- Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
- Established in 1956, KVIC aims to plan, promote, facilitate, organize, and assist in the establishment and development of Khadi and Village industries in the rural areas.
- Over the years, the main thrust of KVIC activities has been to provide a larger share of employment to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes and women.
- Last year, the Khadi Village Industries Commission launched the project Reducing Elephant Human Attacks using Bees (RE-HAB) in Karnataka to reduce the elephant-human conflict.
- Under Project RE-HAB, “Bee-fences” are created by setting up bee boxes in the passageways of elephants to block their entrance to human territories. The boxes are connected with a string so that when elephants attempt to pass through, a tug or pull causes the bees to swarm the elephant herds and dissuade them from progressing further.
What are the benefits?
- Project RE-HAB is an effective way of restricting elephants from entering the villages because elephants are naturally afraid of bees as they might sting the elephants in their eyes and inner trunk. Furthermore, the buzzing of the bees in certain frequencies also make the elephants irritable and subsequently drive them away.
- It is a unique way of preventing elephant-human conflicts without causing any harm to the animals and the humans.
- It is extremely cost-effective as compared to various other measures such as digging trenches or erecting fences.
- The night vision cameras installed at these locations show evidence of the success of the project. The bee boxes not only reduced the movement of elephants at the respective points but also recorded footage of a number of elephants backing off from the points where the bee boxes have been installed.
- Since 2015, approximately 2,400 people have been killed in elephant attacks, and huge damage to property and crops have been recorded. Various state governments had taken several preventive measures like digging up trenches, electric fencing, spiked pillars etc., but nothing came off as effective and harmless as project RE-HAB.
Why in News?
- Following the success of its innovative Project RE-HAB in Karnataka, KVIC has now replicated the project in Assam.
- The project has been implemented in Assam with the support of the local forest department.