Tana Tapi And Takum Nabum
Courtesy: Tana Tapi.
Month Year: December 2010
JOINT WILDLIFE SERVICE AWARD
Tana Tapi, Divisional Forest Officer, Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh is just such a man. He and his team work in near impenetrable forests against all odds to protect a vital park and its wildlife. For six years now, he has been setting up anti-poaching infrastructure including 32 RCC camps, 65 km. of patrolling paths and 41 km. of rough motorable roads. These measures have reflected positively on tiger densities in Pakke. When he was posted to Pakke, the park was understaffed with just 25 people employed. Between 2005 and 2007, together with upgraded facilities, the departmental strength grew to 140 with as many as 24 active anti-poaching strike squads. Backed by a fearless and loyal team, he has led uncounted armed operations against poaching gangs. By involving the Ghora Aabhe or village fathers in his efforts, including the incredible Takum Nabum, he has made the community an integral part of forest protection. "Takum Nabum and the Nishi people must share any credit for Pakke's wildlife success because they, including women's self-help groups, are the Forest Department's eyes and ears. If his simple wisdom was replicated across the country, India would have a virtual army of wildlife defenders and flourishing forests," says Tana Tapi.
First published in: Sanctuary Asia, XXX No. 6, December 2010.