Based in villages situated near Pench Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra), Ambika Khandate and Varsha Thackrey are encouraging others to support conservation initiatives.

Ambika Khandate has set up a stall in Wagholi for selling snacks and daily use items. She got associated with our partner Satpuda Foundation after a medical camp which they conducted.

She received support from them to set up her small business and now encourages other women in the area to do the same. Her self-help group also went for a wildlife safari organized by them to understand their surrounding forests better. Due to better awareness, women in her village now go for collection of minor forest produce in a group to prevent conflict with wildlife. She hopes that other women from her village work hard and start a business of their own too.



Elsewhere in the Goti village of Pench, Varsha Thackrey’s journey has been very encouraging too. With the help of the Satpuda Foundation’s support, Varsha and other members of her self-help group started a garlic paste making micro-enterprise. They now able to produce 1-2 Kg. of paste every week which they supply to a local resort.

Why their story is inspirational

Ambika and Varsha have adopted alternate sustainable livelihoods which can help reduce human-wildlife conflict and anthropogenic pressures on the surrounding forests. They also encourage other women and extend their support for conservation initiatives and hence are role models for their fellow community members living in fringe areas of Tiger Reserves. More power to Ambika and Varsha !