When I called home from Gir, my parents asked me,” Is it true? Yesterday, in his speech, Narendra Modi* spoke of how his government has empowered the women of Gujarat. He said that women take tourists to see the lions. Is it true?”
Yes, it is true. Gir has women forest officers and rangers. These ladies do go into the forests. They routinely accompany tourists, just like their male counterparts. It is also true that this is the first time I have gone into the forest with a woman ranger. I have not seen women rangers accompany tourists in any of the other national parks I have been to in India.
I appreciate the general sentiment of giving women the confidence to confront lions in the jungle. I do wish, however, that society put in similar efforts to support women in tackling the big bad wolves outside the forests.
* Mr. Modi was the current Chief Minister of the Gujarat.