Field Coordinator, High Altitudes
I am an agriculturist in Kibber, a village in the Spiti valley, where I was born. I have always loved wildlife. When Charudutt Mishra started working in the region, I would watch him weighing sheep and studying wildlife — I was curious, and interested. Around that time, there were youth meetings to start the livestock insurance programme at Kibber — a programme Charu started to help alleviate livestock losses due to snow leopards, and thus address conflict. I was involved in this as a committee member. This gave me an opportunity to learn more and more about wildlife around me. I volunteered with Charu for a few years, and then joined NCF in 2002, as a field staff. In the upper Spiti landscape, I am involved in camera trapping for estimating snow leopard populations, ungulate census, and mediate in motivating villagers towards wildlife conservation while also helping in mitigating conflict through the livestock insurance programme. I am also involved in several other projects in the Spiti valley such as feral dog census and population control, vegetation and bird transects etc. I also support the many research activities that happen in the Spiti valley. Working with NCF, and through training programmes and workshops over the years, I have learnt a great deal about wildlife and public participation in conservation.