In a huge achievement, Arunachal Pradesh has become the first in Northeast India to provide insurance cover against COVID-19 for “green soldiers.” The Pakke Tiger Reserve ’s Divisional Forest Officer T. Pali said 57 front-line staff of the park had been insured for nine months against health issues due to the infection by the novel coronavirus.
“The insurance coverage is of Rs. 1 lakh each but a few who would be retiring soon have been insured for Rs. 50,000,” said wildlife veterinarian Panjit Basumatary, who is in charge of the Centre for Bear Rehabilitation adjoining the Pakke Tiger Reserve.
The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), an NGO is said to have paid the insurance amount with support from Foundation Serge. Mr. Basumatary said that the front-line staff were crucial for conserving the forest and wildlife. “We will take every possible step to conserve nature through them,” he added. He said that the NGO had been supporting India’s front-line forest staff with accident cover for the last 20 years.