a tiger kill. They also observed several tell tale signs of the presence of wildlife – like tiger pugmarks; bison, leopard and sloth bear scats; and so on.
Anushree Suryavanshi, an enthused participant from Mumbai, said, “We, humans, have disconnected ourselves from nature and moved far away from it. The walk has shown me how everything in nature connects – from a blade of grass to the trees and the insects and the large mammals. This one week in the woods has taught me how reconnect with nature and learn to live harmoniously.”
At the end of the 7 days, the slick team from the city not just survived the rough walk through the forest, but also came out stronger and more enthusiastic than ever. A glimpse at how they lived their life in the woods:
At the end of the walk, a gleaming selfie!
Camping after a long days walk!
Setting up a tent on Day 1
Is not easy!
Even with a manual with detailed ‘how-to’graphic..
…but is possible: Finally the participants relax after struggling for an hour
WWF-India’s spacious tents
Participants take selfie with WWF-India CEO Mr.Ravi Singh
Ajinkya Bhatkar, a participant from Mumbai, spends some quality time with village kids during the walk
They also witness and understand the intensity of human-wildlife conflict in the region