29-12-2017 09:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
WWI meets encroachers on Ganga bank to urge them to take up alternative profession
In a bid to protect the river Ganga, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) plans to encourage people living on its banks to give up farming on forest land as well as fishing and find alternative means of livelihood.
The forest department along with the Wildlife Institute of India visited Rawli village in Bijnor and urged villagers not to encroach on forest land. Having no other option of livelihood, the villagers living on the banks of Ganga practice vegetable farming on the sand of the river which is detrimental to the river.
The joint team of the WII and forest department once found several nets in the river while they were conducting a dolphin census. Since fishing also leads to polluting the river, the WWI plans to encourage villagers to take up professions that suit them the best without polluting the river.
The WII is surveying the villages to find out alternative employment for the villagers. They will then send it to the central government for approval. It will train the villagers in particular activities and also arrange for loans for them. Some idea of possible alternate livelihoods for the villagers includes making carpets and furniture from reed.
Vipul Maurya, a research associate of Wildlife Institute of India, said that the WII aims to conserve wildlife as well as the community around it. Illegal farming on the sand of river and fishing have adversely affected the wildlife and the river. Surveys are being conducted in all villages on the bank of the river. Later, a plan will be devised to motivate the villagers for self-employment so that wildlife can be saved.