The Telegraph
Wednesday , July 30 , 2014
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Award for safe elephant corridor

- Youth given prizes to spread conservation awareness
A Karbi Anglong student receives the Elephant Award. Telegraph picture

Jorhat, July 29: Students in a few remote villages in Karbi Anglong, who have successfully cleared the HSLC and HS examinations, were given Elephant Awards this year in a bid to motivate them to avoid conflict with wild jumbos.

Eight children from different villages located in Kalapahar-Doigurung elephant corridor were given Rs 4,000 and a certificate each at a programme in Sar Kro village, a forest official said today.

The award has been instituted by Wildlife Trust of India and supported by Japan Tiger and Elephant Foundation and Elephant Family.

“The children hail from villages that are located in that particular elephant corridor. The villagers are totally dependent on forests and are in constant conflict with elephants. We are trying to provide moral support to the communities living in the corridor and trying to involve them, particularly the younger generation, in conservation efforts. Our aim is to win the confidence of the villagers, especially the youths,” Dilip Deori, an official of Wildlife Trust of India, said.

The Kalapahar-Doigurung elephant corridor, that is constantly used by elephants, is located about 22km from Silonijan in Karbi Anglong and connects Kalapahar with Doigurung-Nambor wildlife sanctuary and Kaziranga National Park and is constantly used by the pachyderms.

Several villages are located in the particular corridor and conflict between men and elephants are regular, largely because of a lack of space for the elephants to move freely without entering human habitat.

The forest department has been working on a project to secure the corridor as a long-term solution to bring an end to the human-elephant conflicts here. Efforts are on to facilitate voluntary relocation of all 19 families of Ram Terang village located within the corridor. Plans are also afoot to relocate all the villagers outside the corridor.

The recipients of the award were Ransingna Terang, Johon Terang, Borun Kro, Samson Kro, Prokash Singnar, Roben Rongphar, Sonjoy Kro and Longki Terang. Each student was also given a dictionary, sponsored by a local NGO Rainbow.

The forest official, quoting Ransingna, said it was a matter of pride to have received the Elephant Award and “this will encourage us to contribute towards wildlife conservation in the area”. Deori said the award would motivate the students to go for higher education and help them understand conservation of nature better.