A dream which Binod ‘Dulu’ Borah had when he was all of seven started his connect with nature and wildlife. Born in Chapanalla, a village close to the Karbi foothills of Nagaon district in Assam, today ‘Dulu’ is a passionate wildlife conservationist. Dulu dreamt that an elephant calf was frolicking around, but abruptly fell into an open well. Strangely enough, the well was located in a plot which belonged to his neighbour, Naren Tanti.
Dulu woke up with a start and narrated the dream to his father and relatives. He was cocksure that the incident had taken place, but no one believed him. Lo and behold, a few hours later, Dulu’s dream had indeed turned real – an elephant calf had indeed fallen in a well which belonged to his neighbour, Tanti!
A report published in the The Better India quoted Dulu as saying, “I had noticed wild birds, turtles and small mammals in the weekly market near my village, and they would eventually be sold as bush meat. So, I’d keep coming up with ways to purchase them and set them free. Sometimes, I would even take money from my elder brothers without asking,” he recalls.
Five years later, Dulu became associated with Green Guard Nature Organization (GGNO), a grassroots organisation in Nagaon established in 1994, that has emerged as an agency for wildlife conservation. In the last three decades, Dulu has managed to rescue over 2,500 animals including 3 elephant calves, 2 leopard cubs, 3 bear cubs, 6 slow lorises, 10 Chinese pangolins, more than 20 deer, several hares, monkeys, mongoose, geckos, flying squirrel, civets, over 600 snakes including 14 King cobras, hundreds of turtles and hundreds of birds.
The report further quoted him as saying, “Most of the rescued wildlife species are rehabilitated back to the wilderness, close to the place of rescue. If the animal is injured, we keep it in my backyard, which is the GGNO’s temporary rescue centre. Here, the animal is provided veterinary treatment and then, is either released or sent for further treatment as recommended. In case the rescued animal is a baby mammal, we send it to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC),” he shares.
Over his years of rescue efforts, Dulu has managed to establish a network of informers from communities across the region, who alerts him whenever they come across any suspicious activity. This has often led to a conflict of interest. He laments that encroachment of forest areas has led to the shrinking of wildlife habitat and hindered the ability of wild animals to move around the terrain.
A green thumb, in the past six years, ‘Dulu’ has planted over 25,000 trees. On behalf of GGNO, he also goes around conducting awareness programmes and outreach sessions in not just villages but also local schools and colleges on the importance of wildlife conservation and the impact of community participation.