Over 400 school students from Lower Primary and Middle English schools took part in awareness-cum-sensitisation workshops on conservation of wildlife and coexistence conducted by premier biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak this week in four separate programmes.
The programmes were part of Aaranyak’s sustained initiatives to orient impressionable young minds towards conservation of biodiversity/wildlife and coexistence with wildlife.
About 350 students participated in one of Aaranyak’s flagship programmes ‘Rhino goes to School’ organised at No. 4 Sialmari LP school and Sialmari Nepali Gaon LP school and Keramot Ali M E School in the vicinity of famed rhino habit of Orang National Park and Tiger Reserve with support from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF).
The objective was to raise awareness about the Greater one-horned rhinoceros, its habitats, its importance to the environment and human well-being and other wildlife around us. Rhino Goes to School programme focuses on identifying and nurturing Generation X conservationists for the State Animal of Assam, the one-horned rhino, as well as the conservation of biodiversity as a whole. The programme included poster presentation, interaction and open quiz on facts related to the rhino with over 350 students participants in attendance across the three programmes.
Arif Hussain, a Manager of Aaranyak was the resource person for all these three programmes where he explained various interesting facts about the one-horned rhino and its habitats across the world.
Anowara Begum , Head teacher of Keramot Ali ME School, Muzammil Haque, Headmaster of No. 4 Sialmari LP School, Ramnath Chauhan, Assistant Teacher, of Sialmari Nepali Gaon LP School were also present in the programme in respective schools. Khairul Basher, Local conservationist, Naresh Pegu, forest staff of Orang National Park, Aaranyak member Bipul Gonju helped in organising these programmes.
In another awareness cum sensitisation programme for school students on coexistence with wild elephants in areas affected with human wildlife conflict, 67 Middle English School level students took part in Bolaikhamar MV School in Lakhipur in Goalpara district of Assam last Saturday.
Aaranyak official Anjan Baruah during his interaction with the school children explained about the causes for the human elephant conflict and measures for mitigation of the same. Baruah while explaining the importance of the giant animal in the entire ecosystem especially in respect of regeneration and expansion of forest cover flagged before the young minds about the sustained efforts for coexistence of human beings and wild elephants. Three students from Class VI, VII and VIII were awarded for their drawings that themed human-elephant coexistence. The programme was supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The students in presence of the teachers of the school engaged in an interactive session with Aaranyak resource persons and expressed their experience about conflict with wild elephants in their area of residence.