The Asian Age

Radio alerts help C’garh forest-dwellers avoid jumbos

- RABINDRA NATH CHOUDHURY RAIPUR, JAN. 29

A five-minute bulletin on wild elephants, broadcast every afternoon by four Akashwani centres in Chhattisga­rh, has turned out to be a key tool for the forest dwellers in Central Chhattisga­rh to escape from the marauding pachyderms.

Aired simultaneo­usly through four Akashwani centres, Ambikapur, Bilaspur, Raigarh and Raipur, the radio programme titled “Hamar Haathi, Hamar Goth” (our elephants, our community) has virtually become a protective tool for the people, living close to the jungles in the region, against the marauding tuskers.

Sponsored by Chhattisga­rh forest department, the short bulletin, first of its kind radio programme in the country, throws light on the locations of the elephant herds and their movements in the regions, thus ◗ The bulletin, first of its kind radio programme in the country, throws light on the locations of the elephant herds and their movements in the regions, thus sounding alert to the local people

sounding alert to the locals not to cross the paths of the wild animals.

“The bulletin is broadcast at 5 pm everyday ‘without fail’. This is the time when the forest dwellers and other villagers or government officials posted in remote areas set out for their homes from their work. The time also coincides with the movements of elephant herds, raising prospects of a humanpachy­derm conflict”, Amalendu Mishra, the programme presenter, told this newspaper on Monday.

The forest dwellers learn about the movements of the wild elephants in their respective areas from the bulletin and change their routes to avoid attack from the wild elephants, he added.

The locals get access to the bulletin either through their transistor sets or FM radios in their cell phones. The bulletin is also accessed through a news App installed in Android phones.

It is seen that the villagers viral the bulletin in their WhatsApp groups to help their fellow villagers know about the movement of wild elephants in their areas, Mr Mishra said.

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