For forest department it is a balancing act between protecting the forest land, undertaking activities like infrastructure development and staving off any potential infection spread. At Saptashringi Garh in Vani, the forest authorities are carrying out their infrastructure works despite the availability of limited staff during the lockdown. However the present situation has turned advantageous for many local unemployed youth and aspirant women.
The residents did not give up and started exploring new sources of employment and self employment. Some job seekers shifted from their traditional work to sell of vegetables while some preferred works related to daily wages.
In the meantime, several jobless residents joined the infra works undertaken by the forest department at Saptashringi Garh, to make their both ends meet irrespective of the nature of job and meagre earnings. The department has currently undertaken civic works like construction of small barrage for stray animals, safety wall etc.
Due to the lockdown, traditional businesses of Pooja material, coconut shops and also that of relating to travel, hotel and lodging were severely hit. Resultantly, the local residents especially the youth and women enthusiasts at the Garh who have been dependent on their traditional form of employment for livelihood faced struggle to get employment and generate self employment.
In such a situation, the forest department appointed contractors to construct barrage and to do other activities which generate employment under its ambit. With this many local youth and women came forward to do available work. Even though the work is for a shorter duration, the people are however satisfied with their adjustment for livelihood.
The residents have expressed their gratitude towards officers of the forest department for generating employment opportunities. They thanked forest officer Vasant Patil, range forest officer Yogiraj Nikam, forest guard Mohan Bhoye, Amrut Pawar and contractor Gaurav Patil.