It was a dream come true for the children growing up in the fringes of Kaziranga National Park in Assam.
They were born and brought up in villages located at the periphery of the famed Kaziranga National Park (KNP), known for the one-horned India rhinoceros.
However, these children never get the opportunity to enter the national park and enjoy the natural beauty of the park that attracts thousands of tourists, both domestic and foreign every year.
For this group of school children, the much-visited Kaziranga National Park (KNP) remained a myth till Sunday when they were taken on a jeep safari inside the wildlife protection area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
These school children were taken on a jeep safari inside the national park under an innovative conservation-oriented programme called ‘Friends of Rhino’ which has been conceptualized and implemented by Aaranyak, the environmental NGO with support from David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) and Kaziranga National Park (KNP) authority.
The Friends of Rhino has been put on the roll with the objective to create awareness and positive thoughts about rhino conservation among young school children through Kaziranga Safari and interaction with nature conservation workers and experts who have been working in the field. School children residing in the fringe of Kaziranga National Park, who have never visited the sanctuary, are going to be benefited under the new programme.
In the first programme of Friends of Rhino which was organized at Bagori Range of Kaziranga National Park (KNP), 18 students from Kaliabor Higher Secondary School and Kalyanashram Junior College, Silghat took part. The programme was set on the roll by Pradeep Goswami, Range Officer, Burapahar Range of the KNP.
Aarnayak’s senior project officer, Arif Hussain informed that the students were engaged in hours-long interaction with wildlife conservation volunteers, experts and senior forest officials on various topics related to the nature and its resources and the need for conservation of fauna and flora especially the precious one-horned rhinoceros in Kaziranga Park.
The DSWF has supported Aaranyak to launch this programme as this has the goal to sport future conservation workers among the young school children living around the National Park.