Guwahati: Manoj Gogoi, a tourist guide-turned-animal rescuer from Assam, has received the prestigious ‘India Star Passion Award 2019’ for social service (environment).
The award recognises Gogoi’s efforts in rescuing animals in and around Kaziranga National Park for the past several years. As per some estimates, he has rescued over 5,000 animals since 2005.
Along with him, six others from Assam have won the award so far in various disciplines. Gogoi will receive a certificate, a medal and a badge for his efforts.
India Star Passion Award 2019 is an online event and all record holders, social workers, collectors, organisation, association, NGO, journalism, education, artists, services, dancers, writers, poets, musicians, film stars, police, teachers, sports, instructors, astrologers, scientists, politicians, doctors, etc, can apply for this award.
Hailing from Bochagaon village in Kaziranga, Assam, Gogoi has lived in close proximity to wild animals all his life. After working as a tourist cab driver and then as a tourist guide for Iora Resort in Kaziranga till 2013, he decided to become a full-fledged environmentalist after a chance meeting with Kedar Gore, director, Corbett Foundation, where he got associated.
In 2014, the Corbett Foundation awarded him with the title – ‘Wildlife Warrior’. He has also set up an NGO called ‘Naturalist for Rehabilitation of Snakes and Birds’ (NRSB) with the local youths.
Apart from rescuing animals, Gogoi also spreads awareness about the importance of conservation in nearby villages. “I tell them that snakes are useful for them because they eat rats that destroy their crops. It is very important to understand that every creature is important. If one goes missing from the food chain, it will create great ecological imbalance,” he told EastMojo in an interview earlier in March this year.