In a function held at Karnataka Bank headquarters in Mangalore, WCS-India team was handed the cheque for Rs 7 lakhs towards relocation of one family from Kudremukh National Park, as part of the bank’s CSR activity.
MD of Karnataka Bank, Mr Mahabaleshwara M S, handing over the cheque to the beneficiaries
This is the first ever funding support for WCS-India core relocation program by any bank, as also the first CSR fund for WCS-India core relocation program.
Issuing the cheque, which takes the total amount from the bank towards the project to Rs 9.25 lakh, the Managing Director, Mr. Mahabaleshwara M S noted that the bank was happy to be part of the sustainable initiative that enabled the family access to basic amenities while also avoiding conflict with wildlife.
WCS -India team (M C Vinay Kumar and Gopalakrishne Gowda) handing a memento to the KBL Management
“WCS-India is immensely grateful to Karnataka Bank for its very generous support towards a worthy cause. The voluntary relocation of people is a win-win scenario for both people and the wildlife/habitat. It removes biotic pressure significantly on the landscape, while also helping the relocated people settle into an easier life outside the forests,” said Ms Prakriti Srivastava, Country Director, WCS-India, while thanking WCS-I Assistant Director M C Vinay Kumar who was instrumental in securing the funds through his untiring efforts.
WCS-India team handing over the cheque to the beneficiaries
Kudremukh National Park in Karnataka covers over 600 sq km of rainforests with natural grassland and shola forests spread over three districts–Dakshin Kannada, Udupi and Chikmagalur. This part of the Western Ghats also gives birth to the three rivers Thunga, Bhadra, and Netravathi. It is home to the endangered lion-tailed macaque, besides tigers, leopards, gaurs, and elephants.
In 2005, the state government passed an order for voluntary relocation from Kudremukh and took upon itself the task of entirely funding the resettlement. There were around 800 families living in the park. Around 230 of them have moved out voluntarily and been resettled outside the park at a total cost of Rs 68 crores so far.
The amount from Karnataka Bank will go to park residents Yamuna and her son, who have chosen to move out. For more on their story, watch out for our upcoming blog post.