BOKAKHAT, Feb 20 � The Bird Festival, organised by the Mising Autonomous Council (MAC) and the Agaratoli Conservation and Eco-Tourism Society, was held at Dhansiriati Pathar from February 13 to 15. The festival was inaugurated by Bokakhat MLA Arun Phukan. Golaghat DC Nitin Khade opened the bird exhibition and handloom and textile exhibition.
Earlier, Bokakhat SDO (Civil) MN Baruah unfurled the flag of the celebration committee. Jiten Gogoi, ex-MLA of Bokakhat, opened the food festival. A souvenir, Kaziranga, published by the committee to mark the occasion, was released by Anuradha Sama Puzari. Uttam Saikia, senior journalist and wildlife activist, anchored the programme.
In the evening, a special programme of songs and poems related to birds was conducted by Pradeep Acharya and Probhat Borah. On the next day, a symposium was held on the subject, �Observation of birds, its benefits and preservation of bird colony.� Soumya Dutta of Nature�s Beckon and Dr Prabal Saikia, scientist, Regional Agricultural Research Centre, Lakhimpur, attended the seminar as resource persons. Another seminar, organised on the subject, �The necessity of bird observation, photography, naming in local language with its publication,� was attended by Pankaj Sarmah, ACS, Eastern Assam Wildlife Division, as the resource person.
The festival concluded with a marathon and a public meeting, which were attended by a large number of wildlife lovers, students and sportspersons. The open meeting was held under the presidentship of Mrigesh Narayan Baruah, SDO (Civil) and president of the celebration committee. On behalf of the organising committee, Animesh Saikia delivered the welcome address.
Padmashree awardee Jadav Payeng laid stress on tree plantation. Dr Ranoj Pegu, Chief Executive Member of the MAC, announced that the Bird Festival in Kaziranga would be celebrated every year. Later, prizes were distributed among those who participated in various competitions. Hem Borah, principal of Kaziranga College, addressed the meeting and lauded the steps taken by the MAC.
In the half-marathon, there were 44 participants and Budhan Kalita, Bhaiti Tokbi and Mitu Gogoi bagged the first, second and third prizes respectively. Similarly, in the drawing competition in Group A, the first, second and third prizes were bagged by Shruti Kashyap, Milad Rubul Doley and Pragya Kashyap respectively. In Group B, Rakesh Das, Jyotishman Hazarika and Moni Kalpita Porasor bagged the first, second and third prizes respectively.
The five-member team of the Assam Bamboo Band presented a cultural programme with bamboo-made musical instruments.