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December 20th, 2011

Ganges Expedition 2011 comes to a close

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As our Ganges Expedition comes to a close, we would like to send a very special thank you to all that have made it possible. Antonette from Ashok Piramal Group, Mrs. Louise Sharma from Punjlloyd, Mr. Ajit Kumar and Pramath Sinha from 9.9 Media, Mr. Vinod from Crystal adventures in Dehradun, Coca Cola India and the Support My Schools program, Swati Hingorani, Hasita Bhammar, Divya Nawale, The Ashok Piramal Group, Harsh and Reshma Piramal and many more who we had the chance to cross paths with on this incredible journey. A very special thank you to all the children of India-the future. The ways in which you live your life will create opportunity for the next generation.

What is next for the Pench E-base?

Now that the E-Base is running off renewable energy, the Ashok Piramal Group in association with 2041 hopes to use the space kindly given by the Forest Department in Pench to start a series of environmental and conservation workshops for the local community children.

In the future, they will partner with 2041 Alumni, Chandini Chhabra to develop the content on conservation so that there will be interactive activities based on conservation for the children. The proposed topics of these workshops are Sustainability, Conservation and Clean Energy. The E-Base will therefore be an education base sort of like a classroom but the lessons these children will learn will be different from that at their village schools.

The other function of the E-Base is to engage the tourists who visit this center in matters of sustainable living, understand the difficulty of the forest rangers’ jobs and be aware of the fact that saving tigers will lead to saving our eco-system that is immensely important for a country like India. They plan to do this by showing them a few documentaries based on Antarctica’s E-Base, The Day in the Life of a Ranger and a few movies on Tigers. They hope that when they visit this E-Base, they get extremely involved with an enthusiastic feeling of saving our tigers and in turn help spread the awareness to their friends and family.

The Forest Department can use the E-Base as a portal to interact with the community and hence will be seen as partners in providing information and this will build the goodwill between the department and the local community which facilitates a better environment for the national park. For now, we are not looking at any other reserve; till we have a successful model of all out activities and goals. Once it seems to do what we wish for it to do, we will look into reserves that could adopt the same philosophy of sustainability and conservation.

The E-Base India is in the simplest sense a gateway for bridging the divide between the community/ forest department/ tourists and our fragile environment. By showcasing renewable energy, tiger conservation initiatives and developing a model to help the local community protect the area around the reserve, we hope to instill a lifelong compassion for nature and a belief that there is still hope for tigers to survive and roam the forests of India. We think that this center of renewable energy is just a stepping stone to a bigger conservation initiative that will save the tiger, save the forest, preserve our water system and bring prosperity.

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