Guwahati: Region’s premier biodiversity conservation organisation, Aaranyak observed the World Wetlands Day (WWD) in Tilapara Kherpuji Senior Basic School, located near the Doloni Beel of Bongaigaon district of Assam. The programme was jointly organized by the Aaranyak West Assam zone and the Aaranyak head office here in collaboration with the Tilapara Kherpuji Senior Basic School, Department of Botany of Abhayapuri College and Tilapara Milan Sangha, a local club. The objective of celebrating the day was to sensitize the students, teachers, and the community of the area about the importance of conserving wetlands in tune with the theme of the WWD this year viz. Wetlands and Human Wellbeing.
An ‘Awareness Procession’ was taken out in the village road of Tilapara with participation of students, teachers, members of Aaranyak and local citizens. A drawing competition among students was held on the theme “Natural scenery of your locality”.
A Public Awareness Meeting was organized in the premises of the school where more than 200 students took part, besides a good number of women from local Self Help Groups from the village of Tilapara and Sankarghola, teachers of the school and local people. The meeting was presided over by Narayan Choudhury, the Headmaster of the School.
The inaugural speech was delivered by Dr Ashoke Kumar Das, Assistant Professor of Botany from Abhayapuri College and the Coordinator of Aaranyak West Assam Zone. He presented his lecture on the theme “Wetland and Human Wellbeing” and spoke briefly on the myriad values of wetlands for the lives of human society by elaborating the importance of wetlands as a source of water, food, livelihood, climate, culture, and biodiversity.
Dr Partha Jyoti Das, a reputed Environmental Scientist of Assam, and a senior scientist in Aaranyak, delivered his speech on the importance of Doloni Beel for food security and livelihoods of local people and appealed to the community and the students in particular to protect and preserve the Beel and its ecosystem.
Dr Das is leading a research project being carried out by Aaranyak on the Doloni Beel with support from the Assam Forest Department and GIZ-India under the Indo German Bilateral Cooperation project “Protection and Sustainable Management of Aquatic Resources in the North Eastern Himalayan Region of India (NERAQ).
Patricia Dorn, the Project Manager of NERAQ, GIZ India, who graced the occasion as a guest of honour, addressed the gathering and explained to the students about the need of keeping their environment clean and pollution free. She made an appeal to the students and the local people not to litter the Doloni wetland with plastic and polythene wastes, stated a press release.