Shri Prakash Javadekar
Honorable Minister Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)
Indira Paryavaran Bhawan,
New Delhi - 110 003.
16th May, 2020
Subject: Concerns about diversion of land in Dihing Patkai Elephant Reserve for coal mining
Hon'ble Shri Prakash Javadekar and to the Members of the National Board for Wild Life,
We write to you as scientists, academicians, filmmakers, artists, allied professionals and concerned citizens with respect to the diversion of 98.59 ha of Saleki Proposed Reserved Forest (PRF), which is a part of the Dihing Patkai Elephant Reserve (DPER), for the Tikok OCP coal mining project by North-Eastern Coal Field and Coal India Limited (CIL). We refer to this matter (F.No.6-2/2020 WL, dtd: 20.04.2020, agenda no 2, with action report: 54.4.3) from the 57th meeting of the Standing Committee of National Board of Wildlife that was held on 7th April 2020 through a video conference. This is a matter of deep concern to us as Dihing Patkai is considered as the last remaining Dipterocarp-dominated lowland rainforests (Upper Assam Dipterocarpus-Mesua forest with the Critically Endangered tree species Vatica lanceaefolia
) of India, harbouring a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. We would like to put on record our concerns about this unique rainforest for your kind consideration:
Biodiversity value of DPER
The DPER is an integral part of a larger landscape under the Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Digboi and Dum Duma Forest Division covering an area of 937 sq km. The project includes almost 100 hectares of forestland which lies under the Eastern Himalaya and the Indo-Burma global biodiversity hotspots. Research studies (by Dr. Kashmira Kakati, one of the signatories of this letter) through camera trapping reveal the presence of seven species of wild cats in the DPER landscape, which is the highest diversity of wild cats found anywhere in the world. This includes Schedule-I and Endangered species such as the tiger Panthera tigris
and other rare and vulnerable carnivore species such as the clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa
, Asiatic golden cat Catopuma temminckii
and marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata
. Malayan sun bear Helarctos malayanus
is a bear species occurring in Dihing Patkai, which is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List (Kakati 2012).
In addition, the DPER harbors more than 50 mammal species, 350 bird species, 310 butterfly species, 70 species of reptiles and amphibians, 40 species of odonates, 94 tree species and more than 107 orchid species. Namsang Kukri Snake Oligodon erythrorhachis
, an endemic species to Eastern Assam – E. Arunachal Pradesh, is also found in the Dihing Patkai landscape. Butterflies inhabiting primary forest such as Assam Threering Ypthima fusca
, Assam Lancer Isma bonata
, Cantlei’s Fourring Ypthima cantlei
are endemic to the Dihing Patkai landscape and nearby Arunachal Pradesh. Coal mining may result in extinction of these species.
Many of these species are placed under Schedule-I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972. Furthermore, extensive field research by Dr. Narayan Sharma, Cotton University on seven primate species found in DPER affirms that arboreal species require unfragmented patches of forest land. Of these, the extremely arboreal primate species the western hoolock gibbon Hoolock hoolock
and the Bengal slow loris Nycticebus bengalensis
are classified as Endangered (IUCN Redlist) and Schedule-I species (Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972), respectively. DPER also contains 12 bird species that are of High Conservation Concern according to the State of India’s Birds 2020 (SoIB 2020) report. The report was released in February 2020 at the Convention for Migratory Species COP in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, by 10 Governmental and non-Governmental institutions. DPER, therefore, has one of the highest concentrations of nationally important species in any protected area in the country. These species include the white-winged duck and the chestnut-backed laughingthrush, for which the DPER area forms one of the last remaining habitats, making the region one of utmost priorities for conservation.
In 2018, the Assam Forest Department (AFD) and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) estimated around 25 individuals of white winged duck in Dihing Patkai and 20-25 in Nameri; and about 150 individuals in Assam overall, listed Endangered by IUCN Red List with its population showing a decreasing trend.
In addition, there are four tree-cavity nesting species of hornbills, including the extremely rare Austen’s brown hornbill Anorrhinus austeni
(High Concern in SoIB 2020), which is currently known to have a viable population only in DPER and Namdapha National Park and nowhere else in India
. Critical nesting habitat for Austen’s brown hornbill is found in DPER. All the four hornbill species are Schedule I species, and two of the larger species – the great hornbill Buceros bicornis
and wreathed hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus
– are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List 2018. The wreathed hornbill is also classified as a species of High Concern in SoIB 2020. DPER has species that are of great cultural value to the citizens of Assam, namely the Hollong Dipterocarpus macrocarpus
(state tree), fox-tail orchid Rhyncostylis retusa
(state flower) and the white-winged duck (state bird).
Opaqueness about processes related to habitat fragmentation, violations and mitigation plans
The Minutes of the Meeting do not provide the detailed findings of the report submitted by elephant specialist Prof. Raman Sukumar to the Ministry on the proposed project. Although his views appear to have been considered, there is no more than a paragraph of his comments in the minutes. He has commented on the fragmentation of forest-land by the User Agency, where he calls for preservation of the basic integrity of this forested hill slope. He has advocated a cautious approach in the proposed unbroken area of 41.39 ha, which is on a steep hill slope that is part of the Dihing Patkai Elephant Reserve and adjoins the Deomali Elephant Reserve in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh with a sizeable population of elephants.
Based on Prof. Sukumar’s observations and the past destruction of 57.20 ha of forestland by the User Agency, it remains unclear the reasons for the decisions taken by the NBWL.
The Minutes acknowledge there has been past violation whereby mining has been carried out without permission. However, it does not appear from the Minutes, that the User Agency has been categorically asked to stop mining in the broken-up area of 57.20 ha of forestland. From newspaper reports
, it appears that fines have been imposed, which would presumably mean that mining has been permitted with a penalty. In addition, it appears that a revised site-reclamation plan has been sought from the User Agency. The Minutes do not clarify whether mining will be stopped after the site reclamation of this already- mined (broken-up area) and whether the area will be under the control of the Assam Forest Department. Given its importance for elephants and wildlife, and the clear violation and illegality of mining carried out without prior permission, the broken-up area should be handed over by the User Agency post site reclamation to the Assam Forest Department for recovery and restoration. Tacit approval of past violations, as recorded in the Minutes without details, is unfortunate, and the legality of such a decision remains questionable. It is to be noted that according to the latest news reports, the area that has been broken up is not just 57.2 ha, but is now actually higher (73 ha).
The details of the proposal are not available in the Wildlife Clearance system under the Parivesh website. However, there is a record of this project in Parivesh under Forest Clearance (prior to 2014), whereby it appears that Stage I Forest Clearance has been granted to the User Agency in December 2019 by the FAC. The FAC letter had asked the User Agency to get NBWL clearance for Stage II permissions; however, the User Agency appeared to have started the wildlife clearance process in July 2019, and site visits of the NBWL were complete before the FAC letter was issued.
In the NBWL Minutes, the decision recorded for the unbroken area of 41.39 ha is ambiguous, suggesting that ‘the matter will be considered after the User Agency submits a feasibility report for underground mining’
, and pending a compliance report that fulfils all other conditions laid down in a meeting with CIL officials on 21 January 2020. This leaves the door open for allowing new ‘underground mining’ in the unbroken area, despite the past violations and the importance of the area for elephants and wildlife as recorded based on a site visit by Dr. Sukumar.
The details of violations and illegalities that have occurred needs to be thoroughly investigated and documented.
This is especially pertinent given that DPER supports a healthy population of the endangered Schedule-I Indian Elephants that are regarded as the 'National Heritage Animal of India' and are wide-ranging species that move across the landscape. As the coal mining project is located in biodiversity rich tropical rainforests of Upper Assam and the area is known to be a corridor for elephants (Saleki PRF of DPER), the project will hinder their natural movements, and further fragmentation and disturbance would only result in conflict with the surrounding human settlements. A thorough and publicly accessible study is needed to understand why and to what extent this habitat has been shrinking as this is likely to escalate human-elephant conflict at the detriment of both wildlife and people. More broadly, it is pertinent to consider here whether extractive industries that are decidedly harmful to forests, wildlife, and the environment, are to be permitted within a designated Elephant Reserve. The policy implications of such a decision can clearly extend beyond the specifics of this case to have damaging consequences for Elephant Reserves across the country.
Impact of the Coal Mining Project
It is in public knowledge that Saleki PRF currently suffers from pressures related to illegal logging and poaching. We greatly fear that this will be compounded by the mining pressure, thereby creating severe problems for the wildlife as well as the indigenous inhabitants of the landscape. The affected will include Assamese communities, particularly Tai Phake, Khamyang, Khampti, Singpho, Nocte, Ahom, Kaibarta, Moran, Motok, Burmese, Tea-tribes (Adivasi tribes) and Nepali communities. Further, acidic mine-drainage mainly comprises residual water owing to pyrite and the runoff from OBDs containing shales; also contaminates groundwater, surface-water including rivers, and soils. This anticipated water pollution will put the lives of the communities and wildlife alike in the vicinity, at a grave risk impacting their health. In October 2009, a regional NGO (Purbanchal Welfare Organization), had made a representation to the Ministry on the adverse impacts of mining in the Makum Coalfields on the groundwater, rainfall, forests, etc.
Once such complex ecosystems are lost and habitat connectivity is disrupted, it will be irreplaceable. We urge you to give concerned citizens like us better clarity on the way this decision was made especially considering that these decisions were taken through a video conferencing set up that do not allow for substantive discussion and examination of documents.
In the light of the concerns and facts placed before you, we hope that under your leadership, the honorable NBWL members will reconsider the approval given for the coal mining project in the already-mined broken-up area, and unambiguously decline wildlife clearance in the unbroken area. These steps are critical to preventing further destruction and damage in the threatened and irreplaceable lowland dipterocarp forests of Dihing Patkai Elephant Reserve that are integral to Assam’s rich biological and cultural heritage.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Aparajita Datta, Senior Scientist, Nature Conservation Foundation.
Bhaskar Hazarika, writer and filmmaker.
Deborshee Gogoi, Assistant Professor & Wildlife Cartoonist, Digboi College, Digboi, Assam.
Dr. Walter Fernandes, Director, North Eastern Social Research Centre, Guwahati.
Dr. Ranjan Kumar Das, Ornithologist, IUCN-SSC (Species Survival Commission) member for the conservation of White-bellied Heron.
Goutam Narayan, Advisor, Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme.
Kashmira Kakati, Wildlife Biologist.
Monisha Behal, Social Worker.
Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi, Scientist B, Bombay Natural History Society.
Pritam Baruah, Birdwatcher & Ornithologist, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Nandita Hazarika, Environmental and Social Safeguard Consultant.
Narayan Sharma, Assistant Professor, Cotton University.
Rituraj Phukan, Naturalist, Green Guard Nature Organization.
Udayan Borthakur, Wildlife Biologist and Nature Photographer, Aaranyak.
Varun R. Goswami, Senior Scientist, Conservation Initiatives.
Abhijit Konwar, M.Sc. in Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation from North Orissa University, currently working as a Researcher at Wildlife Institute of India.
Abhilasha Sharma, B.V.Sc. & AH, College of Veterinary Science.
Abhinandan Bhattacharyya, concerned citizen, Assam.
Abir Jain, Student, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
Aditi Sharma , Social Science researcher.
Aditya Banerjee, Research Affiliate, Conservation Initiatives.
Aishwarya R., concerned citizen.
Alka Singh, concerned citizen and homemaker.
Amba Sanyal, artist.
Amit Sravan Bora, Graduate Research Scholar, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.
Anindya “Rana” Sinha, Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.
Anjan Sarma, Writer, Publisher, Managing Trustee of Multicultural Educational Development Trust, Editor of www.mahabahoo.com.
Ankita Borkakoty, concerned citizen, Assam.
Ankita Sharma, Masters student in Environmental Biology and Wildlife Science, Cotton University, Assam.
Ankur Das, Wildlife filmmaker, Kaziranga.
Ankush, Student, M.Sc. (Tech) Applied Geophysics, Kurukshetra University.
Anmona Handique, ex- Economics Teacher, K.V. Nepa, Meghalaya and Writer, Guwahati, Assam.
Anubhav Bhuyan, M.Sc., Wildlife Science, Gauhati University.
Anupam Sarmah, Conservation Biologist, WWF India, Tezpur, Assam.
Anupam Sharma, Executive Member, Green Bud Society.
Anurag Deka , M.Sc. in Chemistry.
Arghadeep Baruah, filmmaker and Musician.
Arjun Kamdar, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.
Arun Bikash Das, concerned citizen.
Arunav Das, Rapper, songwriter.
Ashwin Viswanathan, Nature Conservation Foundation.
Avishek Das, animal rescuer.
Avishek Dey , Photographer/ Rescuer, Green Bud Society.
Bandita Saikia, M.Sc Botany from B.Borooah College(Gauhati University).
Barnali Dutta,Balipara Foundation.
Bharati Mirchandai, Graphic designer.
Bhaskor Barukial, Naturalist , Assam.
Bijoyinee Sarma, Artist, Assam.
Binanda Hatibaruah, Birding tour Guide, Tinsukia, Assam.
Biswajit De, Educator & Wildlife Illustrator, Founder President: WildRoots-India.
Bitupan Deka, Masters student in Environmental Biology and Wildlife Sciences, Cotton University, Assam.
Cara Tejpal, Sanctuary Nature Foundation.
Chandan Kumar Duarah, Science &Nature Writer, Chief Sub Editor, Asomiya Pratidin.
Chandan Sarma, Junior Research Fellow, IIT Roorkee.
Chentei khiamniungan, filmmaker & Student Union leader.
Chiging pilia, Independent Researcher.
Chihi Umbrey, PhD student, Rajiv Gandhi University.
Chonglise Sangtam, social worker.
Dawa Sangpo Bhutia, conservationist and filmmaker, Sikkim.
Debajit Mahanta, Secretary, Assam Wildlife Rescue and Research Organization.
Debashish Nandi, freelance filmmaker.
Devajit Moran, Secretary, Green Bud Society, Digboi, Assam.
Dhruba J Saikia, Founding Vice-Chancellor, Cotton University and research scientist.
Dipti Gorh, Balipara Foundation.
Divya Vasudev, Senior Scientist, Conservation Initiatives.
Dr. Sarahna Taufiq, veterinary doctor, Guwahati.
Er Taibuddin ali, civil engineer, Shivaay infratech LLP.
Firdoushi Al Islam, concerned citizen, conservation enthusiast.
Gaurab Talukdar, conservation filmmaker and wildlife photographer.
Gaurav Barhodiya, Ph.D. scholar, Department of Environmental studies, University of Delhi.
Gauri Sankar Borah, concerned citizen, Assam.
Gautam (Research Biologist - Wildlife Institute of India)
Geeta Timsina, filmmaker.
Gitamani Dutta, Programme Officer, Balipara Foundation.
Gunjan Menon, wildlife filmmaker.
Hemanta Kr Lahkar, entrepreneur and friend of natural environment, Tezpur.
Himangshu Bezbaruah, nature enthusiast, Assam.
Himangshu Jaan Sarma, singer, lyricist, composer, music producer.
Hiyashri Sarma, Project Assistant, Wildlife Institute of India.
Hraveine David, social worker.
Hricha Lahkar, architect, Assam/Auroville.
Indira Singh, Development Officer, ATREE.
Indranee Phookan Borooah, Professor & Head, Department of Psychology, Gauhati University.
Indrani Adhyapak, designer.
Indrani Das, educator and musician.
Ipsita Bharali, musician and financial advisor.
Iravatee Majgaonkar, currently a Ph.D. student at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bangalore.
Jayaditya Purkayastha, wildlife biologist, Help Earth.
Jayanta G. Panda, educationist.
Jimmy Borah, Consultant, Wildlife and Wildlife Crime.
Jinti Barman, Project Scientific Officer C, CPP-IPR.
Jitul Kalita, Project Assistant, Wildlife Institute of India.
Joyhind Engleng, conservationist and youth activist.
Jyoti Bikash Baishya, Ph.D. Research Scholar, Ecology & Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar.
Jyotishman Das, concerned citizen.
Kailash B.R., SRA, ATREE, Bangalore.
Kamal Medhi, Coordinator, WWF-India.
Karthik Teegalapalli, independent researcher.
Kaushik Sarkar, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.
Khan Ashaharraza, wildlife biologist, Indian Herpetological Society, Pune (MS), INDIA.
Khyatismita Choudhury, student, B.Sc. Biotechnology.
Kiran Sasidharan, social work trainee.
Krishangi Goswami, student, Rutgers University.
Kukil Gogoi, M.Sc. Zoology, Assam University and multimedia professional, Aaranyak.
Lamthanglian Vaiphei, filmmaker.
Limpee Kalita, Student, M.A. clinical psychology, Lovely Professional University.
Mahesh Shetti, physics teacher.
Mamatha Prasad, concerned citizen.
Manas Pratim Das, student.
Manas pratim sharma, nature enthusiast and filmmaker.
Manash Jyoti Pathak, Research Scholar, Economics Department, Raiganj University, West Bengal.
Manash Jyoti Talukdar, birdwatcher, photographer & conservationist.
Manish Burman, filmmaker.
Manisha Kumari, Project Officer, WWF-India, Tezpur.
Mary A.B. Sears, science librarian, Harvard University Ernst Mayr Library.
Mayuri Phukan, Researcher - Water Resources Division, TERI-The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi.
Megha Rao, Researcher, Nature Conservation Foundation.
Megosa Mor, Documentation Officer, Nagaland State eGovernance Society, Department of Information Technology and Communication.
Monojit P. Bharadwaj, sports promoter, Assam sports dept talent search committee member.
Mridusmita Singha, Data Science Trainee, Bangalore.
Ms. Shangnaidar Tontang Chief Functionary WSDC, Khangshim Village, Manipur.
Mubina Akhtar, Author & Wildlife Consultant, Secretary, Kaziranga Wildlife Society.
Nandini Velho, independent researcher.
Naveen Pandey, M.Vet.Sc., Deputy Director & Veterinary Advisor, The Corbett Foundation, Kaziranga.
Naveen V., Junior Research Biologist, SACON.
Neeharika Gogoi, Ph.D. Scholar, Department of Environmental Biology and Wildlife Sciences, Cotton University.
Niharika Dutta, English and Soft Skills Trainer and a concerned citizen, Assam.
Nilarnab Sharma, musician.
Nilotpal Sarma, nature lover.
Nilutpal Mahanta, Ph.D. researcher at Department of Zoology, Gauhati University.
Niranjan Nayak, B.Sc. semester four (zoology) at Digboi College, Mankhowa Tea Estate, DoomDooma, Tinsukia.
Nirjara Mahanta, medical physicist.
Nitin Pegu, filmmaker.
Nongmaithem Rocky Meitei, conservation filmmaker and wildlife photographer.
Onam Perme, Coordinator, Fridays For Future Arunachal.
Paarth Garg, educationist, Assam, Bangalore.
Paridhi Brahma, research scholar, Department of Business Administration, Tezpur University.
Persis Farooqy, concerned citizen.
Plabita Borah, teacher.
Pooja Chowdhary, Development Communicator, Welthungerhilfe.
Pooja Gupta, multimedia science communicator.
Pooja Sancheti, Assistant Professor, IISER Pune.
Pradip Krishen, independent researcher, writer, naturalist.
Pradip Kumar Sharma, concerned citizen.
Pradyumnya Dastidar, student, M.Sc. (Tech) Applied Geophysics, Kurukshetra University.
Pragya Timsina, social researcher.
Pranab Goswami, concerned citizen.
Pranab Jyoti Deka, documentary filmmaker.
Pranjal Bhattacharyya, private employee. Assam.
Pranjoy Arup Das, educator, research & management consultant and musician.
Pratyasha Ghosh, communications, Shillong.
Preeti Singh, Project Consultant, ATREE, Bangalore.
Prerana Das, M.Sc. Environmental science, Tezpur University, Assam.
Priyadarsanan Dharma Rajan, ATREE, Bangalore.
Priyanka Borah, M.Sc. in Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology, Gauhati University, currently a researcher at Wildlife Institute of India.
Priyanka Gohain, teacher, Zoology, HPB Girls' College, Golaghat.
Priyanka Sarma, M.Phil. student.
Prof. Prasanta Kumar Saikia, Ph.D., Post-Doc Commonwealth Fellow, Head, Department of Zoology, Gauhati University.
Prosenjit Sheel, Senior Project Officer, Aaranyak.
Puja Bishaya, research scholar, Cotton University.
R.Ganesan, Fellow, ATREE, Bangalore.
Rajkamal Goswami, Post-Doc Fellow, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).
Rakhee Sharma, concerned citizen, conservation enthusiast, MSc. in Environmental Biology and Wildlife Sciences, Cotton University, Guwahati.
Ram Alluri, filmmaker.
Ranjan Kumar Barthakur, conservationist, wildlife photographer, Green Guard Nature Organization.
Ratan Bora, musician.
Rathin Barman, wildlife biologist, Assam.
Rejoice Gassah, wildlife filmmaker.
Rhea Hussain, Balipara Foundation.
Riaz Ahmed, musician.
Rimung Tasso, Project Officer, Western Arunachal Landscape, WWF, Tezpur.
Rishav Kakati, creative content developer, Delhi.
Rishi Das, environmental activist and educationist, Tinsukia.
Rita Banerji, filmmaker.
Rittyz Kashyap, social artist.
Rofikul Islam, naturalist, tour leader.
Rohan Menzies, researcher, Nature Conservation Foundation.
Rohit Borooah, Ph.D. scholar, Italy.
Roshmi Goswami, feminist, human rights activist, Shillong.
Samin Talukdar, wildlife rescuer and zoo volunteer.
Sangita Deka, Balipara Foundation.
Sasanka chabukdhara, B.Sc in geology.
Sayan Banerjee, Ph.D. scholar, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.
Seemanta Jyoti Baishya, conservation and wildlife filmmaker.
Seena Narayanan Karimbumkara, post-doctoral fellow, ATREE, Bangalore.
Shagufta Ahmed, Ph.D. scholar, ATREE, Bengaluru.
Shahidul Hoque, lecturer of philosophy, Aligarh Muslim University, India.
Shalini Sharma, researcher.
Sheheer T.A., Project Fellow, KFRI.
Shinon Lungleng, media professional and wildlife enthusiast.
Sikha Sarmah, Advocate Gauhati High Court, Guwahati, Assam.
Sonia Mondal, researcher.
Soumya Dutta (Mr). Co-convener : South Asian People's Action on Climate Crisis SAPACC , / Trustee - Movement for Advancing Understanding on Sustainability And Mutuality (MAUSAM)/Convener - Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha BJVJ /India-Climate-Justice ICJ.Ashoka Fellow. Advisory Board member - UN Climate Technology Centre and Network.
Sourav Dutta, snake rescuer & student.
Srabani Bose, M.Sc. Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation from North Orissa University. Currently working as researcher.
Srutimala Deka, data science trainee, Bangalore, Assam.
Subha Kumar Sharma, concerned citizen.
Subhajit Das, researcher, NCCS, Pune.
Sukanya De, student.
Sukanya Deka, M.Sc. Student, Environmental Biology and Wildlife Science, Cotton University.
Sumantra B. Barooah, journalist.
Sumashini P.S., researcher, ATREE, Bangalore.
Sumit Sisodiya, independent filmmaker.
Sunandan Baruah, Dean, Engineering & Technology, Assam Down Town University, Guwahati.
Sunayana Dutta, social worker, filmmaker.
Swapna Mahanand, research associate, ATREE, Bangalore.
Tallo Anthony, filmmaker.
Tamara Law Goswami; environmentalist, educator.
Tanushree Bezbaruah, nature enthusiast, Assam.
Tarun Nair, Researcher, RWC-India.
Tasneem Ahmed, nature and climate enthusiast, Assam.
Tilottama Phookan, educationist.
Uddipana Kalita, RWC-India.
Vandana Menon, filmmaker.
Violina Hazarika, research scholar, Department of Environmental Biology and Wildlife Sciences, Cotton University.
Vivek Singh Sangwan, filmmaker.
Wanmai Konyak, filmmaker.