Gujarat's pride safe in Siddi woman's hands!
The Times of India City
Talala (Gir-Somnath): It was 10pm and pitch dark all around. Twenty-seven-year old Rozina Chotiyara was alone in the midst of forest near Talala. Suddenly, she sensed some people moving around illegally in the area. After confirming the direction, Rozina followed them. However, one of them saw her and started running away. But they had failed to gauge her stamina. In no time, she chased and overpowered all four of them by midnight.
Don't mistake this to be some women's bravery story from a children's book. For, protecting Asiatic lions in their last abode is the daily job of Rozina, the first woman of the primitive Siddi tribe to join the forest department.
"I lost my chappals while chasing the offenders as the terrain is rough and uneven. But I caught two of them from their necks. They were fined Rs 30,000 for animal teasing," said Rozina, a native of Javantri village near Talala.
A farmer's daughter, Rozina could have opted for a more comfortable job of a school teacher after completing her BA and B.Ed in 2010. But having being born and brought up in the Gir forest, lion protection was a natural career choice. "It is my passion and duty to serve Gir and its pride - the Asiatic lion," said Rozina, who is posted at Jepur beat of Ghansh round.
Rozina has also set an example for her community where most people work as farm labourers or do odd jobs. There are around 55,000 Siddis living in Junagadh district.