Life is harsh for the
lowest level in India’s state forest department hierarchy- the forest guards.
Living in isolation under adverse conditions, these protectors of the wild do
not even have proper field gear like shoes, jackets, torches, to conduct their
duties well. Apart from the professional hazard of danger from wild animals,
today forest guards in India often find themselves in combat like situations
facing well-equipped, armed poachers and timber smugglers. While the wildlife
trade network allows poachers to access more and more sophisticated weapons and
combat tools, our forest guards are still mostly equipped with old, inefficient
arms. This leaves most active forest guards exceedingly vulnerable to attacks,
injury, manhandling and even death, in the line of duty.
What makes it worse for them and their families is that
in case of injury, temporary disability or even death, compensations take a
long time to process and most of the time when the money is received it is not
adequate. This is especially true in cases where the injuries cause handicap or
even death, leaving their families with no way to earn a living; often these
men are the sole breadwinners in their families, in remote parts of the
Since the year 2000, over 10,000 frontline forest
guards have been trained and equipped in over 125 protected areas under the
Guardians of the Wild Division of WTI. The training empowers them with
knowledge on how to combat and curb poaching of wildlife, especially tigers and
illegal trade in tiger parts. These guards have also been equipped with a basic
patrol kit that makes it possible for them to conduct their foot patrol
activities more efficiently. WTI also runs a unique Group Accident Insurance
Scheme, providing an insurance cover to over 17,000 frontline staff, in case of
permanent disability or death on duty.
$100 USD will train and
equip one Frontline Forest Guard
$10 USD will provide
Accident Insurance Coverage for THREE Frontline Forest Guards!
Can you help? To learn more and assist, visit the NWHS/WTI Alliance Web Page