English language news articles from year 2007 plus find out everything about Asiatic Lion and Gir Forest. Latest News, Useful Articles, Links, Photos, Video Clips and Gujarati News of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary (Geer / Gir Forest - Home of Critically Endangered Species Asiatic Lion; Gir Lion; Panthera Leo Persica ; Indian Lion (Local Name 'SAVAJ' / 'SINH' / 'VANRAJ') located in South-Western Gujarat, State of INDIA), Big Cats, Wildlife, Conservation and Environment.
When a forest that is home to 523 lions did not stop Darshana Kagda
think twice from saying yes to a job as a Forester, you’ve got to wonder
what else will! Being headstrong paid off too, as Darshana joined the
women’s forest guard team at the Gir Lion Sanctuary.
married for over a year now, Darshana is so hands-on that she didn’t
take a break even on her wedding day. A real surprise, considering it
meant reporting to the forest at 5.30 in the morning and getting less
than 12 days off a year! Apparently, she loves the lions and the forest
way too much to think about anything else. Even her family!
her female colleagues, Darshana’s dream job began with her convincing
her parents to allow her to pursue this unconventional profession.
“Initially, they were not very happy with me spending hours in the
forest, but when they saw me saving lives and earning my own money, they
came around,” she says. Darshana who has seven siblings is the sole
bread-earner of the house.
But, more than the money, it is the job
satisfaction she gets that Darshana cherishes the most. “I love my job,
I love the forest and I love the animals. What more should I ask for?”
she asks with a smile. “Moreover, I have so many adventurous stories
that will last me a lifetime,” she says while sharing an encounter with a
“It happened when I was returning from my night rounds. A
lion was sitting less than a feet from me. I was alone and I froze. But
after a few minutes of staring at each other, the lion walked away.
Maybe it knew that I was a friend,” she says, with a laugh.
someone who never rode a bike, Darshana today is completely dependent on
her motorcycle for her patrolling rounds. “It took me more than 10
falls before I finally managed to get a hold of it,” she says.
been a part of many rescue operations, Darshana recalls an incident
that has been her longest operation so far. A villager was killed by a
lioness and while the rest of the village labelled the lioness as a
‘man-eater’, Darshana and her team decided to investigate the matter at
the grassroots. After a 15-day long probe, it was clear that the
lioness’ attack was actually an act of defense. And thanks to their
analysis, the two cubs of the lioness did not lose their mother.
think beyond out duty, we think as mothers, as sisters who are always
ready to help anyone we love. That’s what makes us different,” she adds.