The first-ever book on Dihing Patkai’s ecology authored by Imon Abedin titled, ‘Serene Soraipung: The Mystic Tale of Dihing Patkai National Park’, was released in Tinsukia on Friday. The book was launched by Pawar Narsing Sambhaji, Deputy Commissioner, Tinsukia, Superintendent of Police, Tinsukia, ADC, Tinsukia, and Professor S.P. Biswas of Dibrugarh University.
“It is, by far, the only reliable source of information about the region with high-grade images. It will encourage many people and even experts to know more about the region. It provides a wholesome idea about the park and is of great quality,” says the 21-year-old who spent the last 3 years researching Dihing Patkai for this coffee-table book. Imon is a 6th-semester, BSc Zoology student of the Dibrugarh University-affiliated Tinsukia College.
On being asked about his motivation behind writing the book, Imon told EastMojo that the region had been very close to his heart. Born and raised in Tinsukia, Imon would visit the forest almost every week for nature watch but found no sufficient data on the region. “We have covered almost every ecological aspect of this region, from birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians to butterflies, insects, even orchids. We’ve provided a complete checklist of flora and fauna out there for nature lovers,” said Imon.
Imon shared a fun fact from his research for the book. In the reptiles chapter, the book talks about a species of snake that he had discovered, but could not publish anything about due to a lack of detailed information. The same species was later discovered by scientists from Chennai in the year 2019 called Salazar’s Pitviper. Interestingly, this snake was named after Salazar Slytherin from the Harry Potter series. “We have reported about how this species is found here in large numbers. This year we will be reporting about this species from our book which is by the way very common in this entire area,” said Imon.
The preservationist-turned-author also mentioned the team that helped him come up with the end result of the book. “I had a team to support me with photography. There are a couple of contributors out there who helped and I also consulted experts and scientists while writing this book,’ said Imon who also had an assisting editor who helped him with his book.
There was a lot of unrest over Dehing Patkai around the coal mining issue there in 2020 while Imon was still researching and writing his book. When being asked if he mentioned anything about the socio-political or economical aspects of the region and what plagues it in his book, Imon responded by saying that his book focused purely on the serene beauty of Dihing Patkai and its wildlife.
He believes that it is very important to educate people about the treasures of the forest. “Unless people know what lies here, how will there be an urgency to protect it? This book is the way to tell people that there is a lot more to Dehing Patkai that really needs to be preserved,” he added.
He plans to use all proceeds from his book towards spreading awareness about Dehing Patkai National Park. “We plan to start working right from the grassroots level by initiating awareness campaigns among students as young as Primary grades. We also have plans of starting an awareness camp for conservation of the National Park,” Imon told EastMojo.
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