Forest Current Affairs - 2020

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Lai Haraoba Festival begins in Tripura

On January 2, 2020, the Lai Haraoba festival began in Tripura. The festival will be celebrated for 5 days. The festival is celebrated by the Meitei community. The community is spread across Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Myanmar and Bangladesh. However, the festival is widely celebrated in the state of Manipur.

Lai Haraoba Festival

Lai Haraoba festival is celebrated by Meitei people to please sacred trees called “Umang Lai”. They speak the language called “Meiteilon”.  The Lai Haraoba Festival in the state of Manipur is celebrated in the month of May.

Umang Lai

Umang Lai are the sacred trees that are preserved for the local forest deities. The trees have significant place in Sanamahism. The followers of the religion mainly worship elements of nature such as mountains, water and fire. According to 2011 census, around 8% of Manipur population are following Sanamahism.

Eighth Schedule of Constitution

There are 22 languages in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution. Article 346 says that Hindi in Devanagari script is the official language. However, English is also allowed to be used as official language.

The Language Meiteilon (also called Manipuri) is included in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution of India.

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Assam govt. sets up Anti Depredation Squads to avoid human-wildlife conflicts

The state government of Assam has set up 15 Anti-Depredation Squads of Forest department to deal with human-wildlife conflicts in state. The squads would help Forest Department to reduce casualties in conflict situations.

About Anti-Depredation Squads

These squads will be stationed in 15 major human-wildlife conflict districts of Assam to deal with problem and ensure the safety of both humans and animals. They will be equipped with all logistics required for mitigating conflict and will have 12 bore pump action guns and rubber bullet ammunition.

State Forest Department has engaged specially trained 50 front line staff to handle conflict situations with 100 more staff to be trained in coming days.

Need: The loss of lives of both humans and animals is unwarranted and squads must spread awareness about avoiding man-animal conflicts. There is also a need to bring casualties to zero by completely reducing man-animal conflict situations. Moreover, the peaceful coexistence is a must for both man and animals. and urged the people of the state to cooperate with the squads in spreading awareness about animal behaviour.

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