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Lavanya Bahuguna

Blogger-in-Chief

Photo Of This Ranthambhore Forest Guard Proves The ‘Bring Your Child To Work’ Culture Is Taking Off

  • IWB Post
  •  November 14, 2017

 

Going to Ranthambhore National Park has become a ritual that I religiously follow every month. This time around, I happened to speak to Ramsiya, a woman who waves to us every time our gypsy passes by the Singhdwar Chowki (outpost) in the forest.

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (RTR) has as many as 200 forest guards protecting the wild. The 30-something Ramsiya is the only woman who is designated inside the jungle and is responsible for looking after the Singhdwar Chowki – the entry pass to zone 1, 4 and 5 of RTR.

As a working mother who cannot afford to keep her child at a crèche, Ramsiya prefers bringing the 19-month-old Tanuj to work that involves taking care of more than 60 tigers. I like how the whole idea of ‘bring your child to work’ isn’t limited to corporate anymore!

During the conversation, Ramsiya told me how she has been enjoying patrolling in RTR from last four years and even continued working through most of her pregnancy. She told me, “I joined the RTR forest department about four years ago. In a year, I got married in Sawai Madhopur which is 17 km away from Ranthambhore. I continued working as it’s a government job that pays me well. Also, I like it amidst the wilderness.”Ranthambhore

Ramsiya’s job involves keeping a track of the safari vehicles that enter these zones, recording the tiger movement and informing the forest officials and guides about it through walky-talky, noticing any unnatural behavior of the wild animals so that timely medical help can reach to them, and making sure no poacher enters the jungle.

Did she have to take a long break from work after her delivery?

“After my son was born, I took a small maternity break because I couldn’t keep myself away from the Tigers,” laughed Ramsiya.

In order to let her husband enjoy a sound sleep after his tiring night shifts, Ramsiya prefers bringing their naughty son along. She said, “Tanuj’s schedule involves eating, sleeping during the day, and later, playing around the chowki. He makes sure to say hello’ and ‘goodbye’ to every tourist he happens to meet. The tourists like getting pictures clicked with him as he’s always smiling. I think her adds giggles to the mysterious silence of Ranthambhore.”

Before leaving, I interrogated the lil’ one with the most difficult question – “What’s your name?” To which, he giggled and replied, “Sultan.”Ranthambhore

In case you don’t know, Sultan is the name of an enormous tiger – the son of two ferocious tigers T-39 (Noor) and T-24 (Ustaad) of Ranthambhore.The RTR department fondly calls Tanuj ‘Sultan’ after the real one moved out of RTR to create his territory in a nearby jungle.

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