'Kushal Konwar Sarma is affectionately known as the "elephant doctor" in
India's wildlife community. He has spent 35 years of his life caring for
elephants, saving the lives of thousands of them in the forests of India
and Indonesia, writes BBC Hindi's Dilip Kumar Sharma.
"I am the happiest when I am around elephants," says Dr Sarma. "The
amount of time I have spent with elephants is more than the time I have
spent with my family."
The 60-year-old grew up in a village called Barma in India's
north-eastern state of Assam, which is home to around 5,000 of the
country's more than 27,000 elephants, according to the last survey
conducted in 2017.
He says he has been able to understand the "language" of elephants. "In
addition to feeding them, I communicate with them through signs," he
says, adding that "now most of the elephants here recognise me".
Dr Sarma was awarded Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian
honours, for his work earlier this year. According to his own estimate,
he has treated more than 10,000 elephants so far.'
Via Frederick Wilson II.
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