KOCHI: Besides, devaswom employed mahouts have insurance cover, medical benefits and other job related perks like festival allowance. “We have been getting scores of applications each time the Devaswom calls for mahouts,” they said.
Babu M Palissery MLA, president of the Kerala State Elephant Workers Union, a body of around 1,000 mahouts and elephant workers, said the job still attracts the youth. “After the relentless effort of the union, a mahout is now offered Rs7,500 as basic pay, daily allowance of Rs250, festival allowance of Rs2,500, and it goes up to Rs3,750 if it is a church festival. However, a welfare fund for mahouts is still a distant dream,” said Babu.