Wildlife conservationists race to the rescue of forest guides, safari drivers

Updated: Apr 13, 2020, 09:09 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

As a part of the initiative, The Friend in Need, CLaW and Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve have decided to help the forest guides and safari drivers by providing them with ration during the lockdown that has closed wildlife sanctuaries too

The Friend in Need will provide ration to 253 guides and 160 drivers. File pic
The Friend in Need will provide ration to 253 guides and 160 drivers. File pic

While the government implemented lockdown has been planned with an intention to prevent the COVID-19 spread, the lockdown is posing serious issues for those who depend on day to day income. With all the tiger reserves, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries currently closed, the question of survival has left the forest guides and safari drivers reeling. It is also said that in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to wild animals, there are chances that the national parks, tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries would remain close for the next few months.

However, Conservation Lenses and Wildlife (CLaW) along with Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) have started an initiative - The Friend in Need with an aim to provide 413 local families, comprising of 253 guides and 160 drivers with ration during the lockdown period. The initiative has been started on a pilot basis for Tadoba Andhari Tiger reserve and depending on the success it will be implemented at other places.

Conservation Photographer Sarosh Lodhi from CLaW said, "Tourist guides and safari vehicle drivers are very much dependent on tourism for their income. So to help them, CLaW and TATR have started an initiative through which we aim to provide ration to the tourist guides and drivers in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve."

Lodhi also told mid-day that they plan to raise Rs 4.15 lakh to procure the essential food items for which in just 48 hours, they have raised Rs 1.5 lakh. "We are happy that many people have come forward and are contributing to the cause including actor and wildlife conservationist Randeep Hooda who posted about the initiative on Facebook. We have identified the supplier who will provide us with the ration at a subsidised rate and once the target amount is achieved, the payments would be made and the ration will reach the authorities who will then distribute the same," Lodhi added.

Total no. of families who will get the ration

Rs 4.15 lakh
Amount needed to procure the food items

Where to donate

Account Name: Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve Conservation Foundation
Bank: SBI
Account No. : 3071 4733 456
IFSC: SBIN0001941
Branch code: 1941

After making the donations, kindly share the screenshot of the payment so that we can keep a tab on the target figure and to keep the matter transparent, details of the vendor bill would be shared and the donors will be updated through an announcement post.

What will the beneficiaries get

The group intends to provide — 20 kg Rice, 4 kg daal, 2 salt packets, 1 packet chilli powder, 1 packet turmeric powder, 1 packet coriander powder

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