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Aaranyak equips forest department volunteers and VDP members for wildlife protection

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Aug 22: Volunteers and Village Defence Party (VDP) members contribute significantly to the collaborative efforts with the forest department in safeguarding wildlife and natural resources within the expansive Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNP&TR) in Assam. These dedicated individuals ensure constant vigilance to protect the park’s biodiversity.

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Aaranyak, a leading organisation in biodiversity conservation and research, has stepped forward to support these volunteers by providing essential field gear, including torch lights, raincoats, and gum boots. A total of 50 volunteers and 20 VDP members, who actively collaborate with the forest department, have received this support.

Arif Hussain, Aaranyak’s manager in the Kaziranga landscape, conveyed that the distribution of torch lights, raincoats, and gum boots took place during a formal event at the divisional forest officer (DFO) office in Biswanath. The DFO, Khageswar Pegu, received the equipment, expressing gratitude for the aid. These resources will greatly aid the volunteers during patrolling activities, working in tandem with forest department field staff to protect the national park areas under the forest division.

The provision of field equipment was accompanied by discussions between forest officials and Aaranyak representatives about the organisation’s proposed initiatives for the socio-economic development of communities residing near the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.

In a separate event held at Makowa Chapori, within the Nag Shankar Range of the Biswanath Forest Division, Aaranyak furnished field equipment to around 20 members of the VDP who work closely with the forest department in the region. Additionally, an awareness meeting was conducted at Makowa Chapori, bringing together VDP members, Nag Shankar range officer Debojit Saikia, Saidur Rahman, president of Upatyaka (an NGO), Arif Hussain of Aaranyak, and Ram Bhakta Chetri.

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Aaranyak’s ongoing efforts aim to enhance wildlife protection by fostering collaboration among multiple stakeholders, including local communities. By assisting the forest department in equipping and supporting volunteers and VDP members, Aaranyak strives to enhance grassroots-level conservation efforts for the benefit of wildlife and ecosystems.

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