Healthcare major Apollo Hospitals has joined hands with the Worldwide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-I) for providing immediate medical relief and support to forest guards in case of a severe medical emergency while they are on duty.
They have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide treatment free of cost to foot soldiers. Anti-poaching watchers are also included, said a WWF-I representative.
‘In an effort to address severe medical conditions and provide immediate medical relief and support, WWF-India and Apollo Hospitals have announced a one-year partnership for the forest guards.’
"In an effort to address severe medical conditions and provide immediate medical relief and support, WWF-India and Apollo Hospitals have announced a one-year partnership for the forest guards," Apollo Hospitals and WWF-India said in a joint statement.
The support will be provided in 10 priority landscapes where WWF-India is actively working along with the state forest departments of Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
The services made available to the forest staff would also include air ambulance and other emergency medical rescue services. For other cases, WWF-India and the state forest departments involved will admit the sick/injured staff to the nearest Apollo Hospital or its franchisee at their own expense.
Appreciating the initiative, Samir Sinha, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forest and Field Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve, said, "Programs such as this are essential to the morale of the frontline staff, and for their continued welfare. We welcome this novel initiative by WWF-India and Apollo Hospitals."
WWF-India aims to explore several such opportunities wherein processes and policies can be put in place to benefit forest staff across the country. "We welcome this partnership with Apollo Hospitals which will boost their (forest guards) morale and empower them," WWF-India Secretary General and CEO Ravi Singh said.
Upasana Kamineni, Vice Chairperson, CSR at Apollo Hospitals Group said: "We at Apollo Hospitals group understand the perils that these frontline staff go through and we are always there to support them and are happy to help conserve our wildlife."