P Sivakumar: The 45-year-old from Tamil Nadu who is now Mr Kaziranga

Sivakumar is the no-nonsense but passionate Field Director of Kaziranga National Park, practically the custodian of the Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros.

Published: 02nd August 2019 06:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2019 08:08 PM   |  A+A-

P Sivakumar

Kaziranga National Park Field Director P Sivakumar. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: From being guided in a Tamil Nadu rainforest to being a guiding light in the grasslands of Assam, it has been a fascinating journey for P Sivakumar.

As a young boy, he used to have his adventures in the backyard of his native Gudalur in the Nilgiris. The love and knowledge of the jungle was cultivated in the lad by serving forest officers in the Western Ghat jungles. 

The present was beautiful, the future was clear as Sivakumar grew up to study forestry. He is the no-nonsense but passionate Field Director of Kaziranga National Park, practically the custodian of the Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros.

“I was a nature and animal lover from childhood. My birthplace is Shola forest. I used to play in the forest nursery along with other kids. Most of us become forest officers as we join the service. In my case, I have known this department since my childhood,” the 45-year-old said.

“We used to go and meet forest officers. They used to be our guides and guardians in the Nilgiri Hills. One of my gurus is Manoj Kumar Sarkar from West Bengal. He was a Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) in Nilgiri when I was in Class VIII,” Sivakumar reminisced. 

A graduate and post-graduate in forestry, he is a product of the Forest College and Research Institute, Mettupalayam under the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University. Sivakumar, who joined the service in 2000, is a recipient of the National Forestry Award.

“When I was serving as a DFO in Nagaon, we did an afforestation work involving community forestry which was funded by the World Bank. The World Bank appreciated it so much that it said it was one the best projects in 32 countries where the bank was funding. The Government of Assam nominated me for the National Forestry Award and National Environment Award. I received the National Forestry Award in 2009,” Sivakumar said.

Last year, he received the Karmashree Award - Assam Chief Minister Award for Excellence in Public Administration. He received it for the revival of rare, endangered and threatened tree species.

Asked about his plans for the 884 sq km Kaziranga National Park, this is what Sivakumar had to say. 

“We are planning to do a largescale habitat-related work. We will take a lot of initiatives on the north bank of the Brahmaputra which falls under sixth addition of the park. We are planning to promote Agoratoli and Burapahar ranges on a par with Kahora and Bagori ranges. This is because we are putting too much pressure on Kahora and Bagori,” he said.

Incidents of poaching have dropped substantially in the past two years and Sivakumar attributed it to the concerted effort by the forest department, police and state government and the support being given by the Nagaland and the Arunachal Pradesh police.

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