Mahouts and Kavadis of elephant camps under the control of the Forest Department have sought higher salaries for their work and said they may consider staying away from this year’s Dasara festivities if their demands weren’t fulfilled.
The mahouts and kavadis met at Dubare near Kushalnagar in Kodagu district to discuss their demands and their association said they would wait for the government to look into their demand. They claimed that their demands weren’t considered despite making appeals almost every year.
Sources in the department said the matter will be settled in a day or two. The kavadis are seeking salary equivalent to a forest guard and the mahout wants the wages equal to that of the deputy range forest officer. “The government is aware of their demands and it shall look into the issue. This won’t have any impact on the preparations for the festivities,” the sources add.
Besides Mysuru, Kodagu and Chamarajanagar, the elephant camps are located in Shivamogga district.