Daily Lives

  • Taking a pride of place in their daily lives are the camp elephants of Sri Rama and Gajendra which are regulars in the Dasara procession in Mysore
  • Traversing a landscape frequented by elephants and storms, roadblocks by fallen trees are a daily obstacle. Distance covered in time has no relevance when in comes to moving in forests
  • Located at strategic locations Anti-poaching camps are managed by small but efficient teams with enough striking power.
  • Taking on interesting roles from crack protection teams to nursing mothers for abandoned and weak young ones the frontline staff perform a wide range of duties.
  • Life in the checking gates is never dull, right from managing rush hour to tourists who make tall claims all the time.

Samad Kottur
A lecturer by profession, he is passionate about wildlife and conservation, he has fought and successfully won many a conservation battles in North Karnataka. He is co-author of the acclaimed book ‘Daroji – An Ecological Destination

Upon receiving a phone call from the Director of BRT Tiger Reserve, Mr. Vijay Mohan Raj, inviting me to document the daily lives of staff of reserve and the people, I always cherished dream of visiting BRT forest for its typical setting with mountain ranges and ‘Sholigas’. I was thrilled. Though it took 10 hours journey, the feeling of going to the “dreamland” eased my fatigue of tedious journey. When I left Bellary it was 45 degree Celsius in the month of May, but next day when I stayed in Jodigere, I was shivering with chilly winds hitting me hard. I felt like jumping from hot pan to the deep freezer!


Having worked previously with Vijay Mohan Raj on the coffee table book ‘Daroji – An Ecological Destination’ I was fairly conversant with what to expect, but the landscape and the subjects discussed were altogether different. My effort was to get an insightful story of the lives of the staff of BRT, this necessitated staying with them. I stayed with them, documenting their daily lives. Staying in Anti-Poaching Camp with the Sholiga guards, eating the ragi balls and the soup which these guards cook, listening to the thrilling stories of their encounter of wildlife and tales the forest brigand Veerappan – is unforgettable and fascinating. The intense commitment of the frontline staff ob BRT Tiger Reserve has to be seen to be believed.

Some of the images I shot were featured in BRT booklet and I am proud to be part of this activity.

4 comments on “Daily Lives
  1. Gurunath Desai says:

    Nicely written.

  2. Gurunath Desai says:

    Could have eloberated on the daily routine of the frontline staff.I’ve seen it and it is extreamly demanding and dangerous

  3. Padmanabha Arkalgud says:

    Thanks for the Info. It has reminded me what I have missed till date, yet it triggers a desire to make up if possible and my limbs permitting.

  4. Guru raja Rao.K says:

    Yes, the day to day life of frontline staff is very risk and dangerous. I have been there and spend time in camp and observed there daily activities.

    My cousins Suresh,Mani,Srinivas & Sripada were there and did some help to them.

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