WWF - Assam Forest Department Vanya Prani Mitra Awards Presented to Four Exemplary Forest Staff of Assam

Posted on
10 January 2012
Guwahati: WWF-India and Assam state Forest Department presented two inaugural ‘WWF-Assam Forest Department Vanya Prani Mitra Awards’ to four forest staff of the Assam state Forest Department for their exemplary service towards the protection of Assam’s widlife at a special event organized today in Guwahati, Assam, India. The awards were presented by the Honourable Minister of Forest and Environment, Government of Assam, Mr. Rockybul Hussain.

One award was given to a patrolling team from the Kaziranga National Park, Assam. The team comprised of Mr. Ganga Bora, Forest Guard; Mr. Rustam Timung, Forest Guard; and Mr. Bhupen Hazarika, Home Guard. The other award was given to Mr. Salim Ahmed, Range Officer at the Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park. The two awards carried a citation and a cash prize of Rs. 25,000 each.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ravi Singh, CEO and Secretary General, WWF-India thanked the Assam Forest Department for taking the initiative to recognise the dedicated work of the field staff through these awards. Mr. V. K. Vishnoi, IFS and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Assam; Mr. Suresh Chand, IFS and PCCF, Wildlife Assam; and Mr. D. Mathur, IFS and CCF, Planning and Development, Assam were also present at the event.

Mr. Bora, Mr. Timung and Mr. Hazarika were given the award for showing great courage under fire by bravely engaging with three armed poachers while on a patrol in the Kaziranga National Park. In the resultant encounter arms, ammunition and a rhino horn were recovered.

Mr. Ahmed was awarded for a slew of initiatives he took that resulted in a sharp drop in rhino poaching in the Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park. Among the initiatives he took were strict vigilancee and surveillance against encroachment, which resulted in all encroachment attempts being prevented, arrest of wildlife offenders and seizure of arms and ammunition and joint patrolling and raids with army and police along the park’s boundary.

“I’m motivated to do more good work in conservation. We hope others will also be inspired to do good work in field.”, said Mr. Rustam Timung, one of the awardees.

Mr. Salim Ahmed, another of the awardees also shared his reaction,“I’m very happy. I want to share this credit with all my field staff. This was possible under the able leadership of Mr. S.K. Daila, IFS, our DFO. This is a great way to recognize and encourage field people for the hard work they do.”

These awards constituted jointly by WWF-India and Assam Forest Department continue the long standing partnership between the two in working for the conservation of Assam’s rich wildlife, especially under the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) program. The recent successful translocation of two female rhinos under IRV 2020 from Pobitora Widlife Sanctuary to Manas National Park between 08-09.01.2012 underscores the same. Under this program, previously 8 rhinos had been successfully translocated in three rounds in 2008, 2010 and 2011 from Pobitora Widlife Sanctuary to Manas National Park, where they are monitored regularly.

For further information:
Ameen Ahmed, WWF-India, aahmed@wwfindia.net , +91 9654440590
Anil Cherukupalli, WWF-India, acherukupalli@wwfindia.net , +91 41504783

About Vanya Prani Mitra Awards
The ‘WWF-Assam Forest Department Vanya Prani Mitra Awards’ were jointly constituted by WWF-India and Assam Forest Department in 2011 to recognise outstanding contribution to wildlife conservation in Assam by the frontline staff of Assam Forest Department or an individual, group or agency outside the Forest Department who made a significant contribution towards conservation of wildlife in the previous 12 months. Two awards will be presented annually and carry a cash prize of Rs. 25,000 each and a citation.

About IRV 2020
The IRV 2020 is a joint programme of the Department of Environment and Forests – Government of Assam, WWF-India and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) with support from the Bodoland Territorial Council, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the local communities.

The programme’s vision is to increase Assam’s rhino population to 3000 by 2020, which will be done by wild-to-wild translocation from Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Manas and Dibru Saikhowa National Parks as well as Laokhowa and Burachopari Wildlife Sanctuaries. Assam accounts for the largest population of Indian rhinoceros. Though rhino numbers in the state have grown from 2000 in 2005 to over 2200 in 2009, more than 90% of these live in just one Protected Area, which is the Kaziranga National Park. The IRV 2020 programme aims to secure the long term survival of wild rhinos in Assam by expanding their distribution to reduce risks like disease, in-breeding depression and mass mortality.


blog comments powered by Disqus
Donate to WWF

Your support will help us build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.