Gaj Yatra launched in Garo Hills of Meghalaya
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) rolled out ‘Gaj Yatra’, an awareness campaign to protect elephants from Tura in Garo Hills of Meghalaya. It was organised by the Wildlife Trust of India in collaboration with the State Forest Department.
Under this campaign, an elephant mascot will be taken across districts frequented by jumbo herds for generating awareness among the people. It was launched to acknowledged good gesture of villagers from Garo Hills who had set aside part of their community-owned land to create village reserve forests for human-elephant harmony.
Gaj Yatra is 18-month-long national campaign aimed to protect elephants, India’s national heritage animal in 12 elephant range states. It was launched in August 2017 by Environment and Forest Minister Harsh Vardhan on the occasion of World Elephant Day 2017 (observed on August 12).
The campaign is being led by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). It aims to involve people from all walks of life in conservation of elephants. Under this campaign, WTI is securing 101 elephant corridors across in 12 elephant range states through its Right to Passage project, in partnership with Union government’s Project Elephant, state forest departments and various NGOs. The aim this project is to rehabilitate people affected by man-elephant conflict in corridor areas while ensuring uninterrupted movement of elephants between key habitats.