Dugong Scholarship Program


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Under the project’s outreach and awareness component, a unique participatory program, the Dugong Scholarship Scheme was initiated to engage local fisherfolk communities at grassroot level. This program targets school-going children of local communities (most of them are fisherfolk) and provides them with a scholarship of Rs. 500 / month for a period of two years to support their education. Through this program, we have identified a total of 288 school students at Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, through a competitive written examination followed by several participatory programs conducted at schools to raise awareness about Dugong and seagrass conservation. The students selected through the process have been identified as Dugong Ambassadors and have become part of an extensive Dugong Volunteer Network, alternatively known as Friends of Dugong network. This multi-pronged strategy involves school children in Dugong conservation awareness activities and integrates their families as part of the wider network of forest department frontline staff, divers, tourist boat operators and coastal village communities. This network provides us with information on dugong sightings/stranding as well as participates in outreach events for generating awareness in the areas of Dugong occurrence.

A total of 153 students were selected under this program in the Phase-I starting from July 2017. Out of these, 57 from Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 53 from Tamil Nadu and 40 students were selected from Gujarat field sites.

Under the phase-II, 100 more students from Tamil Nadu and 46 students from Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been selected as Dugong Ambassadors in 2019.

Phase - I

Phase - II

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