Hem Chand Mahindra Wildlife Foundation & Saevus Wildlife Warriors Awards 2015

Wildlife Warrior Awards 2015

Description: http://www.saevus.in/images/guards%20picture.jpg

The Wildlife Warrior Awards, an initiative undertaken by HCMWF and Saevus Wildlife India, was launched in 2013 with the aim to recognise and honour green soldiers from across the country. Who are these green soldiers, you ask? They are those from the Indian Forest Department who wage a battle for Mother Nature and her conservation; those, who oftentimes, also need to risk their lives in order to save the forest and its inhabitants.  

The inaugural edition saw winners being announced from five of the most renowned Protected Areas in the country, namely, Corbett, Gir, Kaziranga, Nagarahole and Ranthambhore. This time around, the Wildlife Warrior Awards looked to felicitate and recognise the deeds of those forest officials and staff from some of the neglected and oft-ignored sanctuaries in the country. India’s wealth of floral and faunal diversity is not just found in its most glamorous wildlife destinations or parks. In fact, many of the lesser-known sanctuaries are home to innumerable endemic species that are living precariously on the edge due to the step-motherly treatment often meted out to these sanctuaries and parks. A case in point? While the bounteous Kaziranga TR enjoys the status of a World Heritage Site and has seen excellent protection of its ecosystem over the last century, parks like Dibru-Saikhowa in the same state are ravaged by encroachment, under-management and lack of funds, along with loss of biodiversity. Issues such as these along with the dangerous working conditions prevalent, means that forest guards and officials need to strive against unimaginable odds to do their job and maintain the sanctuaries.

The Wildlife Warrior Awards 2015, thus, pays a tribute to these true soldiers of the environment – hoping to honour the tenacity and fortitude of the forest department employees, as well as address the issues that they face, almost daily, in the course of their work. The winners will be selected from the selected areas (mentioned below) and will receive a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 each. Two jury awards of the same amount may also be handed out to the deserving warriors of the country.

The awards will be backed by the Hem Chand Mahindra Wildlife Foundation (HCMWF), a non-profit entity set up by Mr. Ashok Mahindra to preserve and protect our fragile ecosystem, and subsequently promote conservation of wildlife all across the country.

Mr. Mahindra, author of the book Capturing Wildlife Moments in India, in association with Saevus Wildlife India, as part of the Wildlife Warrior 2015 Jury Awards, gave a posthumous award of Rs. 50,000 to the kin of the Late Forest Guard, Rampal Saini, who was allegedly mauled to death by a tiger, in Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan.

Nominations for Wildlife Warrior Awards 2015 were accepted from the following ten neglected and lesser-known sanctuaries, namely:

         Dibru Saikhowa National Park, Assam

         Ushakothi (Badrama)Wildlife Sanctuary, Orissa

         Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Gujarat

         Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka

         Cotigaon Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa

         Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala

         Nandhour Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand

         Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra

         Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

         Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, Jharkhand


The jury meet that decided the winners was held on June 4, 2015, with senior conservationists Dr. AJT Johnsingh and Dr. Dipankar Ghosh, Mr. Ashok Mahindra, founder of HCMWF, and his brother, Mr. Vinod Mahindra, and Sandeep Mall (Managing Partner, Saevus) and Pranad Patil (Asst. Editor – Natural History, Saevus) representing Saevus Wildlife India comprising the jury. And today, we unveil our country’s brave wildlife warriors – some who have dedicated their whole life to the forest, some who wished to return back to field duty even after being attacked by a bear and some who even stood up against the land mafia to protect the landscape of the wild.



Biraj Barman, Forester – Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Assam

Babu Rathod, Forest Guard – Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka                                       

Pan Singh Gaunia, Watcher – Nandhour Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand

Mangal Kachhap, Ranger – Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, Jharkhand

Kauleshar Bhagat, Forest Guard – Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, Jharkhand

Joint award to:

Atulkumar Bhanusankar Dave – (Range Forest Officer) & Isha Hasan Sumra (Watchman) of Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Gujarat




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