| Support to Resettlement of Van Gujjars outside Rajaji National Park
provides assistance to the 1,390 Van Gujjar families that have
voluntarily moved out of Rajaji National Park. Our Project
Co-coordinator has liaised between the community, government officials
and a number of organizations since 1996, to improve the lives of the
people in the two resettlement colonies at Pathri and Gaindikhata.
the years, WPSI has been encouraging and facilitating this
rehabilitation process, working to ensure that basic facilities are
made available to the resettled families. We have also been
helping the Van Gujjars to become more self-sufficient and less
dependent on the forests by undertaking a number of initiatives. These
include distributing liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders and stoves,
conducting medical camps and supporting the primary schools in the
Gaindikhata Resettlement Colony by providing them with students’
uniforms, teachers’ salaries and provisions.
Two sewing centres have also been set up by WPSI in these two colonies
to provide the Van Gujjar women with vocational training. The women are
taught to sew clothes for themselves and their families and some have
gone on to start small businesses, adding to their family incomes. So
far, over 300 women have been trained at these centres.
Project Officer and his team in Uttarakhand also manage a large network
of informers and are active in detecting wildlife crimes and supporting
enforcement agencies to conduct raids that often lead to seizures and
arrests. In 2011, the WPSI Uttarakhand team supported enforcement
agencies in the arrest of more than 45 people accused in wildlife
cases, including eight alleged tiger poachers.