Stories from the forest, now on The Slow App

Neelesh Misra’s The Slow App and The Indian Forest Service Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to showcase the valour of the green warriors.

Subha J Rao
| Updated: February 27th, 2021

(From Left) Surendra Mehra (IFS), Dr SP Yadav (IFS), Ramesh Pandey (IFS), Saket Badola (IFS), and Anulata Raj Nair and Neelesh Misra of Slow Content Pvt Ltd

Ever so often, on social media, you come across heartwarming stories of the bond between humans and the wild. Invariably, they have a Forest Department connection. Or, you read about Forest Department personnel being injured or laying down their lives in the call of duty — while preventing poaching or smuggling. 

On rare occasions, the very wildlife they seek to protect turn against them, with fatal consequences.

All these stories fall into the “brief” news segment. Rarely do we get to know of the work involved deep in the jungle or on its fringes. What drives people to do what they do, as part of the forest service? What do the families of those who head into the jungles to protect them go through? 

That will hopefully change soon.

The Indian Forest Service Association (IFSA) has partnered with Neelesh Misra’s Slow Content Pvt Ltd to share the untold stories of foresters through The Slow App. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today, February 27, to that effect in New Delhi. 

There will be a dedicated IFSA channel on The Slow App, which shall host storytelling by Misra and other artistes mentored by him, related to the bravery, sacrifices and triumph of Indian Forest Service (IFS) officials and field staff, as well as specially-created video and audio content ranging from long-form video films to podcasts.

During the signing of the MoU, SP Yadav (IFS), president, IFSA, said: “One of the aims of the IFS Association is to create consciousness in society about the diverse roles played by foresters to manage and protect the forest, wildlife and other natural resources.”

With the tie-up with The Slow App, the stories of “not just our officials and the ground staff, but also of their ever-supporting families would also be rightly told to the world”, Yadav added.

“As a content creator, our responsibility is to give a voice to unheard stories,” said Neelesh Misra, founder of Slow Content Pvt Ltd. “Every story of IFS officials and their field staff’s heroism and humanity is inspiring and should reach the maximum number of people. We are proud to be representing IFSA with its rich and meaningful content on The Slow App,” said Misra, a journalist, lyricist and storyteller, who also founded Gaon Connection, India’s biggest rural media platform, to showcase stories from rural India.

A month ago, on January 29, The Slow App signed a similar Memorandum of Understanding with the Central Reserve Police Force to narrate the stories of CRPF bravehearts.

Also Read: Inspirational Tales: About the bravehearts of CRPF, soon on The Slow App

The Indian Forest Service, one of the three All India Services, was constituted in the year 1966. The main mandate of the service is implementation of the National Forest Policy, which envisages scientific management of forests and its sustainable utilisation. 

The Indian Forest Service Association represents the country’s IFS officers and works to ensure the welfare of forest personnel and spread awareness about challenging tasks undertaken by field foresters while protecting the ecological security of the country. 

The IFSA’s Twitter handle regularly posts such stories of hope, heartbreak and awareness.

Slow Content Pvt Ltd has been creating video and audio content to reconnect viewers and listeners with a simpler life, and takes them back to their roots with the use of audio storytelling, celebrity interviews (The Slow Interview and the The Slow Café), showcasing budding talent (Mic) and an extensive range of customised video content for individual client requirements. 

Also Read: I do not want to walk about with the burden of my name: Anupam Kher

The recent collaboration will help narrate the untold stories of hard work, sacrifice and valour of India’s green soldiers who are involved in protecting the country’s natural resources. 

Saket Badola (IFS), secretary general,  IFSA, said during today’s event: “We hope this co-created platform will emerge as a repository of several untold and unheard stories originating deep inside the forests of the country, where our green soldiers silently work and sacrifice their present for protecting our future”.

After the creation of the channel, forest officials and ground staff, besides veterans, will be able to showcase individual talents on the app in video, audio and text formats. The achievements of children of foresters will also be featured on the app, a press release from The Slow App said.

The Slow App is available for both Android and the iPhone users and has a variety of audio, visual and reading content.