Ahmedabad: Rasila Wadher’s recruitment as first woman forest guard in Sasan Gir forest, Gujarat, had raised eyebrows of many people.
How can this young girl, participate in the risky rescue operations? This was in 2007 when forest department of Gujarat government first time decided to open this position for women.
But Rasila, then 21, soon proved her ability by rescuing a lioness in a dangerous operation. An injured lioness was found in Dedakadi range area. She rushed to the spot with team of five people. The operation lasted an entire night to catch wounded and angry lioness into the cage.
Born in a small village, Bhandori in Junagadh district, Rasila lost her father at very early age. Her mother Rajubahen had to raise two children. The family struggled for livelihood.
After completing her graduation in arts, Rasila decided to take a job so she can help her mother. Joined as a forest guard in 2007, she became forester in 2008.
Till date, she must have rescued more than 1,100 animals including lion and panther. Sasan Gir forest is spread over 1,412 square meter area. Incidents like lions falling into deep well are increased. Sometimes they meet with an accident on the railway track passing through the forest so rescue team has to be ready 24x7 for operation anywhere in the forest.
Rasila has never been afraid of taking risk. In 2014, a panther fell into a well near Jalandhar village. She reached there with the team. The first thing to do was to tranquilize him.
She finished the task by going down into the well without any fear. “What to fear? I have grown up in such a way that I can’t afford to fear.” she said....