Skip to content Skip to navigation

Budding footballers feted

Tangla: In a bid to encourage budding players to excel in sports activities,Arunodoi Academy,a private sector school of Tangla in Udalguri organized a special felicitation event here at the school premises on Monday. The programme was organized to felicitate the young football players who represented the school and emerged City Champions in Junior Category at the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports School,Football competition on December 8,2017 at Betkuchi in Guwahati. The event graced as chief guest by journalist,Shajid Khan was attended by Bhergaon District Sports Association,Secretary Bhupen Boro,Principal of the institute, Nepolean Daimari,Principal of Arunodoi Jr. College,Pranabjyoti Das among others. Speaking on the ocassion Khan lauded the efforts of the school to tap the potential of the students in various co-curricular activities besides producing excellance in academics. He exhorted the players for maintaining regular practice to excel in coming days."The efforts of Reliance Foundation to provide a platform to the schools,colleges to showcase their skills and passion for sports thereby revolutionizing grassroots sports is laudable." He added.The school authorities as a token of love and appreciation distributed sports kits to the fifteen student players comprising a sports shoe and football boots each besides distributing the certificates and medals.The Reliance Foundation also provided a cheque amounting to Rs. 25,000 to the school authorities.

Author info

Shajid Khan's picture

Recipient of The Annual Colosseum Awards 2014 & 2015 (by The Assam Tribune group), Shajid Khan is a journalist based in Tangla.In his stint of journalistic experience he has contributed numerous political, socio-political stories for bountiful national,international as well as Assam based publications. He also pens down analytic commentary on print and web based publications.

Add new comment

Republish

Republish this content

New tourist guest house at Bhairabkunda

17 Nov 2014 - 8:06am | Jayanta Kumar Das

The inauguration of a tourist guest house inside JFMC man made forest at Bhairabkunda near Assam- Bhutan- Arunachal junction has been appreciated by nature loving people of the district. The tourist guest house was formally inaugurated by Sadhana Hojai, Deputy Commissioner, Udalguri at a small and simple ceremony on November 12.The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Dibakor Doley,ADC,Udalguri; Girindra Adhikari,DFO,Dhansiri Forest Division, Udalguri; environmental activist Jayanta Kumar Das, who is also the Hony.Wildlife Warden of Udalguri; and Satya Boro, Range Officer,Nonai Range Office;journalists of Udalguri Ram Upadhyay and Mossaddique Hussain also attended the ceremony. The tourist guest house has been build with an amount sanctioned by Thaneswar Malakar,while he was serving as the Deputy Commissioner in Udalguri.

It needs mention that JFMC (Joint Forest Management Committee) Bhairabkunda was the brainchild of Naba Kumar Bordoloi and villagers of six villages bordering Assam-Bhutan-Arunachal. The work had been started way back in 2005. Now the forest has more than 11 lakhs saplings belonging to various valuable species. “We have been planting more than eleven lakhs of valuable saplings since 2005. The lands escaped human encroachment only because of its barren and sandy character. Now the landscape spreading in an area of 550 Hecters has been attracting various species of animals or birds including wild elephants,leopards, pythons, peacocks etc.” so said Esmail Daimari a hard working official of JFMC. He said with more support from government and people the lands could have been transformed to a paradise.He requested nature loving people to visit JFMC,Bhairabkunda.

Conservation compromised for tourism in Kaziranga

2 Oct 2017 - 10:20pm | Mubina Akhtar

Forest guards shot dead a charging adult male rhino in the Agaratoli Range of Kaziranga National Park on September 20. Earlier this year on February 14, a forest guard Gautam Barua, had to meet a terrible fate when he was on duty in the Bagori range of the National Park. He was killed by a charging rhino. In other words, the protector became the victim. Another guard, Podu Rajbongshi survived a similar attack in the Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park in the last week of January. The year 2016 also saw similar incidents. Francis Horo, working with the forest department, died in an attack by wild buffalo on January 16 in the Bagori range of Kaziranga National Park while Sariful Islam, a forest guard in Orang, met his fate when a charging rhino attacked him. The string of incidents is a grim pointer to the behavioral changes in animals reflected on attacks on tourists, even forest guards, by charging rhinos, jumbos and wild buffaloes. While this calls for an in-depth behavioral study of the animals, the general assumption is that these animals--even in protected territories--are irked at the slightest provocation owing to a huge level of stress they undergo due to overwhelming changes in their habitat. A defender or an offender—in the eyes of the animal anyone in its territory--is an intruder! 

Events of regular flood, destruction in habitat, barriers on migrating routes, shortage of food and water, intervention and intrusion in defended territories during breeding are not uncommon even in the protected areas and leads to overstress in animals. Although protected areas aim to provide resilience and stability in ecosystems besides other natural services, increasing tourist activities could impact wildlife in these protected areas.

Negative aspects of wildlife tourism

Conservationists are of the opinion that ‘wildlife tourism can jeopardize the integrity of ecosystems in general and wildlife population dynamics in particular’. In India, even though we have a strict wildlife protection law, our tourism policies at the state level sometimes fail to adhere to the guiding principles. Our (wildlife) tourism policy unfortunately is aimed basically at revenue generation and ignores important factors like the ecological sensitivity of wildlife habitats, seasonal vulnerability of wildlife (breeding, nesting, rearing, nursing etc.), an animal’s individual characteristics and also it’s adaptability to human-induced disturbances. It needs to be remembered that only an exclusive four per cent of India’s landmass has been set aside as “protected areas” and the basic purpose of this has been conservation, not tourism promotion.

Over the years, conservation seems to have lost its priority owing to an increasing pressure for revenue generation. The Assam government’s decision to open important wildlife areas for tourists from the first week of October has drawn flak even from ex- forest officials. “Instead of regulating heavy flow of tourists inside the core areas of national parks, the Assam government went on to increase the number of months for the tourist season for more footfalls,” said a former forest official on condition of anonymity.

 “Assam receives rainfall till October.With climate change, rainfall pattern has become erratic and we now have a longer rainy season. October is still wet and cloudy and hence not suitable for advent in wildlife areas. The government’s decision to open Kaziranga and Pobitora for tourists from October would not only affect conservation but would fall heavy on the purses of tourists who would pay in full but could avail limited access inside the Park or Sanctuary,” said Chandan Kumar Duarah, a science and environment journalist. Further he added that “Government should not earn money at the cost of conservation.”

Post flood, the scenario is still difficult inside the wildlife areas. Tourists would not be able to see much in this time of the year. Elephant safari means not only the bulls but female elephants with babies and it is hard for the elephants to venture into those swampy tracts inside Kaziranga when the rain is still petering,” said Mohan Chandra Malakar, a former Chief Wildlife Warden of Assam.

“Repair works of roads and bridges inside Kaziranga National Park has not been completed and so tourists could avail limited access in only two ranges of the Park,” said a Park official.

World Heritage Sites-- Kaziranga and Manas National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, , Nameri National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam were ravaged by the recent waves of flood. Kaziranga is said to be the jewel in the crown of Assam’s green assets. However, the current wave of floods has worked as an eye-opener that brings out the real picture of the conservation status inside the park. According to the State Forest Department, about 350 animals, including 26 one-horned rhinos, five elephants, a tiger and more than 250 deer died in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve during the recent floods but local NGOs claim more than a thousand animals perished in the two waves of floods, especially the second wave that surpassed the record of 1998. The government list has not taken into account lesser wildlife like wild boars, porcupines, hog badgers, foxes or even gaurs (Indian bison) and wild buffaloes. More carcasses were found floating once water levels receded while rescued rhino and jumbo orphans were sent to the rehabilitation centre. Absence of infrastructure facilities and insufficient manpower brought doom for a sizable wildlife population.  The second wave of flood devastated the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, known for the highest density of one-horned rhinos in the world.

World Heritage Sites under pressure

Like many other protected areas of the country, the important wildlife habitats of Assam that include the two World Heritage Sites--Kaziranga and Manas National Park--are under pressure from an ever increasing flow of tourists round the year. Projected as a “tourist destination” by the State Forest Department, hospitality measures found topmost priority inside the boundaries of the national parks, while other infrastructure development essential for conservation were sidelined. Unchecked growth of the hospitality industry in close confines of the sanctuaries is destroying the once placid pristine ambience of the prime wildlife habitats. Succumbing to the pressure of the hospitality industry the Assam Forest Minister has given permission for a longer ‘tourist season’ of eight months starting from October.

“It may seem strange that the task of wildlife preservation is entrusted to the Forest Departments in India, and there are no separate wildlife departments. When this problem came up in 1952 it was decided to entrust this work to the Forest Departments of the various states because nearly all the wildlife and sanctuaries of the country happen to be in the forests and other lands which are under the jurisdiction of the Forest Departments. To create another department to preserve wildlife would lead to overlapping and unnecessary duplicating of work, and in any case it would be difficult to find the trained personnel for another department.
So the officers and Subordinate Staff of the Forest Departments in India are entrusted with the task of preserving the fauna as well as the forests, and for this purpose there are wildlife Divisions and special personnel within the forest departments, under the Chief Conservator of Forests, to deal with wildlife matters. Any description of India’s wildlife and wild areas will inevitably reveal many shortcomings of the Forest Personnel concerned, as many have been observed by readers of this book. At this juncture, therefore. I feel impelled to take the opportunity of paying my humble tribute to those members of the Forest Departments, both officers and Subordinate Staff, who, like R C Das of Kaziranga, have dedicated themselves to the cause of preservation, in face of many difficulties – including dangerous poachers, trigger-happy “sportsmen” and unenlightened public opinion.”--- wrote E P Gee, one of the best known authorities in India on wildlife, half a century ago in his famous book The Wildlife of India

Concerns do remain over the shortcomings of the department entrusted with the conservation of flora and fauna. While it was expected of the department to weigh Kaziranga more as a protected area rather than a tourist destination while considering actions that impacts wildlife conservation, the Forest Minister’s announcement last year to open the Kaziranga National Park and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary ahead of the normal tourist season has come as a shocker for nature lovers and conservationists who on earlier occasions advised the government to frame more effective policies for employment of local youths. By succumbing to the demand of the Jeep Safari Association for a longer season the department proved once again its inefficiency to deal with core issues of the National Park.  

Kargil Gunners dedicate library at Bhergaon

16 Apr 2012 - 5:15pm | Jayanta Kumar Das

Taking forward the Indian Army’s drive to reach out the local populace and benefit the needy, Red Horns Division made yet contribution towards education at Bhergaon ME School in Udalguri on 10 Apr 2012. In a glittering ceremony, Kargil Gunners inaugurated and dedicated a library at Bhergaon under its flagship programme of Operation Sadbhavana. Also, on the sidelines of the inauguration, 14 girl students belonging to economically under privileged background were presented with bicycles.The Library was inaugurated by Mrs.Sheela Tiwari President, Army Welfare Association, Hatigarh and wife of Brig. VK Tiwari, Commander,Red Horns Artillery Brigade amidst a colourful programme which was attended by members of civil and police administration, local students bodies and host of local dignities alongwith approximately 500 villagers. The project included not only the construction of the library, but also to stock it with books. The Library consists of two reading rooms, out which one can be used as a teaching room also. The books stocked inside the library have been purchased very selectively and would cater for students ranging from primary classes to college going students. It would go a long way in enhancing the knowledge of the youth of the region and would cater for language improvement as well as leisure reading. As the follow up of distribution of 16 bicycles during inauguration of ten bed hospital by Kargil Gunners at Bandarguri on 04 Apr 2012, another 14 bicycles were presented to girls residing in remote and far flung areas to mitigate their hardships in walking long distances for education. The effort is aimed at encouraging the pursuit of education and independence in the young girls who need to take their rightful place in the nation’s developmental progress.


Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest,Brig.VK Tiwari stressed upon the need of education for development in one’s life. He urged the locals and youth in particular to exploit the facility provided in terms of the library and hoped that the books would prove to be beneficial for all the sections of the society. He assured the locals that the Army under its flagship programme of Operation Sadbhavana would continue to reach out to the remotest corners of the district and the lives of the locals in many ways. He further said that the library would be accomodated with computers and internet in coming days with peoples support.He requested people to donate books to the library.The ABSU Bhergaon was formally handed over the key of the library at the ceremony. Several distinguished people namely- Col.Sunil Upadhyay,Commanding Officer,315 Field Regiment and others inluding leading citizens and media persons attended the opening ceremony.