Forest Division Launches Awareness Programme For Tribals On Harmful Effects Of Forest Fires During Chaitra Parab

Suryanarayan Patnaik

Koraput: With Chaitra Parab around the corner, the Koraput forest division has launched an awareness programme against hunting and forest fire. During Chaitra Parab, the tribals have a tradition of hunting by setting fire to forests to frighten animals. They troop out of their dens only to make themselves easy prey to the revellers.

Officials said meetings are being organised with the help of the concerned Vana Surakhya Samitis (VSSs) in villages. The tribals are being made aware about the importance of forests and not to attack animals.
“Huge patches of forest land in the plains, hillocks and hills are being destroyed in fire during the Chaitra Parab celebration. We are interacting with tribal leaders and trying to make them aware about the importance of protecting forests for the sake of their own survival,” said Rinku Kumari, Divisional Forest Officer, Koraput.

The department held an awareness camp at Sakiaguda village under Semiliguda forest range on Monday. The forest department has also pressed an awareness vehicle into service. It moves from place to place in remote areas making people aware about the dangers involved in the way Chatra Parab is celebrated.
According to Forest Range Officer (Semiliguda) Chandrasen Pujari, though fire fighters are being deployed 24×7 in several areas, things get worse after sundown when the fire fighters find it really difficult to move in the forests.

“We hope that making people aware of the harmful effects of putting forests on fire will be more effective and things will work out,” said Pujari.

The villagers were given smokeless chullahas and saplings of various plants at the awareness camp.

Suryanarayan Patnaik

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