When sometimes some gifts are best not given
DIMAPUR, AUGUST 18
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s tradition goes amongst the Nagas presenting a gift to VVIPs/VIPs is a mark of respect and if this gift is wildlife it is deemed that the gift is more precious both by the recipient and the bearer of the gift. But like the lyrics of a Bob Dylan song ‘the times they are a changing’. Neither are all gifts to VVIPs/VIPs devoid of motives but some leaders have begun to take a stand against them atleast and this sometimes extends to gift which come wrapped as wildlife.
One such case came to light on Sunday when the Deputy Speaker of Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA), Er Levi Rengma was presented with two endangered civet cats and a barking deer (Indian Munjak) by some villagers from his constituency on two separate occasions recently.
The Deputy Speaker set an example by not consuming the animals and instead decided to handover the endangered species to Nagaland Zoological Park (NZP), Dimapur.
Talking to Eastern Mirror at his Dimapur residence this afternoon, the independent legislator from Tseminyu A/C said he had accepted both the gifts having the intention to hand it over to zoo keepers. He feared that the endangered species could be killed for consumption if he didn’t receive it.
He explained that the two civet cats were gifted by a person known to him from Kasha village under Tseminyu sub-division. It was told that the villager himself had reared the endangered species for some months before gifting it to him (MLA) couple of weeks back. The barking deer was given by a woman (unknown to him) from Logwesunu village just last week in Dimapur.
Now that the rare species would be handed over to the zoo officials, the NLA Dy Speaker, who is not averse to campaigning for wildlife preservation, is at peace knowing that the creatures are in safe hands.
He has the message that “it should be a concerted effort from everyone to preserve our wildlife species.”
“Killing of animals and birds in Nagaland has been in random till date. I feel it’s high time that the government comes up with strong measures for protection of wildlife,” Rengma said adding that awareness also has to be created among the villagers.
Citing an instance, the Dy Speaker said some of the villagers at times were forced to hunt to protect their fields from being destroyed. On the same note, he suggested that the government should come up with concrete methods to protect the villagers from this kind of unwanted occurrence.
After observing that many villagers engage in hunting allegedly for income, Rengma feels that the rural economy has to be lifted first which he said the government needs to seriously pay attention to.
“Once the rural economy improves our efforts towards wildlife preservation and forests conservation will become much easier,” he said.
The wildlife species are being handed over to the Nagaland Zoological Park (NZP) officials on Monday, when Er Rengma visits the Park.
The officer in-charge of NZP, Obed Swu, who was also present today, expressed appreciation on the step taken by the Deputy Speaker.
He hoped that this will set an example for other legislators and the public and provide a message towards “wildlife conservation”.