In a first, Corbett Tiger Reserve to have women nature guides
Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) will have women nature guides for the first time in its history, said forest officials.
CTR officials said seven women have been selected by the Corbett administration after holding a guide recruitment test on Wednesday. These selected women will be registered as guides and given responsibilities after a training and orientation programme.
The CTR officials said 488 candidates appeared in the guide recruitment test held in Ramnagar, out of which 102 were women. A total of 67 candidates cleared the test, including seven women.
“This is the first-time women are getting a chance to become nature guides. Till now, males used to dominate this domain. This concept is being implemented to generate livelihood for local women villagers who live in the periphery of the CTR,” said Rahul (who goes by his first name), director, CTR .
Madan Joshi of Corbett Gypsy Safari Operators Welfare Association said there are around 105 nature guides in Corbett, who are all men. “This will be for the first time that women will be nature guides here”, he said.
Joshi said for a safari of four hours, nature guides get around Rs 700.
AG Ansari, a Ramnagar-based wildlife expert, said the initiative of having women guides is based on the concept of providing equal chance both men and women without any gender bias. “These selected women guides will be given around a 14-day training in various aspects of working as a guide, after which they will be registered as nature guide in Corbett.”
“It is a matter of joy that all seven women hail from eco-development committees located in the periphery of CTR. There are around 40 villages along the boundary of CTR. This will also help in providing livelihoods to many families”, he said.
Corbett Tiger Reserve, which is spread across 1,288 square kilometers, is one of the most loved tourist destinations in the state. The gates of Corbett open on November 15 every year for six months till mid-June. Corbett witnesses a footfall of around 300,000 tourists every year.
There are 231 tigers inside CTR and 266 using the reserve according to the latest report on tigers. This is the highest number of tigers in 50 tiger reserves in India.
Earlier this month, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announced the creation of a new tourism zone in Corbett Tiger Reserve, which will be known as Garjiya Tourism, Zone. Currently, CTR has Bijrani, Dhikala, Dhela Durga Devi, Jhirna, Pakhro and Sonanadhi zones for tourism activities. But with the arrival of thousands of tourists every year, there is a lot of pressure on these zones. With the opening of this new Garjiya Tourist Zone, tourists will get to see a new place in CTR and the pressure on other zones will be comparatively reduced.