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Participants at the training were full of praise for the way the workshop was structured and carried out in a planned manner. From “laudable” to “best structured training in three decades of my career” the feedback on the training program was positive. The field visits that gave a complete picture of the relocation and a direct evidence were appreciated, with many of the officers opining that it was a more effective way of training compared to the traditional classroom lectures that ran through the day. Interacting with the actual people involved in effecting the relocation and also those who were benefited was appreciated.

Regarding the Bhadra relocation project, many participants felt it was an eye-opener. The planning and coordination, between various wings of the government as well as the NGOs involved, elicited a lot of appreciation from the participants, who acknowledged that this convergence and cooperation was one of the most important factors that contributes to the success of a project. Some officers mentioned that the relocation story threw fresh insight into the role of NGOs and proved how working with them could be beneficial for any such project. Participating IFS officers who are currently working with relocation projects welcomed the training as providing timely and useful inputs for their work. The follow-up that was undertaken with people after relocation was acknowledged as an important aspect by a participant who noted that he would take up the same in his project. In the words of one officer, the Bhadra voluntary relocation went to show how “nothing is impossible if you have the right attitude and willpower to pursue a goal”.

Here is the feedback from some of the participants:

S K Sharma, PCCF Himachal Pradesh: The training was well-structured and shows that a lot of effort has gone into it. Every small detail has been taken care of by the organisers at WCS-India. In terms of the relocation too, I must say I have not seen such selfless workers like D V Girish and others.

Pratap Singh, PCCF WII: It was most interesting to meet the WCS-India and WildCat-C people and see how most of the trainers were all doers. Their work is very inspiring. The training was an eye-opener into the role of NGOs and gave a better understanding of how they work.

Sugoor R K, JMD GSFDC: One of the highlights of the training was that there were very few class lectures and more of field visits that showed the actual result of relocation. I would say it was a model of how a training should be. In terms of the relocation itself, having been associated with the Maldhari relocation from Gir, I can see the kind of effort that has been put here at Bhadra. Commendable.

Yogesh Dwivedi, APCCF TN: Above all, the training opened my eyes to the positive role of NGOs and how one should not paint all of them in the same brush. It also shows the barriers between the various sections of government. To achieve any big task, egos have to dissolve if we are to work together. The Bhadra relocation was truly a Herculean task and maybe we need to do a study in psychology based on it. The best part of the training for me was that we heard directly from the doers. Their passion came through so well.

Archana Sharma, APCCF Himachal Pradesh: It was a refreshing difference from the usual 9-6 classroom training sessions. It was in fact much more than what I had expected. The enthusiasm of the organisers has in fact rubbed off on me and I am tempted to ask for a wildlife posting! As to the story of Bhadra relocation, above all it shows that nothing is impossible if you have the right attitude and will power to pursue a particular goal. The talking and convincing people, the coordination between district administration and field director of BTR as well as the NGOs is something very difficult and could not have happened if not for the positive attitude and teamwork. The role of NGOs and how they can act as a bridge between the government and people should not be lost sight of by any government official. Seeing how well the relocated people are doing today with their lives much better than before has inspired most of us.

Utpal Bora, CCF Assam: While the training and structure was good, it would be useful if a few guidelines were enumerated which can help anyone else undertaking relocation projects. Also, perhaps a board acknowledging the sacrifice of the people who relinquished their land could be put up at the relocated site in the forest.

Dr. C Vidyasagar, DFO Lunglie: The training was very well-structured allowing us long interactions throughout with the main people who were involved in the relocation. With regard to the relocation, it was very impressive to see how all the stakeholders were in sync. I was impressed with the rehabilitation which provided for a sustainable and progressive way of life to the people. I would say the Bhadra relocation model is the best model to be practised elsewhere in the country.

Harini Venugopal, DCF Wildlife Udaipur: I have been finding it difficult to initiate relocation in some of the protected areas under my jurisdiction. The Bhadra relocation has provided many useful insights into the process and I am positive it will help me undertake the project systematically in my area too. Regarding the training it was very well structured and the enthusiasm of the organisers and people like D V Girish has been inspiring.

S.M. Sahai, APCCF Meghalaya: It was amazing and enlightening to listen to the story of Bhadra relocation, of the people involved and their passion and belief which helped them achieve their goal. These situations exist in many of our PAs but the kind of human touch and passion seen here at Bhadra doesn’t come that easily. I hope it can be replicated elsewhere. As to the training itself, it was very well-structured and my only suggestion is that you can try document the whole relocation and highlight the main factors that contributed to the success.

Samom Khelen Singh, WPO Kohima: I have been most happy from day one at the training. A suggestion I have is that some scientists working in the area of wildlife habitat connectivity could help us in the department with identifying some related issues.

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