River dolphin, an endangered river animal found in the Brahmaputra and a few of its tributaries, is going to be declared as the State River Animal by the State Government soon. This was disclosed by H Sarma, DFO, Dhubri at a meeting organised here by the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES) recently. The NGO C-NES, which is working on the conservation of this rare and endangered water animal in the rivers of Assam since 2006, is holding this public awareness programme at Dhubri for the second time. In this connection, the NGO brought out an awareness rally, which was participated by fishermen families of Panchpeer char and Bahadurtari, the two riverine villages near Dhubri town where the dolphin project is run by the NGO. The rally was flagged off by Bhuban Saikia, retired lecturer of BN College. The rally was followed by spot drawing and essay writing competitions among the school students. A documentary film by Sanjay Hazarika on river dolphin of the Brahmaputra was shown to the audience. The open meeting was presided over by the DFO H Sarma, who in his presidential remark, said that dolphin is now found in Ganja, Meghna, Brahmaputra and in a river of Nepal in small numbers. This mammal's procreation period being three to four years, its population is gradually decreasing. Moreover water pollution, poaching and fishing by fine gill net have added to rapid depletion of dolphin population, he added. According to him the only remedy is awareness of the people both in poaching of the animal and in keeping the water unpolluted. He also suggested preservation of the breeding ground of the river creatures. Generally dolphins came to the marshy lands (beels) for breeding purposes. The Sareswar bill in Dhubri district is one such breeding ground for the water creatures, Sarma added. The meeting was also addressed by Mehboob Hussain, DPO, SSA, Dhubri and a few others. The meeting started with a couple of Goalparia songs sung by radio artist Charu Bala Roy wihle Manik Barua of C-NES anchored the meeting successfully. The aims and objectives of the NGO was narrated by Bhaskarjyoti Saud. Saud revealed that poaching of dolphin has come down after fishermen were provided with an alternative bait for cat fish fishing. The NGO is also trying to provide the people with some alternative means of earning through formation of self help groups.