BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Nov 11: A tourist cab driver-turned ture-lover Monoj Gogoi of Kaziranga, who is known for saving more than 3500 wild creatures for the last ten years, has gone broke.
Some 3,500 lives which Gogoi saved in the last 10 years include 3,300 skes, different species of birds, reptiles and small mammals.
Speaking to this reporter, Gogoi said, “I began to eke out my living as a driver for the tourists coming to visit Kaziranga. Later, for having the good taste of the entire Kaziranga tiol Park, I became a tourist guide which afterwards brought me into touch with some tourists who helped me to turn my interest in wildlife into something beneficial to this world.”
“Since then I have been engaged in rescuing small mammals, falling sick or in danger. As a tourist guide I was offered huge tips by tourists, which I used for rescuing animals. But of late, I have been facing serious fund crunch to save animals. As my rescue activities are increasing, I am running short of cages for animals. Moreover, as there are very less number of active rescuers in the region, I get calls from distant villages and towns to rescue wild animals. Although I try my best to reach them, but at times due to lack of money it becomes difficult to save the creatures,” Gogoi said.
Gogoi is not only saving the wild but also trying to create awareness amongst people in the villages near Kaziranga on the need of ventures like his. With his own savings and an NGO, turalist Rehabilitation of Skes and Birds (NRHB), he keeps conducting certain awareness programmes to demonstrate villagers certain methods of rescuing wildlife. “Although I have volunteered to save wildlife, yet I’m sure, government’s help will save many more," he said.