Training the Forest Guides
One of the most effective measures to include the local community in protecting the forests has been ecotourism.
Ecotourism has created avenues of employment in the form of trained guides, drivers and ecotourism service providers. When the locals are employed in these roles, they get a sense of ownership towards the forests, it reduces their dependence on forest-extractive activities. Ecotourism helps socially, economically and environmentally.
For the locals to claim these employment opportunities they need to have knowledge of the forest, ability to express their knowledge and perform in the roles.
Most of the training participants have the knowledge as they have observed the wildlife and flora in their day to day life. But they can’t express that knowledge clearly, especially in English. So the training needs are around developing the soft skills, in the form of improved speaking confidence, personality development and communication skills. Sometimes English speaking skill is also imparted.
The Ran Mangli team comprises experts from various fields. Depending on the specific needs of the training programme, the team of experts is selected. Anirudh Chaoji coordinates the entire training programme. He has trained 900 guides in his career as an ecologist and biologist.