Bonyopran Sathi launched to support wildlife conservation
The Bengal Government’s Forest Department, in a unique bid to garner public support for wildlife conservation, has launched a project, Bonyopran Sathi (Honorary Wildlife Volunteer Service Programme), that offers wildlife enthusiasts to venture into core areas of forests, especially in north Bengal and the Sundarbans, to get real-life experiences on how to deal with animals.
The initiative was kicked off in north Bengal on November 26, in which 13 persons are being allowed to spend nights in as many as six core areas in the forests of Jaldapara, Gorumara and Buxa.
Visitors will be taken in small groups of 10 to 15 to six earmarked core areas of forests in north Bengal forest and the Sundarbans.
The visitors will stay with forest guards in camps, which will also give them the experience of keeping guard in the forest. Before a tour starts, they will be provided a day-long training on how to behave if they come close to an elephant, a leopard or a deer during their adventure. A team will be accompanied by two Forest Department officials, who will be experts in handling wild animals.
The programme, which was announced some months back, has already attracted a lot of wildlife enthusiasts, with the Forest Department website receiving as many as 128 applications. The programme is open only to residents of Bengal over the age of 18.