March 3rd, 2006


How to avoid this happening?

Today's newspapers carried the account of Mallikarjun(50), a casual worker with the Forest Department being mauled by tigers at the Tyaverekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari, near Shimoga, when he was carrying out repairs to the 16ft high gate that separates the tiger safari area from the deer park.

Points to note:

1. Mallikarjun has been a "casual" employee there since 1989. How casual or temporary can a worker be when he works at one place for seventeen years?

2.The tigers were not putin their cage at the time Mallikarjun was working on the gate.

3. This is the SECOND killing in the safari....a tiger killed another casual worker engaged in road repairs, about six years ago; and ten years ago, a lion escaped from its cage though it could not come out of the safari. The staff put it back in its cage with much difficulty.

4. One lakh compensation was given to the family of the worker, and a job was promised to someone from the family.... and the safari was closed for the day. I am sure that today other visitors are going around the Safari in total ignorance of what happened there yesterday....unless, of course, it is recounted to them as a juicy story.

When are we going to stop taking safety precautions so lightly, and stop making these kind of ad-hoc restitutions? Apparently, once is NOT enough...human life is so cheap here....

Any thoughts? Mine are tumbling over each other right now...