CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday honoured mahout Bomman and his wife Bellie who featured in the Oscar-winning documentary 'The Elephant Whisperers' at the State Secretariat.
The couple work as mahouts at Theppakkadu elephant camp in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in The Nilgiris district and look after the needs of jumbos.
The success of their 39-minute film, which is set in Tamil Nadu's Mudumulai National Park and explores the relationship between elephants Raghu and Ammu and their tribal caretakers Bomman and Bellie, has put director Kartiki Gonsalves and producer Guneet Monga on the global documentary firmament.
Later, speaking to reporters, Bomman said rearing of elephants was not easy and that they showed the same care to the calves like that being showed to children.
Kartiki Gonsalves, who directed the documentary, expressed joy over Stalin meeting the couple.
''Overjoyed and so proud to see Bomman & Bellie honoured by our honourable Chief Minister @mkstalin after 'The Elephant Whisperers' won the first academy award for India for an independent film at 95th Academy Awards,'' she said in a tweet.
The documentary revolves around the Kattunayakar tribe (to which Bomman and Bellie belong), and the tribe's harmonious lifestyle with Nature and animals.
Honouring their efforts the Chief Minister has announced a financial aid of Rs 9.10 crore, dividing Rs 1 lakh among the mahouts and workers of Theppakadu and Kozhikamuthi elephant camp.
Bankrolled by Guneet Monga, the documentary was the first Indian production to bag the coveted award in the film industry.
Inputs from ANI
Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!
Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!
Click here for iOS
Click here for Android