The Corbett Foundation (TCF) is a non-profit charitable organization actively engaged in wildlife conservation and working for the communities living in and around the Protected Areas in India. Established in 1994, TCF is the brain-child of Mr. Dilip D. Khatau, the scion of the 4th generation of the powerful Khatau Business House dealing in textiles. The Foundation’s mission emphasizes commitment to the conservation of wildlife and nature, and fulfilling the ambition that men and nature must live together in harmony. The Corbett Foundation’s programs are mainly in the areas of wildlife conservation, environmental awareness, community outreach, veterinary services, watershed management and sustainable eco-development. Further, TCF believes that only a healthy individual can contribute to a healthy population, and so it is important to win over the local community regarding the need for conservation. To that end, the Foundation launched a Rural Medical Outreach Programme (RMOP) alongside its wildlife conservation work, which it thought essential both as a humanitarian response and a trust-building measure among the rural people living around the wildlife. The first step was to provide community members in 50 select villages with first-aid boxes along with the Hindi version of a very useful book: “Where There Is No Doctor”.
Currently there are approximately 100 villages in the buffer zone of Corbett Tiger Reserve and at present, TCF covers about 50% through their RMOP. Consultations, treatment and medicines are dispensed to patients at a nominal cost of Rs. 10, but these fees are collected as donations towards conservation. This unique practice aims to both involve the villagers directly in the conservation work while simultaneously increasing their sense of responsibility towards their health.
An Outpatient Clinic is organized twice a week at the Foundation’s centers in Dhikuli and Rathuadhab. On the other days of the week, medical camps are held at different villages. A monthly schedule is maintained and adhered to, which makes it easier for the nearby villagers to benefit from the facility. Along with the medical camps, regular health awareness campaigns are conducted at the villages. These include campaigns about drinking clean water, preventing water borne diseases, personal hygiene, mother and child healthcare, and other priority health areas. In addition, TCF’s doctors train village healthcare workers on how to properly administer first aid, a practice that began in 2010 for 30 villages on the outskirts of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.