Prez Murmu to launch festival in Kaziranga to mark 30 years of Project Elephant
President Droupadi Murmu

New Delhi: President Droupadi Murmu will inaugurate a two-day “Gaj Utsav” on April 7 in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park to commemorate the successful completion of 30 years of Project Elephant and to give more impetus to conservation efforts, Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Friday.

India launched Project Elephant in 1991-92 as a centrally-sponsored scheme to protect elephants, their habitat and corridors, prevent human-elephant conflict and to ensure the welfare of captive elephants in India.

“The government has decided to celebrate ‘Gaj Utsav’ at Kaziranga National Park on April 7-8 to commemorate 30 years of Project Elephant. President Droupadi Murmu will inaugurate it on April 7,” Choubey told reporters here.

A first-of-its-kind event, the festival will see the participation of Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, forest ministers of all elephant range states, principal conservators of forests, chief wildlife wardens, representatives of local communities, civil societies, NGOs, schoolchildren, mahouts etc.

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Elephant is a national heritage animal protected under Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.

India accounts for more than 60 per cent of the global wild elephant population. These are distributed majorly in southern and north-eastern India, east-central and northern regions.

Assam holds the second-largest wild elephant population in India and also has a large number of elephants under human care.

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