Elephants in captivity in Tamil Nadu get a better deal than many company workers when it comes to enjoying annual leave benefits.
A sizeable workforce across the country may be forced to cancel their leave travel plans as projects take precedence. One of the top reasons given by a majority of workers in Delhi as to why they did not take an annual vacation last year was that their bosses did not agree on leave, a survey on vacation deprivation conducted by an online travel portal said. Many employees also favour encashing their leave, the survey added.
But in Tamil Nadu, chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday decreed that tuskers in captivity be sent on an annual vacation as per the schedule firmed up by the forest department. The government has organised a special recreational camp for elephants in captivity belonging to temples and mutts that begins on November 26 in Coimbatore.
In fact, in Tamil Nadu, tuskers enjoy a five-day week, two weekly offs, sick leave and annual leave, all strictly scheduled.
This will be the second annual vacation for the state's 102 elephants. The special camp is for a duration of 48 days, during which the animals will be given special diet and allowed complete rest, with medical examination in between. Rest and recreation for the elephants will also be organised at Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary located in the Nilgiri district, some 570 km from here.
Tamil Nadu has 102 elephants in captivity - 53 owned by temples, 23 with the forest department at Mudumalai Sanctuary and another 19 at Annamalai Sanctuary in the Western Ghats. Seven elephants are housed in TN's only zoo
outside Chennai. Tamil Nadu does not allow private individuals to own elephants though neighboring Kerala does.