Belli, who was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary 'The Elephant Whisperers', has been appointed as the first woman caretaker in Tamil Nadu. The state government appointed Belli as the 'cavady', assistant to mahout, in the state-run Theppakkadu elephant camp in the Nilgiris district.
In an official release, the government said she was appointed considering her dedication and exemplary services in rearing abandoned baby elephants. Before her appointment, Belli was a temporary caretaker-assistant (cavady) of elephants.
The Theppakkadu elephant camp in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in the Nilgiris district is one of the oldest elephant camps in the whole of Asia. Each elephant in the camp is reared by a mahout and cavady from the tribal community.
Earlier this year, 'The Elephant Whisperers' won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 95th Academy Awards. Produced by Guneet Monga, the short film became the first Indian production to win an Oscar in this category.
The documentary is set in the Mudumalai National Park of Tamil Nadu and follows the story of an orphan calf, Raghu. It shows how Bomman and Belli, an indigenous couple, look after the elephant and forge a bond with him.