Established in 1991, Nature Conservation Society of Amravati (NCSA) is the oldest NGO working in central India and has inspired hundreds of nature lovers in India to work towards conservation. Conservation through community participation has been the bedrock approach for NCSA for the past 30 years, a strategy that involves a mix of trust-building and capacity-building activities for local communities.
Some key initiatives by NCSA:
– NCSA has been operating a Mobile Health Unit (MHU) for provision of primary health care to remote villages around various tiger reserves in central India. This has been operational since 2005 with the support from the Born Free Foundation as a part of the SLTP and has reached over 2 Lakh community members.
– NCSA’s famous “Duda” education van helped spread the message of nature conservation among school children around tiger reserves. This received tremendous response in the buffer area of Melghat Tiger Reserve from 2005-2012, and since then, several other NGOs have replicated this nature education model in other tiger reserves.
– The NCSA team has been involved in provision of skill training and alternative sustainable livelihood options to local communities to reduce their dependence on forest produce.
– NCSA has set up a community resource centre on 8 ha. private land in Melghat in 2006. At this centre, the use of renewable energy, horticulture, and wildlife-proof cropping systems have been showcased. This center also trains around 500 people from media, judiciary and government departments every year.
-NCSA had organised the massive “Save Satpuda” foot march in 1996 from Chikhaldara in Melghat to Pachamarhi in Satpuda Tiger Reserve which was covered by regional and national media. After this foot march, NCSA received massive support from the masses to fight the conservation battles in central India. NCSA advocated for protection of many ecologically sensitive areas from destructive projects.
-NCSA has so far implemented a range of projects like alternate livelihood programmes (IUCN), Applied Environment Education international course (Smithsonian and EECG Washington), Awareness programme for buffer villages (U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service), Energy interventions for tribal villages of Melghat (IndusInd Bank, Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), lIFE Life Force Charitable Trust UK and BFF), Assistance to village resettlement programme, Employment Cell for tribal youths (MTR) among others.
We are happy to share that today, NCSA students can be found working in nature education and conservation related professions across India. We are proud to have a few of them within our SLTP partner teams as well !