Aaranyak, other stakeholders celebrate International Primates Day in Assam & Arunachal Pradesh
Biodiversity conservation organization Aaranyak, with the objective of highlighting the importance of primate species in the ecology, facilitated several collaborative awareness programmes in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on the occasion of International Primates Day
GUWAHATI: Biodiversity conservation organization Aaranyak, with the objective of highlighting the importance of primate species in the ecology, facilitated several collaborative awareness programmes in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on the occasion of International Primates Day yesterday.
Aaranyak, in collaboration with the Government Upper Primary School, Tafragram, in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh, celebrated International Primates Day, thanks to the initiative of the school head teacher. The celebration was marked by the screening of short films on primates and audio-visual lectures on primates in Northeast India, with a special focus on the Hoolock Gibbon. There was also interaction with students. The programme ended with the distribution of educational materials, i.e., books and posters on gibbon conservation. Aaranyak's resources, Mridupaban Phukan and Akshay Upadhya, played a key role in the successful conduct of the programme.
Aaranyak also collaborated with the Department of Zoology at Jawaharlal Nehru College in Boko, Assam, to celebrate International Primate Day. The programme was set by the Head of Zoology Department and followed by an audio-visual lecture on primates of Northeast and East India. There was also interaction with students on the issues of primate conservation in Assam. The resource persons for the events were Dr. Rekha Chetry, Associate Professor, and Ms. Nanda Devi, Associate Professor, Department of Zoology.
Western Assam Zone of Aaranyak, in collaboration with Aie Valley Forest Division, Bongaigaon district, and the Department of Botany of Abhayapuri College, celebrated International Primate Day in Hapachara Madhya and the High School of Bongaigaon district. The programme started with a drawing competition among the students in grades six to ten in two categories. An awareness meeting was held, which the head teacher of the school, Ramen Chandra Barman, presided over.
Dharam Ranjan Roy, a member of Aaranyak, delivered a brief lecture with reference to the significance of International Primate Day. Dr. Ashoke Kumar Das, the Coordinator of Aaranyak West Zone, has elaborated on the present-day non-human primate family with special reference to the primate species available in Assam.
As the school is located near the Kakoijana Reserve forest, the habitat of the critically endangered golden langur, he appealed to the students and teachers to play an active role in the conservation of golden langurs and their habitats. On behalf of the Botany Department of Abhayapuri College, Dr. Subrata Sarkar spoke about the role of primates and other animals in the forest environment and the need for their conservation.
During the meeting, the prizes for the drawing competition were also conferred. The names of the prize-winning students are Hazrat Ali and Shaina Khatun of Class VII, Beauty Sarma of Class V, Ajimul Husain and Martina Sangma of Class IX, and Tazuma Parbin of Class II. Kachugaon Forest Division and Aaranyak jointly celebrated International Primate Day at No. 999 Oxiguri LP School, located in Oxiguri Forest Village under the Western Range of Raimona National Park, with the goal of raising awareness about the importance of Golden Langurs and strengthening park-people relationships.
The programme was graced by Assam Gourav awardee Dharanidhar Boro, Bhanu Sinha, Divisional Forest Officer, Kachugaon Division, and Dr. Firoz Ahmed, Scientist-F of Aaranyak, who interacted with the students and the local people of the village.
The celebration was attended by range officers from all four ranges of Raimona National Park: Kankan Kaushik, Biswajit Basumatary, Pabitra Das, and Jashmanik Musahari, as well as the headmaster of the school and gaon buhras from Oxiguri, Dumbazar, and Amritpur villages. Dr. Dipankar Lahkar, Aaranyak's senior conservation biologist, moderated the programme. Momita Narzary, Birdutta, Biswajit, Mizing, and Bijit of Aaranyak were present in the programme.
An art competition was also held, in which 29 students participated in the programme that was attended by 120 people, including schoolchildren, local villagers, and forest staff, a press release said.