GUWAHATI : More than 2,000 airguns and some rifles have so far voluntarily surrendered by those who have vowed not to voluntarily hunt birds and animals. Arunachal Pradesh Environment and Forests Minister Mama Natung said. Natung said community hunting has existed in Arunachal Pradesh for centuries. We did not make laws and forced our people. Instead, we created awareness and asked them to voluntarily surrender their guns and airguns. More than 2,0 airguns and some rifles have surrendered till date, a major success for the operation. This campaign should not be confined to Arunachal Pradesh alone, the entire country should follow this model for a better future, Natung said in Silchar.
Mama Natung said that the programme is completely voluntary with the objective of connecting people with the concept of conservation in a gradual manner. “We want to create awareness about conservation,” Natung said. In Arunachal, 80 per cent of the area of 83,743 square kilometres is covered with forests. About 500 species of birds and animals are found here. Perhaps many are not known. If we continue to kill them, our forests will be destroyed. Assam Forest Minister Parimal Sukalbedya said he would propose to the state government to build a new wildlife sanctuary in southern Assam with an area of 320 square kilometres, also known as Barak Valley.
The States of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in the North-East have shown a way to the entire country to save animals and birds. Hunting of wildlife and birds in Arunachal Pradesh has been a part of its history and culture. But now the ‘Airgun Surrender Campaign’ here has raised new hopes of wildlife conservation. Since the launch of the campaign in March, people have voluntarily returned more than 2,000 airguns.