GUWAHATI: In a bid to improve livelihood opportunities for women from marginalised communities near the Laokhowa-Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary, a five-day workshop on water hyacinth crafts proved to be a resounding success.
Organised by Aaranyak, a conservation organisation for biodiversity, in collaboration with several key partners, including the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve Authority, the workshop aimed to develop the skills of 25 women from the Borunguri-Bongaon area.
Conducted from December 25-29, the initiative sought to reduce their dependence on forest resources and provide alternative livelihood opportunities to promote conservation efforts.
The International Rhino Foundation, a US-based conservation agency, extended support to the workshop, stressing on the importance of empowering communities and fostering sustainability.
“Empowering communities! @aaranyak, in collaboration with LBCS and Forest Dept, hosts a Water Hyacinth Product Skill Training for EDCs of Laokhowa Bongaon and Barunguri Bongaon. Building skills, fostering sustainability!”, shared the Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve on a microblogging platform on December 26.
The water hyacinth craft skills not only empower women by improving their livelihoods but also contribute to conservation efforts by creatively transforming an invasive plant into marketable products.
The programme witnessed the participation of key figures such as SK Gupta and R Gogoi from the Laokhuwa Burhachapori WLS, Smarajit Ozha from the Laokhowa-Burhachapori Conservation Society, Arif Hussain from Aaranyak, and Bonojit Lalung and Abhijit Bordoloi, Members of Bongaon and Borunguri EDC.
The Laokhowa Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary, renowned for its diverse flora and fauna, provides a habitat for the Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal tiger, and various bird species.
The protected area, with its grasslands, wetlands, and the Brahmaputra River, is a hotbed of biodiversity conservation activities in the region.