Until 2003 Aarohi was actively involved in forest management initiatives since its inception. It was then, when it formally withdrew from active involvement as most communities involved were well on their way to independently managing the forests. After years of continued effort, Aarohi’s stress on the urgency, importance and inclusion of participatory forest management had finally paid off. The youth and women had played a significant role, for example, the women of Meora appointed a forest guard for the crucial months when there are chances of theft. The work from 1994-2001 was documented .

As one example, grass, a precious commodity of critical need was successfully harvested from protected commons and forest areas. 996 families from 49 villages benefitted and grass actually worth Rupees 765,720 (if the same was to be bought outside) was collected, for the sum of 54,341 (Rupees 2 per 30 kgs). Direct efforts were supplemented with the introduction of alternate energy modules like smoke-less chullahs (wood stoves), bio-gas plants and the facilitation of LPG connections.

Currently, Aarohi’s direct intervention is only through the General Gurbir Mansingh Van Panchayat Award. Aarohi’s experience has demonstrated that commitment and participation can work wonders to restore the landscape and peoples’ motivation to save resources. If you wish to help save the forests, contact us.

Khimuli Devi

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