New Delhi: Photographs have emerged of people hugging trees in Assam’s Dabaka district to protest against the government’s proposed plan of cutting around 6,000 Sal (a timber variety) trees, some of which are around 100 years old, to widen a national highway.
The protest is reminiscent of the 1970s Chipko Movement when demonstrators embraced trees to impede loggers.
The government proposes to turn a 13-km-long two-lane highway, which links Hojai to Karbi Anglong in Assam, into a four-lane stretch after chopping the trees. The two-lane highway cuts through the Dabaka reserve forest that is home to pangolins, porcupines, leopards, hornbills, and the endangered Hoolock Gibbon monkey, and is also an elephant corridor.
“We have submitted a memorandum to the PM, President of India and the CM at the DC office against the proposal to conduct the four-lane in Dabaka and we have been protesting for about a week now,” Jahangir Alam, general secretary of the All Assam Students’ Union’s Hojai unit, has been quoted as saying by EastMojo.
“This stretch is very important because the forest cover in the area has been decreasing at a very alarming rate, and the elephant-human conflict has increased,” Environmentalist Mubina Akhtar told EastMojo.
This constable is known as ‘Butterfly Man of Arunachal’
Roshan Upadhyaya, a constable with the Arunachal Pradesh Police, is popularly known as the state’s ‘Butterfly Man’ for capturing a record number (140 photos) of these insects through his lens and also discovering two new species.
Upadhyaya, along with his friend Minom Pertin, had helped add two species to India’s expanding list of butterflies — the Striped Hairstreak and Elusive Prince.
Upadhyaya took his first butterfly photograph in November 2017. Since then there has been no looking back. He has been named in the India Book of Records and the Asia Book of Records. Upadhyaya had also won the Butterfly Photography Competition organised by WWF in 2019.
“Behind all my success, there is one person who supported me throughout my journey, my best friend Minom Pertin. He is the one who brought me to this small and beautiful world of the flying jewel,” Upadhyaya told Arunachal24.in.
Assam woman named ‘Food Hero of India’ for fight against malnutrition
Basanti Baroova, a scholar and nutritionist from Assam, was recently conferred with the ‘Food Hero of India’ title by the Delhi-based Centre for Quality and Food Safety. Baroova was recognised for her attempts at reducing child malnutrition in the country.
The title was awarded to her in a virtual ceremony recently that was attended by officials from the Food and Agricultural Organisation and the Union food ministry.
She has worked with various state and central government bodies, including the Ministry of Social Welfare, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR). She also runs an NGO called Swadesh in Guwahati that works towards maternal and child nutrition.
Arunachal pushes for 12th-century Thembang village as UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Arunachal Pradesh government has extended its support to include the state’s 12th-century Thembang village in the final list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
This was announced by the state Art and Culture Minister Taba Tedir during his two-day visit to West Kameng district where the village is located.
The Thembang Heritage Village Council has also submitted a memorandum to the minister stating that the ancient village was nominated for UNESCO’s World Heritage Site status in 2014 but is yet to make it to the final list.
Thembang is situated at an elevation of 2,300 metres and is home to many historical structures, including the 12th century Dzong , which is a fortified building. According to an EastMojo report, none of the residents in Thembang own individual property inside the village. The age-old structures of Thembang have been maintained by the villagers using their traditional knowledge systems.