mahouts await promised money to feed captive jumbos | Jaipur News



Jaipur: Guardians of Haathigaon, who are struggling to feed the 88 captive elephants after the new variant of the coronavirus hit hard, continue to wait for the last installment of the grant awarded to them under the relief fund of the Chief Minister.
Many have alleged that the Forest Department has failed to provide the full grant to elephant owners, which was announced to much fanfare in July 2021.
The Chief Minister had announced that he would provide Rs 4.20 crore to relieve the owners. The share per elephant was around Rs 4, 42,105.
An elephant owner said: “We are still waiting for the final installment. Under this, each owner will receive Rs 80,205. Till date, owners have received two installments of Rs 3, 15,900 and 46,000 respectively. Despite several reminders, the department does not release funds in difficult times. »
Elephant owners claimed that tourism was crippled after a few Indians, who were visiting, also stopped after the new variant in the country. Mahout Balu Khan is now nervous as the situation is set to continue.
According to the mahouts, an adult elephant eats about 350 kg of food per day. They face a double whammy as not only have their incomes ceased during the pandemic, but the prices of most food items, including sugarcane, have risen. “Previously, sugar cane tariffs were 300 rupees per quintal. Now the rates have increased and we get it for 450 rupees. The average maintenance for an elephant is between 3,000 and 3,500 rupees per day,” Khan said.
The gain of the mahouts, who own these elephants, has come to an end and without an urgent bailout, the fear of starvation and survival hangs over these animals and their keepers.
“The funds provided by the state government were exhausted. The mahouts had set up an ‘Elephant Welfare Fund’ in 2005. An amount of Rs 20 from each ride was deposited into the fund, which is monitored by the Forestry Department. The department should provide their money to elephant owners in times of crisis,” said a mahout, who wished not to be named.
Over the past two years, Haathigaon has been hit hard during peak tourist season and there are growing concerns about feeding these giants until normality returns.



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