Assam veterinarian Dr Kushal Konwar Sarma has been conferred Padma Shri for his outstanding contribution in the field of wildlife treatment and Asian Elephant conservation.
Dr Sarma is the professor and head of the Department of Surgery and Radiology of the College of Veterinary Science at Khanapara in Guwahati.
During the last three decades, Dr Sarma played an outstanding contribution in wildlife treatment across India, and even abroad.
Popularly, he is known as “Hati (Elephant) Doctor” in Assam because of his outstanding service in tranquilising and taming rogue wild elephants.
Without a weekend off for last 10 years, Dr Sarma treated more than 7,000 elephants, both captive and wild.
He also played the important role in taming about 200 rogue bull elephants during the last three decades.
Dr Sarma, despite his teaching assignment, played a pro-active role in conservation of India’s Asian elephant population.
While there are about one hundred unnatural cases of deaths of elephants a year in Assam, from poisonings to electrocutions, Dr Sarma’s help is sought by the administration in almost all the cases.
Dr Sarma is a member of the Steering Committee, Project Elephant of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and also a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission on Asian Elephant Specialist Group.
“This is a great piece of information for every veterinarian working in the field of wildlife conservation,” Dr. Parag Jyoti Deka, project coordinator of Pygmy Hog Conservation Project, said.
Dr Deka said contribution of Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma in the field of wildlife treatment and care is beyond comparison.
“He (Dr Sarma) is my teacher, and we are all proud of him,” he said.