New Initiative: Women Gypsy Drivers to be deployed at Jim Corbett National Park
News update: In order to encourage participation of women in wildlife tourism activities in Uttarakhand, the state forest department has decided to deploy women in previously all male jobs such as Gypsy Drivers and nature guides at Corbett Tiger Reserve.
While observing the International Day of Forests at an event at Ramnagar on Sunday, state forest minister Harak Singh Rawat in the presence of chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat stated that 50 women nature guides and 50 female gypsy drivers will be deployed directly by the department of forest after giving them proper training for the same. He said that this is for the first time in the nation that women Gypsy drivers are being appointed and given responsibility in a national park. According to forest minister ‘’ the local villagers have become the top choice of the forest department for these works as they carry experience and traditional value in protecting the forests and curbing human-wildlife conflicts”.
This year theme for the International Day of Forests is “Restoration of Forests”. Addressing on the occasion, Chief Minister said that “Our focus is on generating livelihood for women as they play a vital role in the economy of hills and the ecology and are closest to the forests. These women are not just saviours but also conservators of forests and wildlife. We aim to train at least 10,000 youth, out of which 5,000 will be females, who will work as ‘Van Pahari’ and will engage in different activities in the protected areas ”.
At present, there are around 105 nature guides in Jim Corbett National Park and all of them are men. This initiative to deploy women, officials said, will address gender discrepancy.