Express News Service
MADIKERI: Adorning the trademark camouflaged uniforms, the Anti-Naxal Force commandos of Karnataka are by and large involved in conducting combing operations inside the thick forests. However, during the ongoing pandemic, the ANF commandos have an additional task at hand — help the poor forest dwellers.
Kodagu district has scores of tribal residents who live isolated in the forest. With no government-authorized identity cards, many of these residents are deprived of availing government schemes. Again, the pandemic has affected their livelihood.
“While we carry out combing operations in the forests, we identify poor families in the forest. With the efforts from the ANF Superintendent B Nikhil, we are distributing food kits to such families,” explained Shashikumar, ANF SI based in Bhagamandala.
A list of beneficiaries is being submitted by the commandos to the ANF teams. The food kits are arranged by the force. “Once we receive the food kits, we go into the forest and hand over the kits to the beneficiaries,” he added.
Across Kodagu, the ANF commandos have so far distributed nearly 100 food kits to tribals residing in naxal-hit areas. “We distributed nearly 60 food kits across Bhagamandala, Aarji, and Kutta villages in the district. This year, we have just begun the initiative and have distributed nearly 40 food kits,”
The ANF has also donated oxygen concentrators to rural hospitals in Bhagamandala, Kutta and Aarji villages. “Many donors have come forward to enable donations to poor families in naxal-hit areas in other districts. However, there are no sponsors in Kodagu and hence, we are availing kits from the ANF,” added Sahshikumar.