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Bid to engage youths for Manas conservation

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Oct 13 - Under its Manas Tiger Conservation Programme (MTCP), leading wildlife NGO Aaranyak has launched a series of programmes targeting the youth for disseminating conservation education in and around Manas National Park.

Environmental educationists, engaged in articulating a conservation education plan for the Manas Landscape, have identified youth as one of the most primary target groups of disseminating conservation education in the society. Sports, academics, music, drama, art and culture were identified as the most influential tools for engaging the youth.

A volleyball tournament, organised at Majrabari Chubba of Manas National Park on the occasion of the 62nd National Wildlife Week, was the first of many milestones planned for engaging the youth, Aaranyak�s publicity secretary Udayan Borthakur said.

To encourage strong academics in a society that is quite deprived in terms of formal education, Pranjit Boro, a local youth scoring 70% in HSLC examination, was also felicitated and awarded a cash prize at the event.

�In an initiative to encourage experience-based conservation education in the youth and society, several educational materials have been designed and training workshops are being held with students of Manas. On the occasion of National Wildlife Week, members of Aaranyak�s Environmental Education Team also interacted with high school students of the Panbari area of Manas and besides enlightening them about conservation at Manas, they also counselled the students on ways to prepare for their upcoming board examinations,� Borthakur said.

Not many know about it, but in the deep interiors of the Manas Landscape, under the Bhuyanpara Range, falls the Majrabari Chubba, a fringe village located at the periphery of the Park. People of Majrabari and together with the nearby villages are often referred to as the forest communities - people who have lived in close connection with the forests since ages. For a long time these communities had known no other way of life other than turning to Manas for all of their needs. Manas is the most indispensible element of their economic and social wellbeing, cultural, aesthetic and emotional values. There are 64 such fringe villages in the immediate vicinity of Manas National Park, and another 210 within the precincts of the Manas Tiger Reserve.

The MTCP, initiated by Aaranyak in Manas, addresses this special case of communities and forests living in close connection by adopting a holistic approach towards conservation that puts community development at par with conservation. A socio-economic survey conducted in the fringe villages of Manas revealed that 30% of Manas�s population consisted of youth. Like most societies, in Manas the youth is the most powerful, active and influential category of the society.

In another initiative to help the people of Manas make the shift from wood as the traditional cooking fuel, four improved cooking stove models were tested in association with the Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA), in the Bhuyanpara area of Manas. The improved cooking stove, soon to be implemented widely, is a small step that is predicted to bring about a big difference in reducing the �people� pressure on the natural resources of the Park.

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Bid to engage youths for Manas conservation

GUWAHATI, Oct 13 - Under its Manas Tiger Conservation Programme (MTCP), leading wildlife NGO Aaranyak has launched a series of programmes targeting the youth for disseminating conservation education in and around Manas National Park.

Environmental educationists, engaged in articulating a conservation education plan for the Manas Landscape, have identified youth as one of the most primary target groups of disseminating conservation education in the society. Sports, academics, music, drama, art and culture were identified as the most influential tools for engaging the youth.

A volleyball tournament, organised at Majrabari Chubba of Manas National Park on the occasion of the 62nd National Wildlife Week, was the first of many milestones planned for engaging the youth, Aaranyak�s publicity secretary Udayan Borthakur said.

To encourage strong academics in a society that is quite deprived in terms of formal education, Pranjit Boro, a local youth scoring 70% in HSLC examination, was also felicitated and awarded a cash prize at the event.

�In an initiative to encourage experience-based conservation education in the youth and society, several educational materials have been designed and training workshops are being held with students of Manas. On the occasion of National Wildlife Week, members of Aaranyak�s Environmental Education Team also interacted with high school students of the Panbari area of Manas and besides enlightening them about conservation at Manas, they also counselled the students on ways to prepare for their upcoming board examinations,� Borthakur said.

Not many know about it, but in the deep interiors of the Manas Landscape, under the Bhuyanpara Range, falls the Majrabari Chubba, a fringe village located at the periphery of the Park. People of Majrabari and together with the nearby villages are often referred to as the forest communities - people who have lived in close connection with the forests since ages. For a long time these communities had known no other way of life other than turning to Manas for all of their needs. Manas is the most indispensible element of their economic and social wellbeing, cultural, aesthetic and emotional values. There are 64 such fringe villages in the immediate vicinity of Manas National Park, and another 210 within the precincts of the Manas Tiger Reserve.

The MTCP, initiated by Aaranyak in Manas, addresses this special case of communities and forests living in close connection by adopting a holistic approach towards conservation that puts community development at par with conservation. A socio-economic survey conducted in the fringe villages of Manas revealed that 30% of Manas�s population consisted of youth. Like most societies, in Manas the youth is the most powerful, active and influential category of the society.

In another initiative to help the people of Manas make the shift from wood as the traditional cooking fuel, four improved cooking stove models were tested in association with the Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA), in the Bhuyanpara area of Manas. The improved cooking stove, soon to be implemented widely, is a small step that is predicted to bring about a big difference in reducing the �people� pressure on the natural resources of the Park.