KAZIRANGA, Sept 22 - World Rhino Day was observed here today with an objective to create awareness among the masses and protect the species for future generations.
Kaziranga Forest Department in association with The Corbett Foundation osrganised a massive rally in collaboration with different schools and educational institutions in which the schoolchildren participated.
The rally which started from Rajabari Shankardev Shishu Niketan at 8.30 am ended at Kohora. It was officially flagged off by NK Vasu, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest.
While speaking to the gathering on the occasion, Vasu said that the State Government is very much committed and serious about protection of rhinos and other wildlife. He felt it was very important to observe World Rhino Day as it created awareness among the people on the need to protect rhinos for future generations.
Speaking to this Correspondent, Dr Navin Pandey, Deputy Director of The Corbett Foundation said this type of event connects the common people with wildlife managers and forest department and help in contributing towards the protection and conservation of rhinos and other wildlife.
During the observance of World Rhino Day, the common people too participated today, which is an encouraging sign.
During the rally, the replica of a big rhino made by a local artiste was being carried along the route of the �Rhino Yatra�. The replica was offered flower petals and gamusa by a cross-section of the people.
Educational institutions like Rajabari High School, Bokakhat Girls� School, Bokakhat Sankardev Shishu Niketan, Rising Sun English School , Kohora , Kaziranga High school and Shankardev Shishu Niketan conducted various cultural programmes, including Bihu, mime, acting and street play.
Dibjyajyoti Saikia from the Corbett Foundation said that through the rhino replica which was being carried from Rajabari to Kohora on a van during the rally, a message was being given to the school students and general public to ensure the safety of the species which was hardly ten in number in 1905, more than 100 years back when Lady Curzon the wife of then Governor General of India visited Kaziranga.
It may be pertinent to add here that it was Lady Curzon who persuaded Lord Curzon to initiate steps for the protection of rhinos in Kaziranga, which was an open forest where anybody could go and kill inside, i.e., way back in 1905.
Later, Lord Curzon asked the then British administrator of Assam to take steps for the protection of rhinos. Later, Kaziranga was declared a National Park in 1974.
Significantly, Nitin Dutta , student of Rising Sun English School of Kohora presented a painting by him to the Range Office of Kohora Central Range Jayanta Das.The theme of the painting was to save rhinos, save wildlife and save trees.
Later, Range Officer Jayanta Das appreciated the effort of Nitin Dutta who is a Class-VII student for creating awareness about wildlife protection through his painting.