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Anti Poaching Watcher’s death: TN forest department to pool money to pay compensation

- April 23, 2022

Chennai, April 23 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu forest department officials will pool money among themselves to pay compensation to the family of an Anti-Poaching Watcher (APW) who died while on duty.

P. Ravichandran (41), an APW with the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) of the forest department encountered a wild elephant along with a few colleagues on Thursday. While running away to escape from the animal, he fell down and was taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The APWs of Tamil Nadu is working on a temporary basis at a consolidated pay of Rs 12,500 and there is no other compensation. However, the ATR has a scheme of Rs 3 lakh insurance to be paid to APWs who die while on duty and Ravichandran will be a beneficiary of that.

The forest department officials of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) in an online meeting on Friday have decided to pool money among themselves to help the family of Ravichandran in addition to the insurance claim.

The deceased Anti Poaching Watcher is survived by his wife and two children aged 14 and 11 years and the younger child has hearing disabilities.

ATR, Deputy Director, M.G. Ganesan while speaking to BPNS said, “ We are pooling money from among the forest department staff and also recommended the government to assist his family by providing funds from the relief head of the department. The APWs under ATR have an insurance claim of Rs 3 lakh and that will also be provided to his family.”

It is to be noted that the Anti-Poaching Watchers of Tamil Nadu who are mostly employed to prevent the human-animal conflict in places bordering forest areas are working without proper job security and pay scale. The 2000 APWs of Tamil Nadu mostly drawn from tribals are getting a consolidated salary of Rs 12, 500 and they don’t have any other benefits. Except for the APWs under the ATR, there is not even any insurance benefit to these people who have to live under the threat of wild animal attack any time during their duty and many have been gored to death by wild elephants.

A  senior officer with the Anamalai Tiger Reserve told IANS that the APWs must be provided life insurance as also increase their pay and perks.