Tuesday, August 21, 2007

there was an different kind of news with respect to wildlife. it was regarding setting up a toll free number to report poaching cases by 'wildlife lovers' (as hindu puts it; no pun intended although laughter allowed).

when it comes to preventing poaching incidents many things such as sharing information, passing intelligence, having a network of informers, all things are important including setting up of toll free numbers.

but what is more important and crucial is to make sure forest department are well staffed, they are proactively trained, educated and taken care, they are paid the highest salaries so that they can do their job with pride, they are held accountable for lapses in their areas, they are given modern equipments for forest and wildlife protection, etc.

in all these fronts, the present government (and past governments) have lagged miserably. forest department average age is pushing 50 (india's average age is in early 20's), they are not paid for months together, lot of field level staff are on temporary payroll thereby having no guarantee for their future, they are treated like waste when it comes to politicians or VIP's visit to forests, etc.

setting of toll free number is good. but what is the point when crucial parameters for forest and wildlife protection are not take into account.

clearly development, as i said, is not for forest staff who can protect our crucial forests.


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