Once taunted by colleagues, forest guard gets award from Dravid

Once taunted by colleagues, forest guard gets award from Dravid

A forest guard who was taunted by his colleagues for working hard in guarding more forest area than assigned to him received the Wildlife Service Award-2018 here on Friday. 

Yogaraj J, posted in the Lakkavalli forest range in the Bhadra Tiger Reserve, was often mocked by his colleagues who wondered if he would ever be recognised or rewarded for his work. 

Speaking after receiving the award from former cricketer Rahul Dravid, Yogaraj said it was his dream to work in the forest and that his hard work had paid off.  Yogaraj is credited with the arrest of poachers in the dense forests of the Lakkavalli range. 

Cricketers For Wildlife Conservation, a nonprofit, has been recognising forest staff and rewarding them for their hard work. 

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Conservator of Forests Manoj Kumar said that while defence and police personnel were recognised for their work, it was only recently that a medal was instituted for forest department personnel. 

Dravid, also a member of the group, lauded the efforts of forest guards and hoped the ward motivated forest staff every year to protect forest and wildlife species. 

In the past, cricketers Harbhajan Singh, Murali Vijay, Yusuf Pathan, Varun Aaron, Sandeep Patil, Roger Binny and K L Rahul had given cash awards of Rs 1 lakh each to six forest watchers and guards from Karnataka’s tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries.