A forest tribal man carries saal leaves collected from inside Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa, India, on October 25, 2007.
Before the sanctuary was created, more than 1,500 local families derived primary income from selling saal seeds and leaves. The leaves are stitched into plates that are used to feed guests at ceremonies and celebrations throughout Orissa.
In the nearby market in Sambalpur, a hundred saal plates sell for approximately 40 U.S. cents.
When Badrama was established as a wildlife sanctuary, many forest families faced a devastating cut in earnings as guards began to bar their access to the jungle.
"It's been almost as if the local people don't really matter when setting up a protected area," said Ashish Kothari, co-founder of Kalpavriksh, a leading environmental research and advocacy group in Pune.
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Photograph by Paroma Basu