First woman assistant manager of Guruvayur Anakotta is from mohouts’ fam

Laiju Mol with the tusker Shankaranarayanan

Guruvayur: For the first time in the history of Guruvayur Anakotta (elephant camp), a woman assumed the charge of assistant manager here. Laiju Mol, who was brought up by seeing elephants and hearing the jumbo tales, belongs to a family of mahouts. She has become the assistant manager of the Anakotta where her father, husband and father-in-law had looked after the elephants.

Laijumol’s father Raveendran Nair was a mahout here for 15 years. He was the instructor of the tuskers Unnikrishnan, Murali and Krishnan. In a tragic incident, Raveendran died in an accident while heading for a procession with the elephant Krishnan, 27 years back. Later, Laiju Mol joined Guruvayur Devaswom as a clerk via compassionate appointment.

Her father-in-law Mannarath Sankaranarayanan had retired recently from the Anakotta. He was the instructor of the tusker Ramankutty, which became the winner of ‘Anayottam’ (elephant race) in Guruvayur several times. Her husband Prasad had also worked here. The couple’s bond with the elephants urged them to name their children as Akshay Krishna and Anantha Krishnan in memory of the elephant Krishnan.

Laiju Mol expressed her delight in getting an appointment at the Anakotta. ‘My eyes were filling up with tears when I arrived at Anakkotta with the appointment order,’ she said. She visited all the elephants on the first day and had conversations with the mahouts.

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