Having completed its 40-year journey, a group of environmental activists in the Northeast region now have a dual mission: to create a new generation of environmentalists and to promote ecocentric “green” literature. The movement of the group of nature enthusiasts started in an organized way in 1982 and since then they have braved all obstacles to conserve the wildlife and biodiversity of Assam, leading to the establishment of the national parks of Dihing-Patkai and from Raimona and Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary.
“In the face of the immense threat of climate change, we cannot remain complacent. “Our organization has completed 40 years of existence and we have launched a decade-long program to mark our Golden Jubilee celebrations, which mainly consist of imbibing the conservation ethic among the youth,” Soumyadeep Dutta, founder of “Nature’s Beckon” who works in environmental conservation in the region, told PTI. The recent launch of “Ahum Basudham Kriti Mangaljonok” (I Am A Positive Force For The Earth) Program is the first initiative in this direction. The program has reached 100 schools across the state to engage one million children in the nature conservation movement, Dutta said.
This is the first time that so many students have come forward to take part in such an initiative, he said.
“Through this program, we remain firmly committed to leading students to a new horizon of mental empowerment and building a better future for our forests, for our country, and for the planet,” he added.
During British rule, the idea of conservation was virtually non-existent as the forests were mainly used as game sanctuaries for hunting wild animals, the conservationist said. “Even when we started our work, hunting was taking place in some pockets, even though the law against it had already come into effect,” he said.
The British had only given sanctuary status to Kaziranga, Manas and Pobitora, while all other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries had only come into existence in the state after independence through the “revolution popular,” Dutta said. “Assam has witnessed a lot of unrest but I can say that the environmental movement has been the most peaceful,” Dutta said.
All other movements were based on language, groups and communities, or were politically motivated, but “conservation is a movement where caste, creed, rich, poor, political, social or economic differences do not exist and people are guided by the single-minded nature protection goal.
“Awareness leading to a change in mindset has been our greatest achievement over the past four decades, leading to the creation of several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the state and a very strong conservation movement in the state,” he said.
There are, however, many challenges as a section, including those with vested interests, who still question the need to conserve the environment, and “we have failed to convince or educate them fully. “, did he declare.
In this context, emphasis has been placed on creating a literary genre dedicated to the environment that will leave a rich literary legacy for posterity, said Dutta, author of nearly 50 books on various related subjects.
Renowned author Anuradha Sarma Pujari, whose book “Iyat Ekhon Aranya Asil” (Here Lay a Forest) won the Sahitya Akademi Prize, said there was “an urgent need to promote eco-centric literature in the ‘state to save its rich biodiversity’. “Nature’s Beckon” has taken the initiative and literati must contribute so that the younger generation will be inspired to preserve the environment, she added.
Former Asam Sahitya Sabha Chairman and BJP MP Parmananda Rajbongshi said that during his tenure with the first literary organization, he took the initiative to launch “Seuj Sahitya” (literature ” verte”), leading to the publication of a few books by young and senior authors.
“I call on those with a flair for writing and a love of nature to write more books on nature, the environment and related topics, leading to greater awareness,” he said. -he adds.
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