The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) recently distributed solar energy equipments to approximately 25 thousand households in Mayudia, Arunachal Pradesh. The main aim of the project, carried out in conjunction with the state’s Environment and Forest department, was to address the power problems in the area. However, it was also expected that the distribution would help lessen the gaps existing in the Hoolock Gibbon Translocation Project as well as the Asiatic black bear rehabilitation program, which are being executed at the Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary. Mayudia is located in the Mishmi hill range – the families, which received the solar equipments, were provided a solar panel, a table lamp, a unit of chargeable multipurpose battery and an emergency light.
According to Sunil Kyarong, the regional head and deputy director of WTI, the beneficiaries received the facilities at an event named ‘interaction for Conservation Awareness and Distribution of Solar Equipment’. At present, people in Tiwari Gaon, which is located in the vicinity of the Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, have been carrying out the conservation, rehabilitation and translation projects for the bears and Hoolock Gibbons. Napi Umpo, the headman of the said village, has revealed that the people over there face substantial power crisis and they would be greatly benefited by the said donation. He has also pointed out how the villagers have been supporting the various wildlife programs in spite of such issues.
The function for awareness and distribution was attended by the Range Officer of Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, Obian Jonkey and the assistant manager of WTI, Soumya Dasgupta. The wildlife activists of the village were also in attendance during that meeting. With this program the Arunachal Pradesh forest department and WTI have continued their emphasis on the various issues pertaining to conservation and spread awareness regarding the same among the villagers. These programs are also helping to build up consciousness about what is good for wildlife and natural resources in Arunachal Pradesh. Such initiatives are also praiseworthy considering the fact that animals such as West African Black Rhinoceros are becoming extinct at a rather worrying rate.
With the present condition surrounding energy resources across the world – especially their availability and environmental viability in the long run – one also feels that such initiatives will help to build up consciousness regarding use of sustainable forms of energy such as solar energy. The spread of electrical instruments using such energy among the economically lowest sections of the society would also ensure that people are more interested in using them rather than the conventional ones. May be, with some luck this awareness can also spread to the more urban centers and people are interested in giving solar energy a run!