This women's team at Punnala Forest Station guards forest as their home
Kollam: Scripting history, a team of 12 women Beat Forest Officers are deployed in Punnala Forest Station here. This is the only forest station where 75 percent of the staff are women.
Earlier, only men were working as beat forest officers. Now 12 women are working together at the Punnala model forest station in Kadassery. Punnala is one of the forest stations where most number of women are employed in the state.
It has been 5 years since the forest department started recruiting women to this post. Earlier, there was concern over the safety of women while appointing them as forest officials.
There are many challenges in the forest including the attack of wild animals and those who exploit forest. But this energetic team of women has proven that there is no need to worry about such challenges.
Among the 16 BFOs, 12 are women at the Punnala Forest station. Sandhya, Archana Raj, Soumya, Parvathy, Viji, Rasmi, Saranya, Pooja, Sameera, Anjana, Ambili and Aarya are the women officials here. These women officials who are holding graduation and post-graduation degrees are natives of Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram.
These young and daring women are engaging in their duty with great passion and dedication. "Though we were tensed in the initial days, our senior officials inspired us a lot to be brave and confident to do the duty,” said the women officials.
In this year, the highest number of cases are registered in Punnala forest station. The women BFOs are actively engaging in environment rejuvenation projects, urban forest project and plantation activities in the area. During the free time, they also cultivate organic vegetables.