Worth More Alive III
After two years of running marathons on roads Paul opted for an even more ambitious week: two big marathons with the filling in this endurance sandwich being Kilimanjaro. Thousands of words and photographs have been delivered on this feature:
Daily Mail | Metro.co.uk | Wimbledon Guardian Online | Wanderlust.co.uk | Orange News
Yes there was drama and pain but critically it worked and raised well over £30,000.
Almost 600 people came to see his predator lecture in the hallowed hall of the RGS three days before his first run (the video link will be online soon!). Eight people joined him on Kilimanjaro (six got to the top) and he was cheered on all of the way by the vast crowds in Brighton and London.
The tiger suit is not a gimmick, it is not just an attention-grabber (although it does a pretty good job of that). It is the obvious focal point of a fund raising programme that has gone back many years. There will never be too much money for tigers but Paul has always maintained that the funds have to be spent appropriately and pragmatically. This year his big word is compensation.
Each year the farmers and smallholders suffer around Bandhavgarh because of tigers eating their livestock. There is nothing new in this. For a tiger a slow moving cow is a far easier prize than a fleet footed spotted deer. Understandably these farmers do not think much of tigers. Almost four hundred animals are taken each year and the current compensations scheme (government run) is woeful.
To repay money quickly or replace animals with alacrity is critical in the tigers survival which is why the vast amount of money from last year and this year will be directed to a new compensation programme implemented by FOC India and the park authorities. Farmers who suffer need recompense quickly, this is what we will be endeavouring to achieve.
It will be a long battle and not one given up on. It is unlikely that the park will ever be effectively fenced so compensation will always be a vital part of the park's ecosystem. Who knows ... there may even be a Worth More Alive IV
See more details about the Worth More Alive III events or all previous Project Updates
Tigers & Cricket Tour 2012
Client Kara Thorne writes about the Tigers & Cricket experience, read her version of events: Tiger Tourism: Friend or Foe?
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Where in the world?
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is situated between the hill ranges of Vindhyan and Satpura in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. A one time hunting reserve of the royal family of Rewa, it was declared a Tiger Reserve 1968. Although Bandhavgarh is somewhat isolated in the rural heart of India it is well worth the effort of getting there.
What are we trying to do?
Bandhavgarh, partly due to its inaccessibility and its reliable watercourses, is home to one of the last few viable concentrations of tigers on Earth. However it is not immune to the twin threats of poaching and encroachment by the many villages that surround the park. Exodus believes by providing assistance to both the park directly and the surrounding villages, the local population see real practical benefits that simply would not be there without the close presence of the tigers and the visitors who come to see these most magnificent of all big cats.
How did we set it up?
Having previously supported other tiger conservation projects and after a visit by one of our staff in 2005, we quickly mobilised to help the remaining, but threatened, tiger population at Bandhavgarh. In conjunction with our local partners in Delhi and Friends of Conservation in the UK, Exodus set about raising funds to help the school in the village of Tala, close to the main gate. To date we have raised around £25,000, which has been used to build two classrooms, a toilet block and a boundary wall to keep the children safe. Other works include a deep well and water tank as well as an administration block.
Our most recent acquisition for the Park is a brand new jeep, which Paul Goldstein was able to present to the Park Director when he was there in January. Please see the Project Updates (Project Phase Two) below for further details.
What do we want to achieve in 2010?
Our key aims during 2010 are:
- Supply 25 solar lights to the park at a cost of Rs5000 per light (approx £4,600)
- 6 pairs of deep search metal detectors to locate snares set to catch tigers and other wild animals with approx. cost of Rs. 80,000 per set, amounting to Rs.4.80 Lacs. (£7,500)
- 50 Helmets with LED lights fitted with it costs approx. Rs. 4000 per piece, total amount works out to Rs.2.00 Lacs. (£3,000)
- Supply 100 sets of CPG cylinders, gas stoves and pressure cookers at a cost of approximately Rs6000 per set (£9,500)
- Books, stationery and general knowledge books for poor children, funds to be allocated: Rs. 1.00 Lakh (£1,500)
- Pay the part time wages/tuition fee of 2 English speaking teachers - approximate cost for 2 teachers per year: £2,500 Per year.
What can you do to help?
Paul Goldstein, who instigated the project, is our resident and award-winning photographer. He holds regular talks in the UK on the tigers of Bandhavgarh, and also leads our special photography trips to the region. A contribution of £100.00 per passenger goes directly to the project. Paul's blog from his most recent trip can be viewed here
If you are travelling on any of our India trips and you have any spare room in your luggage please could you pack any children's general knowledge and children's story books (especially those with pictures) you may be willing to donate. We are trying to set up a library in Tala School and any book donations would be appreciated. Please give them to your leader on arrival in Delhi and he will make sure they are sent to the Tala School.
Download the documents from the links below detailing the events of each of the project phases from 2005 to date.
Project Phase One (2005-2007) | Project Phase Two (2008 to 2010)
Would you like to know more?
You can contact Paul direct on 0208 772 3753.