Arunachal gets its first ‘Airgun-free village’

Rupa: The Jungpam village in West Kameng district has been declared as the first ‘Airgun-free village’ of Arunachal Pradesh after all its inhabitants gave up their air rifles during the Airgun Surrender Abhiyan held here on Sunday.

More than 160 people from the Shergaon, Bomdila, Khellong and Jungpam villages surrendered their airguns and chainsaws on the day and assured their support to the campaign.

The ‘Air Gun Surrender Abhiyan’ is an initiative of the state government to dissuade hunting and create awareness on the ill-effects of killing wildlife. Air guns are commonly used by the people in the state to hunt birds.

State environment and forest minister Mama Natung, who has been spearheading the movement, appreciated the people for their overwhelming response and cooperation to the government’s call for saving wildlife.

He also appreciated the services rendered by various community based organizations, NGOs and others towards the conservation and preservation of forest and wildlife.

Besides thanking the individuals who voluntarily came forward to surrender their guns and chainsaws, the minister also appreciated the Singchung Bugun Village Community Reserve and the Biodiversity Management Committee, Shergaon.

The two organizations were recognized with the National Community Conservation Award and India Biodiversity Award in 2018 and 2021, respectively, and have been playing a prominent role in protecting and promoting wildlife conservation.

The organizations and individuals and those who voluntarily surrendered their airguns on the day were also felicitated by Natung.

Thrizino-Buragaon MLA and advisor to the minister, Kumsi Sidisow also appreciated the protection and conservation efforts of the villagers and assured to take the Airgun Surrender Abhiyan to all the districts of the state.

“The campaign has been receiving positive attention across the state and country,” he said.

Union Minister of State for Forest, Environment and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey had earlier this month announced that the Airgun Surrender Abhiyan would be launched across the country.

He had also assured to rope in retired forest workers and representatives of social organizations to make the campaign successful.

Among others, MLAs Phurpa Tsering, Nyamar Karbak, Dorjee Wangdi Kharma, Nyato Dukum, and Dongru Siongju, principal chief conservator of forests R K Singh, West Kameng deputy commissioner Karma Leki, SP B Reddy, other officers and officials from the forest department, gaon buras (village chiefs) and public leaders took part in the event.

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