The story of Assam’s smallest national park and its residents in a Comic Book now


Guwahati:  Orang, also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park,  sprawls between Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam.

It also the Assam’s smallest national park,  and is famous for its population of rhinos and tigers, elephants and deer, pygmy hogs and Bengal floricans — and now, it’s very own comic book series.

‘Orang Katha’ (in Assamese and English) follows the adventures of Gaurav, a dhoti-clad, T-shirt donning one-horned rhinoceros, Orang National Park — declared a tiger reserve in 2016 — occupying 78.8 sq km spread over two districts of Assam: Darrang and Sonitpur.

“The idea is to reach the children of Assam with the message of conservation,” said B V Sandeep, DFO, Mangaldai Wildlife Division, who came up with the concept of Orang Katha. “And yes, empathy too.”

For example, the first story in the series — launched on World Rhino Day (September 22) by Assam Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya — is titled ‘Rupohi’s Bedona’ or Rupohi’s pain. 

‘Rupohi’s Bedona’ was written by a forest guard, Ajay Deka, and designed by Guwahati-based Pixcel Perfect Studio.

The main objective is to bust myths (superstitions regarding the Rhino horn) and bring to light serious issues of illegal smuggling (creatures like geckos and pangolins).

Owing to Orang’s small size and high density of animals, many often stray to human habitations, at times leading to conflict between the two. “This relationship needs conscious management so we are trying to address that. The comic book too will have the perspectives of villagers, who have been cohabiting with the wildlife for ages.”

The next story in the series is slated for release (physical copies for children in surrounding villages and online for the public at large) in the first week of November.

The next one will feature a lesser-known species.  Every creature whether small or big will find space in our book.