April 24, 2017
A Welfare Camp for Tonga Community was held at Nalanda University’s Ajatshatru Residence Hall ground from April 21-22, 2017. The camp included sessions on disaster preparedness and health check-up camp for horses and was organised by Project Anwesha, comprising a team of students and mentors from Nalanda University. It was organised in collaboration with Nalanda University, Dalai Lama Fellows Foundation, People For Animals Trust (PFA), Animal and Fisheries Resource Department, Govt. of Bihar, and UNICEF.
Shri Awadhesh Kumar Singh, Hon’ble Minister Animal Resources and Fisheries Department, Government of Bihar inaugurated the camp on April 21 at Ajatshatru.
Inaugurating the camp, Shri Singh, said, “Rajgir is a beautiful and historical town whose true beauty can be experienced only in a Tonga ride. A welfare camp for the Tonga Community is thus very significant for the town. The people of Bihar have very high expectations from the University and an event like this proves that the University can live up to such expectations.”
Professor Pankaj Mohan, the Interim Vice Chancellor, welcomed the dignitaries and said that this event is in keeping with the ancient Nalanda’s tradition of forging close relationship with the neighbouring villages and living in harmony with nature.
K. Chandramoorthi, Officiating Registrar, Nalanda University in his address said, “Events like this welfare camp are the community outreach efforts that build the relationship of the University with the people of Rajgir and we hope that the Tonga Community benefits from it.”
Dr. Prasad A. Pathak, Assistant Professor, School of Ecology and Environment and Faculty In-charge of Rajgir Archaeological Survey Project introduced Project Anwesha and explained how the skill development programmes planned for the three days would benefit the Tonga Community. Mr. Abinash Mohanty, the student who had ideated Project Anwesha shared that for him the Tonga Community is in a way the identity of Rajgir and that is why he took up a project that focused on this community.
Ms. Vasudha Gupta, President of PFA, Patna said, “Gandhiji had said that you can judge how developed a country is by seeing the condition of its animals. I hope that we become aware of the need to focus on animal welfare and such camps become a regular feature.”
Mr. Baleshwar, the President of the Tonga Association, also spoke on behalf of the Tonga community and shared his experiences of ferrying tourists from various parts of India over the years and expressed his hope that more such efforts are made to improve the working condition of the community.
On the first day the major event was a health check-up camp for horses at Ajatshatru by PFA and Department of Health Bihar Government. On the second day sessions were held for Tonga Community as well as students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Rajgir on Disaster Preparedness. These sessions were led by Inspector Vinay Kumar and his team from National Disaster Response Force. Inspector Kumar also gave training in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation and First Aid. Dr. Pushpa Kumar Lakshmanan, Mentor of Anwesha and Associate Professor, School of Ecology and Environment School at Nalanda University was also a part of these sessions.
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