PASIGHAT, 3 May: The airgun surrender abhiyan launched by the state government to save wildlife has received overwhelming response in East Siang district with more than 500 persons depositing their guns to the forest department since its launch in March.
Divisional Forest Officer (T) Tashi Mize said the local people are now realizing the adverse effects of wildlife hunting on the ecosystem.
The DFO said his department is planning to submit a proposal for a fruit plantation scheme as a rehabilitation measure for the people who have surrendered their airguns.
This correspondent spoke to a number of villagers of East Siang who have surrendered their airguns. The villagers said they have surrendered their guns to support the forest department’s effort to protect wildlife, especially birds and small animals.
“I call upon the community members to surrender their guns and join the movement for wildlife conservation,” Takeng Tatak, a villager from Ruksin, said.
Thomas Panyang from Ralung village and John Panggeng and Katem Paron from Ngorlung village in Ruksin circle also echoed the same sentiment for conservation of wildlife.
They also called for a fruit plantation scheme as a “compensatory measure” which, if granted, will not only benefit them but also provide food and shelter to the wild birds and animals.
Forest Minister Mama Natung initiated the airgun surrender abhiyan in March this year to check rampant hunting of wildlife.
The forest department of East Siang on 3 April organized a programme at JN College auditorium here, where more than 300 airguns were surrendered before Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Natung, local MLAs and top forest officials.