2017 Activities . . .
Fostering Human Elephant Coexistence (HECx)awareness in Erode, Tamil Nadu, India
Grantee:International Elephant Foundation
Objective: To reach out school teachers and school children who lives in or nearby Northern Western Ghats (both Sathyamangalam and Erode forest divisions) in Erode District human elephant conflict villages and teach them about safety education on human elephant coexistence through teachers training and school awareness programmes for school children in order to save their lives and live harmoniously with elephants.
Activities: Organizing a 2-days teacher training workshop and twenty-five (25) school awareness programmes.
Progress: It is recently funded project and a pre visit was made to Erode to meet the District Eco Club coordinator who is the local coordinator of the project. Discussed at length the planning of the programmes.
Human elephant conflict is a 'burning issue' today and has become a perennial problem in most of the places in India. Tamil Nadu state records a high rate of Human Elephant Conflict. Several mitigation measures were initiated by state Government to address this issue but the problem is showing an increasing trend. The elephants are coming out of the forests regularly, some times daily and are causing enormous damage to life and property of the people living in and around forests. Each year in Tamil Nadu about 35-40 casualties are being recorded besides crop damages. During the year of 2011-12, 13 human deaths have been caused by elephant depredation and about 300 crop damages (Maheswari, 2013). If awareness could be spread to people on saving their own life, we can have a sigh of relief. The sensitization and participation of the public is very much eminent to solve the conflict in the long run.
The objective of the programme was to disseminate human elephant coexistence among the school teachers and then teachers take the message to the students and the students to the parents and neighbors. The education materials we developed earlier will be updated, printed and used.