On April 7, 2023, President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the Gaj Utsav 2023 at the Kaziranga National Park. This event marked the 30th anniversary of Project Elephant, an important conservation initiative launched by the Indian government in 1992.
Significance of Gaj Utsav:
The Gaj Utsav 2023 is an important event in India that aims to raise awareness about the conservation of elephants and their habitats. It seeks to reduce human-elephant conflicts and ensure the welfare of captive elephants. The event is being celebrated at the Kaziranga National Park, which is known for its high population of Asian elephants.
The two-day event includes various activities such as cultural programs, elephant processions, exhibitions, and seminars. These activities are designed to engage the public and raise awareness about the importance of elephant conservation. The event also highlights the challenges faced by elephants in India due to habitat loss, fragmentation, poaching, and human-elephant conflicts.
During her speech, President Murmu highlighted the significant bond between nature and humanity, which is regarded as sacred. She emphasized that India has always identified itself with a culture of respecting nature. Our country has a unique connection between nature and culture, where both have been intertwined and nourishing each other. Elephants have been held in high esteem in our tradition, and are considered a symbol of prosperity. As the National Heritage Animal of India, safeguarding elephants is an essential element of our national duty to conserve our national heritage.
About Kaziranga National Park:
Kaziranga National Park is one of the oldest national parks in India, established in 1905. It covers an area of approximately 430 square kilometers and is home to the world’s largest population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses. Kaziranga is also home to other rare and endangered species such as the Bengal tiger, Asiatic elephant, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer. The park is situated in the floodplains of the Brahmaputra River and has a unique ecosystem that includes grasslands, swamps, and forests. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also a Tiger Reserve and an Important Bird Area. The park is a popular tourist destination and offers activities such as wildlife safaris, elephant rides, and birdwatching.
Despite its unique ecosystem and rich biodiversity, Kaziranga National Park faces various challenges such as habitat loss, poaching, and human-elephant conflicts. These challenges require constant attention and conservation efforts.
The Gaj Utsav 2023 at Kaziranga National Park serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving our natural heritage and protecting endangered species such as elephants. It is a call to action for individuals and organizations to work towards a more sustainable future for our planet.