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More guards needed for Orang sanctuary
Published on 19 Jul. 2009 11:18 PM IST
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Wildlife conservation may have a very high priority for the government but the situation in Assam seems almost alarming. The Rajiv Gandhi National Park or Orang as its popularly known like several other national parks in Assam is facing a crisis of workforce revolting against service conditions which means irregular salaries and non-regularisation of jobs. This is the story of wildlife conservation in Assam: not enough personnel to guard the forests. The existing work force is also unhappy. NDTV visited Orang National Park where a quarter of the Park’s employees have been working as casual workers for decades. They haven’t received salaries for the last four months. The National Park has 31 camps and each camp requires six guards but the current strength allows only two. “It’s been 25 years now in the forest and still my job is not permanent. If it continues like this, we have no option but to commit suicide,” said forest guard. “It’s now four months running that we haven’t got our salaries,” said another guard. With a healthy tiger and rhino population, Orang has been the target of poachers. A beleaguered workforce says they can’t carry on like this. These people are critical for wildlife conservation. For some it’s been a two-decade long wait for their services to be regularized, driven to the brink, they now threaten to commit suicide if their demands are not met.

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