Guwahati, Oct 10: As the paddy crop gets ripe enough for harvesting at the onset of winter in Assam valley ready to be harvested in paddy fields of Assam valley, herds of wild elephants come raiding villages particularly at night hours, much to the misery of the farmers in various parts of Assam where human-elephant conflict has become grave threat to livelihood of the community.
Personnel from Village Defence Organisation (VDO) at village level have to risk their life while guarding their villages against possible raid by wild elephants. Jamuguri area of Golaghat district of Assam, which is located close to Nambor Reserve Forest, is one such area in the state where human-elephant conflict is raging. Villagers there have sleepless nights around this time of the year apprehending raids by wild elephants.
North East India’s premier biodiversity conservation and research organisation, Aaranyak has been relentlessly trying to help mitigate human-elephant conflict ad help villagers whose lives have been affected by it.
The Elephant Research Conservation Division (ERCD) and Conservation and Livelihood Division (CLD) of Aaranyak in coordination with Golaghat district police today organised and awareness meeting on human-elephant conflict mitigation and distributed torch lights and face masks among personnel from VDOs in and around Jamuguri in a function held at the meeting hall of Jamuguri Police station.
Aaranyak distributed 40 torch lights and four hundred face masks in the function graced by Golaghat district’s Superintendent of Police Suman Sarma, Additional SP Anjan Pandit, Officer-in-Charge of Jamuguri Police Station Rabin Kalita and COVDO of the area. Fifty VDO members attended the awareness meeting which was chaired by the SP, Golaghat.
The Aaranyak team was led by Manager of CLD, Manas Kumar Bhattacharjya who took the initiative for holding of today’s meeting in that human-elephant conflict zone. He explained about Aaranyak’s unrelenting efforts to mitigate human-wildlife conflict across the state with cooperation from the community, forest department and police departments and VDOs.
The SP, Golaghat termed the meeting an important event for raising awareness level among the community on how to go about with conflict with wildlife so that coexistence can be possible. He appreciated Aaranyak for continuous efforts in preventing wildlife crime and conducting awareness drive among different sections of the society. He lauded the gesture of Aaranyak in providing torch lights and face masks to VDO members operating in Jamuguri Police Station area.
Additional SP also appreciated Aaranyak for this awareness drive and distribution of much required and necessary goods among the VDOs and expect same kind of support from Aaranyak in future.
Aaranyak’s senior official Manas Kumar Bhattacharjya expressed gratitude to Golaghat District Police for their continuous support in curbing wildlife crime. Aaranyak’s team member Niranjan Bhuyan appreciated the efforts of VDO members for their support and help in tackling man-elephant conflict in the area.