The wildlife habitats of our country are nothing shy than a holy garland for the wildlife, where wild animals and greens coexist in the beautiful bounty of the Mother Nature. And in a country thriving with diversity, where colors, traditions and customs run riot whether one speaks of festivals, customs, marriages, festivities, there’s beauty everywhere. Just that often it is subjected to a bit of an indifference or restricted to a tone of unsung emotion especially when one speaks of the Northeast of the country.
How else would you describe the very existing norm that when it comes to describing the vivid beauty and culture of one of the world’s largest democracies, one doesn’t think of the Northeast, but often sticks to Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kashmir, Kerala and the likes (alone)!
There’s fun and splendor anywhere looks, whether one witnesses the amazing Kaziranga National Park in Assam, the often underrated Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur, the beautiful Shirui National Park in Manipur, or the mighty Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in Tripura.
But there’s also a sense of underlying concern where it comes the wildlife habitats in the Northeast. This alone explains the fact that a lack of coverage in media and even greater representation in the country’s consciousness do not alone happen to be the only concerns.
So what seems to be the matter and what is going wrong with the wildlife habitats in the Northeast.
The problem seems to be the issue of employment, or should one say, the apparent lack of it!
You read that right. Where the country is facing some stern questions where it comes to a lack of job opportunities in several sectors of the post-Pandemic world, it appears that the wildlife habitats in the Northeast are suffering the issue of understaffing.
To elaborate further, several of India’s wildlife habitats in the Northeast are currently without trained manpower and sufficient staff numbers.
Now just imagine how big a concern might this actually be?
Due attention must be given to a recent report in The Hindu, which brought to life this story which perhaps deserves greater attention than usually attributed to things like flimsy, gossipy snippets from the glamorous lives of movie-stars!
Here’s what The Hindu had to say:
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had a fortnight released the MEE report covering 146 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the country. Sixteen protected areas in the Northeast, minus the major ones such as Assam’s Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park, were included in the evaluation done in 2018-19 with technical assistance from the Wildlife Institute of India.
The report also touched upon which wildelife habits in the Northeast were manged well and which lagged behind factors like- management practices, staffing, infrastructure and other parameters.
It is, therefore, important to note the following findings from The Hindu’s study:
The best managed among the 16 evaluated protected areas in the region was found to be Meghalaya’s Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary because of the continuity of a management plan since 2001 “irrespective of who’s posted”. The report largely attributed the significant reduction in biotic interference in the sanctuary to community support.
Some of the protected areas had adequate staff but were hamstrung by the lack of trained manpower at all ranks, the MEE report said. The frontline workers of Manipur’s Keibul Lamjao National Park, for instance, were found to have had no training in wildlife management.
To conclude, how did such captivating centres of India’s wildlife, home to several countless eye-pleasing sights, lag behind? Also, do the above findings point to a systematic failure of the administration, it is not known for certain!