Braving harsh field conditions every day, India's forest guards risk their lives facing well-armed wildlife criminals to protect the country's natural heritage. Wildlife Trust of India's Guardians of the Wild program stands on the twin pillars of capacity building and morale boosting to protect these protectors. It provides specialized wildlife crime prevention training, sturdy field kits and a unique group insurance scheme that currently insures 18000 guards against disability and death on duty
Almost on a daily basis, India's forest guards face harsh realities while safeguarding the country's wildlife. In addition to adverse field conditions and chance encounters with animals, they also often find themselves in combat situations with much better-armed criminals. Frequently the sole breadwinners in their families, their difficulties aggravate in case of permanent injuries or even death during these encounters, affecting their morale while carrying out their duties.
This project empowers the protectors through regular trainings for India's forest guards in wildlife crime prevention and equips them with field kits to help them in their duties. It also creates a knowledgeable and proactive force of front line forest guards as the training modules are constantly updated with latest relevant information. The project also insures forest guards under a unique NGO-run Group Accident Insurance Scheme ensuring quick relief of up to $2000 to them and their families.
The Guardians of the Wild project conducts Wildlife Crime Prevention trainings and equips front line staff across the country with field kits for foot patrolling. More than 10,000 front line staff from over 110 protected areas have already benefited from this initiative. Combined with security that Group Accident Insurance Scheme promises, this project will create, in the long run, an aware, motivated and effective front line force to guard India's natural heritage against wildlife criminals.