Guwahati: Students of the Geography Department of Devi Charan Barua Girls College, Jorhat participated in Aaranyak’s Journey for Learning programme at Bhuyanpara of Manas National Park.
The objective of the field trip was to learn about the area of Manas National Park from the perspective of disaster.
The three day long programme started from December 22-24 at Manas Conservation and Outreach Center (MCOC) of Aaranyak at Manas National Park. It included a series of field activities and theory sessions for experiential learning.
On the first day, the students had a session on the importance of Geography on field and how to carry out field activities by Jayanta Kumar Sarma of Aaranyak.
Sarma talked about the importance of being observant on the field so as to be able to grab any minute details of the surroundings and keeping records of the observations through photographs, drawing and notes respectively for their understanding.
The session helped the students during the village walk which was the next on field activity arranged for the students. The students walked along the borders of Manas National Park in the Bhuyanpara Range entering the fringe village of Bamankhal. The students experienced the Bodo cultural and natural landscape and also interacted with the Bodo community.
The day ended with theoretical sessions on the terrain of the area and some root causes of natural disasters in the area.
The national award winning non-feature environmental film of Aaranyak ‘Manas and People’ was also screened later in the evening.
The second day started with the sound-scape mapping, view-scape mapping and drawing in the border of Manas National Park followed by briefing of household surveys by Sarma and GPS and GIS orientation and field activity by Gayatri Dutta from Aaranyak.
The students were given hands-on training and practical experiences on the use of GPS and QGIS.
The students were also introduced to household surveys in the nearby villages of Korebari and Bhuyanpara of Manas National Park.
On the third day, the students went for a park safari at the Bhuyanpara Range of Manas National Park.
Other activities carried out during the day were the Participatory Rural Appraisal, and Focused Group Discussion with the community of Bhuyanpara where the students acquired a deep understanding of the physical and social Geography of the village.
Bobby Nath, the Manager (Administration) of Aaranyak briefed about Aaranyak’s overall interventions on biodiversity conservation and people’s well-being.
The students were also exposed to another important topic Solar and Bio-fencing in Manas National Park for Human-Elephant Conflict mitigation by Aaranyak’s Anjan Baruah.
At the end of the day, ‘The Sons of Abotani’ film was screened followed by a quiz and feedback session.
Journey for Learning (J4L) is a community based eco-cultural tourism initiative of Aaranyak that focuses on experiential learning for nature enthusiasts.