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Aaranyak installs solar fences to safeguard schools from elephant intrusions

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HT Bureau

 

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GUWAHATI, Oct 29: In a proactive effort to address the growing issue of human-elephant conflict (HEC) in various areas of Assam, Aaranyak, a prominent biodiversity conservation organization, has taken a pivotal step to protect schools affected by the intrusion of wild elephants. The initiative aims to ensure the uninterrupted education of young children residing in these conflict zones.

Aaranyak recently concluded the installation of solar fences around two Lower Primary Schools and an Anganwadi Centre. This strategic approach has secured the educational environment for approximately 145 students in affected regions of Udalguri and Goalpara districts.

The first solar fence was installed around the 331 No.2 Nonke Sonajuli L.P. School, located in the Revenue village No. 2 at Sonajuli, under the Khairabari Educational Block in Udalguri District. This protective measure, supported by the SBI Foundation, secures the education of 55 students in both Assamese and Bodo mediums, in addition to safeguarding the attached Anganwadi center’s 30 children from potential elephant encounters.

Another significant installation was completed by Aaranyak in collaboration with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The team implemented solar-powered fences to mitigate HEC around the Kasibari Kochpara L.P. School near the Kumarkhali Reserve Forest of Lakhipur Forest Range in Goalpara District. With over 60 students, this school has faced recurrent challenges due to elephant intrusions, impacting the safety and learning environment.

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In the face of adversity, the Nonke Sonai L.P. School, established in 1962 near the Indo-Bhutan boundary, has seen repeated attempts by wild elephants to breach the school’s infrastructure over the last five years. Last year, the elephants damaged the building and consumed food items allocated for mid-day meals stored in the kitchen.

Similarly, the Kasibari Kochpara L.P. School, established in 1981, has faced severe damages inflicted by wild elephants since 2018. These incidents included multiple intrusions into the school premises, causing destruction to the kitchen, classrooms, and terrifying encounters for both students and teachers during school hours.

In response to these challenging circumstances, Aaranyak’s team, spearheaded by Anjan Baruah, along with dedicated community support, swiftly installed solar-powered fences to protect the schools. This endeavor aims to create safer environments conducive to education, ensuring the unobstructed progress of the children in these affected regions.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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