GUWAHATI, Sept 13: In an effort to enhance the resilience of communities living in areas prone to human-elephant conflict (HEC), the renowned biodiversity conservation organisation, Aaranyak, conducted a vital first-aid training session at Hastinapur village in Baksa district on September 4. This training, carried out in collaboration with the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), aimed to equip villagers with the skills needed to provide immediate assistance during HEC incidents and other emergencies.
Approximately 30 villagers actively participated in the training session, which was led by Aaranyak’s official, Anjan Baruah. Baruah highlighted the importance of first-aid treatment for injuries resulting from HEC encounters.
A dedicated team of DDMA volunteers known as ‘AAPDA MITRA’ demonstrated various first-aid techniques applicable to diverse emergency situations. The AAPDA MITRA team, including Ritupon Kalita and other members such as Gopal Krishna Das, Sachin Das, Utpal Rabha, and Sanjit Daimari, showcased their expertise under the coordination of team leader Dalim Kalita.
Lila Karki, president of the Chaulkara Revenue Wild Protection NGO, initiated the training, with Kishore Roy, vice president of the same organisation, Netra Paudel, president of Pub Nikashi Unnayan Samity, and Rudra Boral, secretary of Pub Nikashi Unnayan Samity, actively participating. The training also saw the presence of prominent conservationists, including Binoy Boro of Uttarkuchi, Allauddin Ahmed, and Ishan Ali of Hedayetpur.
Aaranyak’s Rubul Tanti engaged with the participants, addressing essential topics such as snakebite treatment and first-aid measures for snake bites.
It is worth noting that Aaranyak previously conducted two similar first aid training sessions in August, benefiting around 50 community members in Odalguri LP School in Baksa and Nonaikhas ME School in Udalguri. These training initiatives received support from the SBI Foundation and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
In addition to these efforts, Aaranyak’s team met with members of the Elephant Conservation Network (ECN) in the Subankhata area of Baksa district on September 4. They acknowledged the ECN’s role in sharing updates on elephant movements and patrolling efforts. One ECN member highlighted how the creation of the ECN had significantly contributed to monitoring elephant movements and reducing accidental encounters with these majestic creatures. To aid their night patrolling efforts, ECN members were provided with rechargeable torch lights for enhanced safety.
The success of these workshops was made possible by the dedicated efforts of Aaranyak team members, including Rabiya Daimary, Abhijit Saikia, Reshma Narzary, Mondeep Basumatary, Pradip Barman, Rupam Gayary, Bikash Tossa, and Jaugashar Basumatary.
Aaranyak continues its impactful work in high HEC affected areas in Assam and Meghalaya, employing a multi-stakeholder, multipronged approach to promote peaceful coexistence between humans and elephants.