Record 1 million pledge to save Gujarat's pride
THE TIMES OF INDIA
Rajkot: In one of the biggest widllife conservation awarness programme, nearly 10 lakh people, mostly school children, marched through their respective villages in four districts of Saurashtra on Thursday and took a pledge to work for conservation of Asiatic lions till their last breath.
On the occasion of World Lions Day, students of nearly 5,000 schools in Junagadh, Bhavnagar, Amreli and Gir-Somnath districts, not only took the conservation pledge but also spread awareness about the importance of lions and Gir. The event made its way into the Asia Book of Records and the forest department has also approached the Guinness Book of World Records for most number of people taking a pledge for saving lions simultenously at multiple locations.
"In the run-up to World Lion Day, we had started a campaign to bring maximum people together and take a pledge for lion conservation. No where has a programme of this magnitude organized for conservation of a particular wildlife specie," said Ram Ratan Nala, deputy conservator of forest, Sasan. The school children and others sporting specially made lion masks organized the rallies and then participated in the awarness discussions held in their respective schools.
"Around 5,000 schools in 2,500 village of four districts had registered for this programme. Besides, special masks, we had also prepared literature like pamphlets and booklets on importance of Gir and lion conservation. One student in each school also read out a 10-minute speech that we had prepared and it was heard by all other students and teachers," said Nala. A 10-minute movie on Asatic lions was also screened in each and every school that was followed by discussion by teachers and students.