GUWAHATI, Sept 22 - The World Rhino Day was today celebrated in a befitting manner at the Assam State Zoo here.
The purpose of the celebration was to ensure awareness among the public, especially children, about the importance of conservation of rhinos.
The programme started with a painting competition for children of various classes. The theme of the painting competition was �Indian rhinoceros in wild�. The objective of the contest was to promote interest among children to see rhinos in the wild and help them become friends of this exotic species of animal, like Suhan Mallick.
Suhan, a kid in the 4th standard, is the youngest rhino conservationist who travelled across India promoting awareness about rhino conservation. Suhan was present during the competition inspiring the children who came to participate in the painting competition.
After the painting competition, a formal programme was held on the zoo premises. The function was attended by NK Vasu, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) and Head of Forest Force, Assam, along with various other senior forest officials.
Other noted persons present at the meeting were Poornima Devi Burman, Sangita Kakati, Julin Baruah and Mubina Aktar.
Kakati sang a beautiful song written by her on the myths about rhino horn use. Further, a video was screened showing the life of young rhinos in Kaziranga. It was followed by a talk by Suhan. Vasu felicitated Suhan with a certificate of appreciation for his praiseworthy work.
The programme ended with distribution of the prizes among the kids.
The importance of the programme was highlighted by the PCCF in his speech. Vasu said advocacy and awareness are as important as �on field work� for rhino conservation.
The State Zoo will be hosting another painting competition on October 1 on the eve of the Wildlife Week on a much bigger scale. �We invite all talented kids from across Assam to take part in the programme,� said Zoo DFO Tejas Mariswamy.
�Rhinos are prehistoric and magnificent animals. With the rise in human population, it requires a focused attention to ensure the survival of rhinos. In Assam, despite population pressure, the rhinos are not only surviving but also thriving. Assam is the only safe haven for the one horned rhinos in the world, apart from Nepal,� Mariswamy added.