Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], November 27 (ANI): The mahouts in Rajasthan expressed happiness and gratitude towards the state government as it has allowed elephant rides in Jaipur's Amer fort and Hathi Gaon areas, after a gap of nearly eight months since the COVID-19 outbreak in March.
Mahouts in Rajasthan were in dire straits after the prohibition on elephant rides in wake of the coronavirus outbreak as they were completely dependent on elephant tourism for their livelihoods.
"We are happy that our business has resumed now as per the state government's direction. It will gradually increase once foreign tourists start visiting here. We are also hoping that locals will visit the fort in large numbers maintaining COVID-19 protocols. We will follow also follow all health protocols," Nazar Mohammad, a mahout told ANI on Friday.
Another mahout Salim Khan said that the resumption of elephant rides has come as a sigh of relief for them.
"It has been just two days since the government lifted the ban on elephant rides. At present, only Indian tourists are coming here. We are now able to earn our livelihood. We are thankful to the state government," he added.
As of now, the elephant rides at Amber Fort for tourists will be organised between 8 am and 11 am following COVID-19 protocols.
As per the Department of Archaeology and Museum order, dated November 23, "It would be mandatory for mahouts and tourists to wear face masks. Also, thermal screening is a must before the ride. Before and after the ride, the tourists and mahouts have to sanitise their hands." (ANI)