Two of the world’s mightiest rivers - the Ganga and the Brahmaputra - flow into the Bay of Bengal through a vast system of distributaries that form the largest delta in the world. This delta is covered by a dense mangrove forest system called the Sundarbans. A part of this forest has been declared a Tiger Reserve; however, the villages that surround the Reserve are among the most under-privileged in India. There is no electricity, no roads, only basic education and no permanent health care facilities.
We undertake anti-poaching activities in the Sundarbans. Our co-op team uses a confidential information reward scheme to work with the Forest Department and the state Police to curb poaching in and around the Sundarbans. A voluntary Tiger Rescue Team reacts swiftly to any reports of tigers entering nearby villages and armed with nets, sticks and portable loudspeakers, assists in keeping crowds away from the tiger until the Forest Department arrives on the scene. This has helped save many tigers from a violent and unnecessary death.
Along with the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), which started its community outreach program in the Sundarbans in 2002, the aim is of encouraging villagers living around the Tiger Reserve to view wildlife and their environment as an asset rather than a threat. We currently have a Tiger Conservation Center and a Kindergarten school, and we undertake a number of health, awareness and livelihood related initiatives.
Our Tiger Conservation Center on the island of Bali holds wildlife film shows and village and nature club meetings for the 25,000 inhabitants of the island. In collaboration with the West Bengal Forest Department, we also organize annual events, such as Forestry Week and Wildlife Week, which are attended by up to 4,000 people.