Literally proving Charles Darwin’s theory of ‘Survival of the Fittest,’ a 53-year-old Raipur businessman named Ajay Agrawal walked for 4 kms through wild animals on Tuesday in Nagzira Forest Reserve to seek help, when the gypsy he hired for the evening safari broke down in the core area of the jungle.
Ajay Agrawal, who’s a wildlife enthusiast, had gone to Nagzira Forest Reserve with his brother Ashok Agrawal and nephew Tushar Agrawal on Tuesday for the evening jungle safari. When the gypsy the family hired for the safari broke down around sunset in the jungle’s core area, the fun-filled trip turned into a nightmare.
With no mobile network and no walkie-talkie sets to contact anybody, Ajay realised that waiting long in the core area for help could get dangerous. Ajay decided to walk towards the forest reserve’s camp office and seek help. He left with the guide leaving his brother, nephew and driver of the gypsy behind.
As Ajay and the guide walked towards the camp office, they encountered wild animals on the way. Also, a leopard had been spotted earlier in the day in the same area. Speaking to Nation Next, Ajay said, “It was a nightmare. While on our way to camp office, we encountered sloth bears and wild dogs. At one instant, a sloth bear was just about 20 feet away from me.”
Ajay finally reached the camp office after walking for 4 kms and 40 odd minutes. The struggle to rescue his family and the driver, however, continued. The staff at the camp office told Ajay that help could not be given to rescue the stranded tourists without consulting the higher authority. After half an hour, a gypsy was finally sent to rescue them.
Ajay told Nation Next: “It’s appalling that even in a situation like this, officials don’t act swiftly. Imagine, if somebody gets stranded and help doesn’t reach them soon, it will cost them their lives! Also, forest officials should not allow faulty vehicles to operate in the jungle.”
After the rescue, Ajay had to pay Rs 500 as a ‘fine’ to the forest reserve for the gypsy, which broke down as the driver denied paying. Also, to get to the exit gate, which was 13 kms away from camp office, Ajay had to additionally pay Rs 200 for ‘diesel charges.’