Volunteers and Village Defence Party (VDP) members play a crucial role in coordination with Forest Department for protection of wildlife and other resources in the sprawling Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNP&TR) in Assam especially in respect of maintaining round-the-clock vigil.
Premier biodiversity conservation and research organisation Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org) has provided torch lights and other field gear including rain coats, gum boots for 50 such volunteers and 20 VDP members who have been closely working with the Forest Department.
Aaranyak’s manager based in Kaziranga landscape, Arif Hussain informed that torchlights, rain coats and gum boots for 50 volunteers working with the Forest Department were handed over to the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Biswanath Khageswar Pegu in a function held in the DFO office on August 28 in presence of Range Officers Jatindra Mohan Das, Pranjal Gogoi and Debojit Saikia.
Accepting the field equipment from Aaranyak, the DFO said that the items would be very helpful for volunteers when they would go out patrolling with the forest department field staffs for protection of the national park areas under the forest division.
The distribution of field equipment were followed by a meeting between the forest officials and Aaranyak representatives regarding the NGO’s proposed initiatives to work for the socio-economic development of people living on the fringe areas of Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
In another such programme held at Makowa Chapori under Nag Shankar Range of Biswanath Forest Division, Aaranyak handed over field equipment including torch lights, rain coats and gum boots for at least 20 members of VDP working with the Forest Department in the area.
An awareness meeting was also held at Makowa Chapori with members of VDPs where Nag Shankar Range Officer Debojit Saikia, president of Upatyaka (an NGO) Saidur Rahman, Aaranyak official Arif Hussain, Ram Bhakta Chetri interacted with the VDP members.
As part of its sustained efforts to facilitate effective protection of wildlife through a synergised efforts among multi-stakeholders including fringe area people, Aaranyak has been relentlessly trying to assist the Forest Department in helping the volunteers and VDP members who play a significant role for wildlife protection at the grassroot level.