The early years
In the year of 1993 a committee was formed by Central Government to indentify the reasons behind failure of conservation efforts made under Project Tiger and majors to make the process more strong and effective.
In this context some suggestions were recommended by Mr R. S. kumbhat and in those suggestions deployment of nature guides was also mentioned as a very important task. Because before that in all tourist vehicle only drivers used to do everything and it was possible to give him greed and make him to break laws, may be kill some animals. So it was highly recommended that there should be one more person in every tourist vehicle representing the forest department and useful for tourist also. From there Nature Guides were introduced by then the forest department.
So, we all Nature Guides are very thankful to Mr Kumbhat who is actually father of this community. He recommended so many different powers to be provided to these Nature Guides and defined their duties also.
In the behalf of kumbhat committee, the beginning of Nature Guides came in effect in 1993. Late honourable Mr. Brij Lal Meena was contemporary Conservator of the forest, Mr. Meena was highly ambitious of the appointment of Nature Guides to look after Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. He took keen interest in this work. His unceasing efforts brought progress. Some educated unemployed youth were guided who belong to the neighbouring of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, including village & city area. Some residents of neighbouring of the park took interest in Nature Guide job. They played vital role in the conservation of the wild life including the tigers. It is the result of Late Mr. Brij lal Meena’s unceasing efforts by which Nature Guides were inspired and encouraged. Due to his encouragement Nature Guides did much and played an important role in the conservation and beautification. This international Park, We are highly thankful to honorable Meena Sahib who took appreciable step in this important work. Although he is not among us but his achievents will be memorable.
Although some villagers were against of this conservation work but, through this excises, the forest officers got a chance to communicate directly with villagers who were really very angry with the department. Eventually they achieved to do meeting with them. Due to the meetings with villagers, some intelligent and curious officers took keen interest and anti-policy villagers in their favour and made them agreed for tiger’s conservation task. Later, it became the best way to approach towards the villagers for the forest department.
Some other people were made Nature Guide due to force of some high-esteemed and powerful status, even they did not play any important role in this work. Officers were changed. They gave priority to their kiths and kins (relatives) and friends. They made their relatives nature guides. Gradually, some nature guides were selected by the high class hotels and travel agents because they can speak English well due to their good education facilities. These nature guides joined the famous hotels & travel agents. These particular types of hoteliers & travel agents became the loyal for them.
Rest of the nature guides who are loyal to the forest department and they fully obey the rules & regulations .Usually they ignored by these hotels & travel agents. Therefore, Nature guides who were not appointed or chosen by famous hotel / travel agents were in the shelter of Ranthmabhore National Park unwillingly or by the force of the forest department. They who were expert and Clevers went ahead but simple and helpless are working in this National Park. Due to this pulling, pushing and competition feeling their strength increased and their numbers reached at about 110 by the end of 2010. These Nature Guides worked and were faithful to their duties.
These Nature Guides were not given proper advantage or proper reward of their tough work and sincere services. For keeping strict check on deforestation, forest-firing, illegal grazing of cattle on wild –animals hunting and tigers counting and Conservation. Guides union need was felt compulsory. Some guides who were exploited organized,” Ranthambhore Nature Guides Association”. Mr., Yadvendra Singh was made the president of the Association. First election was held by fair policy on December 15, 2010. Mr. Ateek Mohammd was elected as the president; Mr. Muziburahman was vice-President and Kamal Sharma as Secretary. RNGA (Ranthabhore Nature Guide association) was registered during this period. It was only one achievement by this elected cabinet. The second election was held on June 25, 2012. In this election Mr. Shard Sharma was elected as the Preisident, Mr. Satish Verma as vice-president without any objection and any election but Mr. Shakir Ali was elected as new secretary.
At last, I am sure that we all nature guides play a vital role in the conservation of wild life including tiger monitoring, forest-firing, illegal grazing of cattle, poaching and census etc.
Best of luck!
President, Shard Ranthambhore, RNGA