Woman to lead unit of Forest Department

Valliyamma all of 38 years is confident of taking up a new challenging role being the first woman in Kerala to head Forest Department’s Rapid Action Force to mitigate human- animal conflicts. Though she lacks any formal training, she grew up in a forest in a tribal village in Attappady that had a harmonious relationship with wild animals.

She is aware of elephants and their behavioural patterns. She will head a 10 member team that has two beat forest officers and five forest watchers in Agali region where wild elephants raid crops and pose a threat to villagers. She has been in service for 15 years She had earlier been fighting sandalwood smugglers and ganga cultivators.