Krishi Avam Paristhitiki Vikas Sansthan (KRAPAVIS)

KRAPAVIS is a grass-roots organization concerned chiefly with the community-led revival of village forests, or orans, working in the arid of Thar Desert and semi - arid of Aravali hill bio-regions in Rajasthan. KRAPAVIS mission is clear: the betterment of ecology, agriculture and livestock practices, with a view to the sustainable livelihoods of rural pastoral communities in Rajasthan.
Dec 30, 2010

Tiger conservation, communities and Orans

Sariska communities are worry for their relocation
Sariska communities are worry for their relocation

The well-known Sariska Tiger forest reserve is in fact one such collection of Orans or Devbanis that together formed a substantial forest tract. To this day it is possible to identify the various dev-banis(sacred forest) that comprise the Sariska Reserve. There are 28 villages located in Sariska National Park. The Sariska authorities have Identified 11 villages for relocation from Sariska. The process has already begun in 3 villages where 148 families have moved. KRAPAVIS has working with pastoral communities on livelihood and sacred groves in and around the Tiger Reserve. During the last three months, KRAPAVIS had a series of meetings on relocation process with the local communities inhabiting Sariska Tiger Reserve.

During the meetings with the local communities, there are some anecdotes from conversation with communities; “We have shared the landscape with tigers and our livestock, and ready to loose a few of the livestock to protect the rest. After so many years, where our ancestors have lived too, why are we being asked to move out? We have helped them nab the poachers and outsiders who steal timber we have protected our Devvanis/ orans (sacred forest). All was well till the forest was ours”. “Everybody is bothered about tiger, where as the forest condition is deteriorating due to invasive species, if this continues wildlife will die due to lack of food”.  “I have 30 livestock and they recognize my voice, wherever they are, will be back on one call of mine and they have only five tigers which they (forest officials) cant even protect.

Sathus (saints) play also a role in protecting ora
Sathus (saints) play also a role in protecting ora
View of a village Umari located in Sariska
View of a village Umari located in Sariska
Oct 11, 2010

If our oran is intact we have everything

Community tree plantation, Meena ki Dhani village
Community tree plantation, Meena ki Dhani village

“Yadi hamara devbani thik to sab kuch hai; yadi yah thik nahi to chara, pani aur bhojan ke lale.” (If our oran is intact we have everything; if not, we suffer from lack of fodder, water and wood” because Oran is our livelihood, say People of Meena ki Dhani village. In order to keep intact the oran, tree plantation has undertaken during the monsoon period. As many as 5000 tree saplings were planted to increase the number and variety of trees and also arrest soil erosion. Nearly 15 species of trees like Prosopis cineraria, Acacia sp., Zizyphus, Anogeissus pendula etc are planted in the orans. The saplings are raised in a tree nursery at KRAPAVIS Bani. The species used for fodder by the community and also their drought tolerance and ability to fix nitrogen. These species, during the time immediately before the monsoon or in times of severe drought, “provide fodder when other tree species become devoid in foliage.” Also, these ecologically valuable species perform key functions in the ecosystem thereby supporting and enhancing biodiversity and helpful in reducing the climate change.

Planting fruit trees at KRAPAVIS oran
Planting fruit trees at KRAPAVIS oran
Community members who are real conservator of oran
Community members who are real conservator of oran

Attachments:
Jul 27, 2010

Response to Changing Livestock Needs in the Orans

In Nathusar village, where through the GG assistance KRAPAVIS helped the village community for their oran renovation; today it is buffaloes that use these orans for grazing and wallowing, especially during the lean parts of the year. Goats and sheep also graze these orans in large numbers. When livestock (buffalo, goats and cows) become ill traditional healers are able to identify and apply plants (in the form of a paste or powder), from orans, that have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving qualities. The orans’ mahatma’s practices also have a preventative dimension; in order to ensure that livestock is protected from sickness and other evil forces he is called upon to ‘anoint’ the animals using twigs from the neem (Azadirachta indica) tree (the jhara dena ritual). Specialist knowledge of this sort is not limited to the mahatma; most of the older generations are aware of various plants used to treat, among other things, sore throats, migraines, open wounds and osteoarthritis. And in many villages, tribal communities still gather once a year for the ‘dudh ki dhar dena’ ritual, during which milk is collected from each household and then drizzled around the sacred grove with the whole village following in procession. This practice is thought toward off evil spirits for the coming year.

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