Guwahati, Dec 29: A remarkable initiative aimed at enhancing livelihood opportunities for marginalized women in the Borunguri-Bongaon region, surrounding the Laokhowa-Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary within the renowned Kaziranga Tiger Reserve of Assam, concluded with a five-day workshop on water hyacinth crafts. The workshop witnessed enthusiastic participation and was organized to reduce the dependence of women from fringe communities on forest resources. This initiative, geared towards fostering alternative livelihood opportunities and promoting conservation efforts, was shared by Aaranyak’s publicity secretary, Bijay Sankar Bora.
The workshop for marginalized women from Laokhowa Burhachapori WLS was a collaborative effort involving various entities, including Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve Authority, Laokhowa Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagaon Wildlife Division, Nagaon Girls College, and Laokhowa Burhachapori Conservation Society. The International Rhino Foundation, a US-based conservation agency, provided crucial support for the program, with the noble goal of developing the skills of 25 participating women.
Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve highlighted the event on December 26, stating, “Empowering communities! @aaranyak, in collaboration with LBCS and Forest Dept, hosts a Water Hyacinth Product Skill Training for EDCs of Laokhowa Bongaon and Barunguri Bongaon. Building skills, fostering sustainability!”
The training not only empowers women economically by imparting water hyacinth craft skills but also contributes to conservation by repurposing an invasive plant into marketable products. This sustainable approach aims to reduce environmental impact while promoting economic independence through creative resource utilization.
The program, held from December 25-29, was graced by prominent figures including SK Gupta and R Gogoi from Laokhuwa Burhachapori WLS, Smarajit Ozha from Laokhowa-Burhachapori Conservation Society, Arif Hussain from Aaranyak’s Rhino Research and Conservation Division, and Bonojit Lalung and Abhijit Bordoloi, members of Bongaon and Borunguri EDC.
The Laokhowa Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary, known for its rich flora and fauna, encompasses grasslands, wetlands, and the Brahmaputra River. It serves as a habitat for the Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal tiger, and various bird species, contributing significantly to biodiversity conservation.