“Who looks after the forests – forest department or Todas?” “Forests department people protect the forest. They know about the forest and work on its maintenance. But Toda people know which forests have what trees, and what are the ways through the forest.
Who saves the forests? Only the tribal people have so much knowledge of the forests, so now it is the tribes who save the forests. We know how to do tree cutting, saplings planting, medicinal properties of trees. Some people who come to the forest are cutting trees and saplings, the department is not asking them any questions. When they see and don’t ask, why should we see and not tell.”