Families In Assam Village Voluntarily Relocate To Provide Safe Passage For Elephants

13/11/2015 9:45 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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The Indian Elephant, (Elephas maximus indicus), is one of four subspecies of the Asian Elephant, the largest population of which is found in India.

NEW RAM TERANG, Assam -- Marking a milestone in efforts to secure a crucial elephant corridor in the Northeast, residents of Ram Terang village in Assam's Karbi Anglong district now have a new address - New Ram Terang village.

All 19 families of Ram Terang have willingly and voluntarily decided to relocate outside the Kalapahar-Daigrung elephant corridor to provide safe passage for elephants, according to Wildlife Trust of India assistant Manager Awareness for Conservation Subhamoy Bhattacharjee today.

The New Ram Terang Village was yesterday dedicated to the memory of Mark Shand, the founder of the Elephant Family well-known for its work for welfare of Asian elephants, Bhattacharjee said.

The colourful ceremony began with a traditional welcome function followed by unveiling of terracotta reliefs dedicated to Mark Shand and inauguration of a traditional totem pole.

Overwhelmed by the efforts, inspiration and enthusiasm of people, WTI, forest official and CEO of Elephant Family Ruth Powys said, "An entire new village comes to fruition today. We have solved a problem both for elephants and people".

The Ram Terang village is located in the middle of a natural corridor used by the elephants to move between Kalapahar and Daigrung-Nambor Wildlife Sanctuary in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape.

It took almost 5 years of efforts by a dedicated team of WTI officials to persuade the villagers of Ram Terang to shift to a new place, Bhattacharjee revealed.

The villagers will move into the new houses at Christmas time.

At a distance of 6km from the village is Tokolangso from where 23 households are willing to relocate now that they are convinced, the WTI official said.

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