Orphan rhino update: Indian schoolchildren donate lunch funds for milk formula

Assam School

In one of the most touching displays of support for flood-affected wildlife, students of a remote school in Golaghat, Assam, decided to put their lunch money towards a worthy cause.

They donated the value of the day’s lunch provided through a government program for milk formula, deciding to eat at home instead that day.

The beneficiaries: the eight orphaned rhino calves under care at the wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility run by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Wildlife Trust of India and the Assam Forest Department.

Established in 1971, the school, Nepali Khuti Banuwa Prathamik Bidyalaya, is located in the Kuruwabahi Gaon Panchayat, Bokakhat sub-division, Golaghat district; it has 172 students (pre-primary to Class V) of which 137 are enrolled in the government’s mid-day meal programme.

Teachers informed the children about the rescued rhino calves, and the devastation caused in Kaziranga National Park by this year’s floods, during a conservation awareness session during their weekly extra-curricular ‘Saturday Club’.

“I feel proud that my students felt deeply for the baby rhinos and made a sacrifice in support of conservation. It shows a true nobility of spirit,” said Bubul Dutta, the school headmaster.

Vivek Menon, visited the school today and presented appreciation certificates to each student, teacher and administrator of the school for their wonderful gesture. “We’ve received overwhelming local support for the flood-affected wildlife housed at the centre. I have to say, however, that this is the most heart-warming contribution of all. I am deeply touched,” said wildlife rescue centre head Dr Rathin Barman.

Appreciating the school’s efforts, Bipin Rajkhowa, chairman of the school managing committee acknowledged the contribution of Uma Acharjee, Charumani Bora and Madhurima Das, the teachers who organised the Saturday Club session on the rhinos’ situation.

--SB

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