President Draupadi Murmu will inaugurate the two-day ‘Gaj Utsav’ on April 7 at Kaziranga National Park in Assam to mark the successful completion of 30 years of ‘Project Elephant’. Union Minister Ashwini Choubey gave this information on Friday.
In the festival, Union Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Bhupendra Yadav, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Forest Ministers of all elephant-dominated states, forest officials, representatives of local communities, NGO representatives, and school children, etc. will participate.
The elephant is protected as a national heritage animal under Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act, of 1972.
Choubey said, “The state of Assam houses the second largest wild elephant population in India and has a large number of elephants that are under human care. Thus, it is fitting to celebrate Gaja Utsav 2023 at Kaziranga in Assam. Under the canopy of elephants India’s remarkable efforts towards the conservation of biological resources will also be showcased during the festival.”
“As people’s participation has given more impetus to the conservation efforts, the objective of the festival is to raise awareness about the environment, forests, and climate change,” he added.
Choubey further said that as part of the Gaja Utsav celebrations and to spread the message of the protection and conservation of elephants, various programs and events such as walkathons, wildlife awareness rallies, and nature camps for students and children, schools in nearby protected areas, Guided visits of children to areas/zoological parks, painting and debating competitions, etc. will be organized in all the elephant reserves of the country.
“The ministry is taking wildlife conservation to new heights. We are adopting science and technology to improve wildlife management. India will always be a safe haven for elephants to cherish our rich nature-culture relationship.” Choubey said.