November 29, 2016
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden Dr V K Melkani on Tuesday distributed overcoats to Anti-Poaching Watchers (APW) working with the Coimbatore Division of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department (TNFD).
While as many as 20 APWs from three ranges in Coimbatore received the overcoats at the Tamil Nadu Forest Academy campus close to the District Forest Office, the remaining 116 coats were distributed to the APWs by the respective range officers from all the seven ranges.
The overcoats were sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Coimbatore.
Distributing the overcoats, Melkani said that the department was trying to get funding from NGOs as they did not have enough for Coimbatore and Sathyamangalam.
“Our tiger reserves including Mudumalai, Anamalai and Kalakkad Mundanthurai have enough funds to carry out development works. But we do not have much with the divisions,” he said. However, he claimed that the department was looking forward to help the staff with the help of NGOs.
He further appreciated the work of the 136 APWs in the division during the migratory season.
District Forests Officer S Ramasubramaniam had earlier revealed that the department was planning to offer food to the APWs in the night.
“They stay in the fringes all through the night to drive elephants that venture out. Hence, they cannot come out of the field for food. We have planned to provide them dinner and tea with the help of private persons and it will be delivered to them in the field,” the DFO had said.
The department has also planned to address the difficulties of the APW in a phased manner and provide the children of APWs with school dresses, geometry boxes and shoes to help in the social and economic upliftment of their families.