Letter I wrote to my sons after our trip in Oct.2004 to Ranthambhore National Park and the Koeldeo Bird Sanctuary, Bharatpur:
We had a very nice trip to Ranthambhore. But the icing on the cake was granted to us; thanks to the Indian Railways canceling our Delhi bound train after it reached Bharatpur. For once neither of us was unhappy about the cancellation of our train. We got
a sneak visit to the bird sanctuary in Bharatpur too and that for a day+.
About Koeldeo Bird Sanctuary, Bhatarpur:
There were plenty of birds to see though the migratory ones do not turn up till mid November or so. What I found most interesting there was the fact that almost a decade plus back, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) took up a programme for training Rikshaw
pullers as Park guides, thus giving them not only dignity and a sense of achievement but also much higher than average income levels of a typical rikshaw puller. Imagine many of these guys have studied up to 11th/12th standard, speak broken English
but boy they seem to know their Park and the flora and fauna in it really well.
We had a most enterprising 6ft+ Rajiv Singh, a Sardarji with a dignified mien taking us around and he did a great job. We learn that they went through a year long programme and are now put through a month long refresher course by WWF every year. There are
110 of them. Will write about Ranthambhor National Park some other time Wishing A GREAT NEW YEAR AHEAD FOR ALL IWC MEMBERS