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Support to Resettlement of Van Gujjars outside Rajaji National Park


WPSI 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.

Over 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.

WPSI’s 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.

 

 

 

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