Friends of Elephants : Elephant Craft by the Women
Women for Elephants: Considerable love is lost between humans and elephants because of escalating human-elephant conflict in all elephant ranges. Elephants are perceived to be problem animals, trouble makers and paddy thief by those who are at the receiving ends. While measures are being developed to reduce antagonistic interactions between the elephants and humans, the elephants need a positive image in the minds of local people. To achieve this, we have started an initiative wherein elephant-themed craft items made by local women will be marketed to bring in income to the women's group. We hope that once a resource is perceived to be income generating, people will think twice before harming it. - just the way we dont kill a goose which lays golden eggs,
Our first craft workshop was on 29th January 2016 at Towerkatta village in Kirwati Range. Mrs. Sharda Bhatt is an expert in making crochet items and has graciously agreed to provide training to the craft committees in various villages. In the first workshop, women were trained in knitting crochea earrings. For most of the woem this was the very first experience in handicraft. It was heartening to see a large turnout of the women and their enthusiasm in preparing the earrings. In Mrs. Bhatt they found a loving teacher who could trained them with patience. Our future workshops will train women in various craft items and we hope to expand this initiative so that the craft committees get a profitable remuneration for their efforts and in turn the elephants will win many new human friends. Please watch out this space for beautiful elephant craft items made by women of the project area. This project is being supported by Asian Elephant Conservation Fund, USFWS.