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Orchid blooms in Kaziranga National Park

GUWAHATI: Kaziranga National Park of Assam has opened the door for tourists next month with another attraction other than the much watched one horned rhino. This time it’s an Orchid park cum Biodiversity Conservation Centre.

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee, the farmers’ Rights body of Assam, which is famous for its anti-dam protests, land patta movement has once again proved that it is not only the protests that they are identified with. The organisation led by RTI activist Akhil Gogoi is the sole organisation to establish the Kaziranga Orchid Park and Biodiversity Conservation centre at Durgapur Village in Kohora range of the famous national park.

Homen Borgohain, famous literary figure of Assam inaugurated the Orchid Park cum Biodiversity Conservation Centre. Notably, Homen Borgohain is one of the writers of India who have just returned their literary awards in protest against demising freedom and communal fabrication of the country.

Inaugurating the Kaziranga Orchid Park cum and Biodiversity Conservation Centre Homen Borgohain said, “KMSS has shown the right way to protest against ill elements of the society. This is a movement to stand against all odds and keep the good works doing. This is true nationalism.”

The Orchid Park, comprises an area of 16 bigha of land houses 500 orchid species found in Northeast, 200 varieties of paddy, medicinal plants which are fast becoming extinct, various types of local flowers and fruits. It also has a photo gallery of 500 orchids, a green house, lakes with boating and angling facilities, small tree houses, among other attractions.

“Our aim is to conserve the local varieties of orchids, flowers, fruits, fish and our colourful ethnic culture and spread knowledge about them. Those visiting the park will not only be able to see these collections but also taste juices of local fruits, pithas (local cakes) and enjoy the Borgeet and Xattriya dance performances as well,” KMSS leader Kamal Kumar Medhi added.

The KMSS has been spearheading agitation since 2005 and have been demanding land to the landless farmers, irrigation facilities and opposing transfer of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. “We have already provided employment to 60 local villagers and have engaged some English-speaking Assamese youths who will guide and share information about our orchid and rich biodiversity with tourists visiting the park,” said KMSS adviser and peasants’ rights leader Akhil Gogoi .

The Kaziranga National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage Site normally remains open for tourists and other visitors from November to March. Apart from rhinos and tigers, the 800 square km-park has elephants, wild buffalos, swamp deer, hog bears, sambhars, wild boars among other animals and birds.

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