Massive participation by students in rhino awareness programmes enthuses conservation efforts
Students attending a 'Rhino Goes to School 'event.

Guwahati: Over a thousand students from Assam took part in the ‘Rhino Goes to School’ (RGTS) awareness campaign which was conducted to promote rhino conservation in the state at Kaziranga, Assam.

Three back-to-back programmes were conducted by Aaranyak, a research and conservation-oriented organisation, and supported by UK based David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF).

The awareness programmes were aimed at educating young students about the great one-horned rhino of Assam. The programme which saw a participation of 1590 students from various schools in Kaziranga, utilised audio-visual interactive storytelling to teach children about the characteristics, food habits, suitable habitats, and ecosystem of Rhinos among others.

On May 8, the event was held at Soraibahi High School where 560 students attended. Educative presentations about rhinos, open quiz, and discussions were held on the day. Aaranyak official, Arif Hussain coordinated the event. Paguram Pegu, Headmaster of the School, Babuli Hazarika, ex-honorary wildlife warden, Khirud Saikia, member of Aaranyak and teaching staff of the school were present during the event.

On the same day, another RGTS programme was organised at Madhya Tribal Higher Secondary School, Gohpur, where 680 students attended the interactive sessions on rhino awareness.

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On May 9, 350 students participated in the third RGTS programme which was held at Kolongpur High School, Gohpur.

According to Aaranyak, the overwhelming participation of students in the conservation held in May, implied involvement and enthusiasm of the future generation for the conservation of the one-horned Indian rhinoceros.

Conservation experts at Aaranyak believed that the student participation indicates that the public, especially the youth, can play a key role in wildlife conservation efforts.

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