Assam villagers inform wetland’s tragic story by means of photographs

Rural guards honoured with art work depicting elephants negotiating a killer railway monitor

About six years in the past, dairy farmer Pramod Kalita felt he wanted to doc the deterioration of the wetland that sustained his forefathers and ensured ample meals for herds of elephants that will troop previous his village Chakardeo.

His casual group of 25 members pooled cash for 3 digital single-lens reflex cameras and went about clicking the elephants, timber, birds, boats, a large rubbish dump and warehouses and a “killer railway track skirting Deepor Beel, a freshwater lake on the south-western edge of Guwahati”.

Designated a Ramsar Site in 2002 and an Important Bird Area for sustaining a variety of aquatic life kinds moreover 219 species of birds, the beel has shrunk 35% because the Nineties. Its official space now’s 4,014 hectares of 15.5 sq. miles.

As India marked the seventy fifth I-Day on Sunday, a row of timber separating the southern fringe of Deepor Beel from a highway was a photograph exhibition gallery. Just a few feel-good footage apart, the present informed the tragic story of a once-rich and far bigger wetland.


“Fewer elephants come to the wetland than two-three decades ago because the wetland has lost or is losing at least five aquatic plants and reeds the animals gorged on. The number of fishermen has come down from 850 to some 100 because the water is contaminated,” Mr. Kalita mentioned.

To make issues worse, picnic spots, snacks retailers and eateries alongside the highway have contributed to the littering of the wetland.

Five inexperienced teams — Midway Journey, Earthful Foundation, Fridays for Future, Climate Front India, North East Development Agency and Xondhan — acquired collectively to clear and segregate the trash across the picture exhibition ‘gallery’ on Sunday.

They honoured some “haati bondhus” (mates of elephants), aged residents of villages within the neighborhood, who hold a watch on the pachyderms throughout their motion between the elevated Rani Reserve Forest and Deepor Beel.

Romila Boro, Hareswar Tumung and Bijoy Rabha had been every given a framed art work depicting elephants negotiating the killer monitor.

“The drawings were by children of an institute,” mentioned Bijoyinee Sarma of Earthful Foundation.

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