Wildlife’s Unsung Heroes

International Wildlife Day 2017

Society

March 3, 2017

/ By / New Delhi



While the numbers of extinct, endangered, vulnerable and threatened species of animals and birds are on a steady rise, people across the globe are only prattling about the muddle associated with wildlife. At a time when the loss of wildlife and wildlife-rich grasslands is rapidly growing, the problem often goes unnoticed. But, there are individuals who are making a difference by contributing in their own little ways to challenge the wildlife problems.

We are all aware of the famous PETA endorsers like Amy Jackson, Imran Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Sunny Leone, John Abraham, Shilpa Shetty and Lara Dutta, among others, who have shelled out a great deal towards wildlife while keeping themselves away from the media glare and helping raise awareness about the plight of the wild as well as the street animals. However, there are other unknown faces who are no celebrities and have been working for years now to help the wildlife get their fair share of Mother Earth.

As the world celebrates the International Wildlife Day today, Media India Group wishes to dedicate the day to the people who are selflessly working to provide a better environment for the wild on the Indian land.

 

Tilak Vij
Upon entering the nature clubs by Tilak Vij in Himachal Pradesh, roll your eyes as far as you can and all you will see is greenery! Man-wildlife conflicts bothered this flourishing businessman from India to the extent that he quit his job in Germany to save the animals in this northern Indian state and now works as a ground level activist in the region. Bearer of the Eco Warrior Award in 2008 for his contribution in forestation and animal protection activities, Tilak has established nearly six nature clubs and also promotes the need to grow trees to develop and retain Himachal Pradesh’s green cover, so that the wildlife does not intrude in the residential areas. He is now working towards creating a leopard conservation centre along with the state government.

 

Binod Dulu Bora

Working on the same lines is Binod Dulu Bora, an animal rescuer, wildlife expert and the major driving force behind Assam’s Green Guard Nature Organization. Working in the dense tiger and elephant hill forests of Karbi Anglong and engaging communities with wild elephants and leopards, he has significantly reduced conflicts between people and wildlife.

 

Abdul Wadud Banatwala

Another thoughtful way of protecting the wildlife is by making people aware, and that’s the recovery road chosen by Abdul Wadud Banatwala in Gujarat. An hotelier by profession, over the years, Banatwala has contributed significantly in ceasing the inhumane killing of whale sharks along the coasts of Gujarat by educating the fishermen about the necessity of the fishes in seas and influenced many of them. A majority of fishermen along the Gujarat coast have given up merciless killing of the whale sharks.

 

Keerthi Krutha
Aiming to protect the endangered tigers in the country, Keerthi Krutha, who was a part of ‘Kids for Tigers’, a sanctuary tiger programme, and was selected as the national tiger ambassador in 2004, today contributes towards protecting reptiles and amphibians. She did her bachelors in Plant Biotechnology, while continuing to rescue snakes, volunteering at the Madras Crocodile Bank, participating in wildlife estimations, and organising Earth Hour campaigns. In 2012, Keerthi took the opportunity to characterise amphibian chytrid fungus in the Western Ghats, under the Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society (WILD) and the Zoo Outreach Organisation (ZOO), Coimbatore. She also undertook fieldwork in 39 protected areas and 19 other sites.

 

Pamela and Anil Malhotra

Imagine owning a wildlife sanctuary of your own and coming alive to the sound of birds, garden-fresh air and nature all around. Sounds impossible? Well, a couple from India, Pamela and Anil Malhotra, has turned this dream into a reality by turning 55 acres of land into a beautiful forest of over 300 acres, thus, giving birth to SAI Sanctuary, the only private wildlife sanctuary in India that now hosts animals like Bengal Tigers, Asian Elephants, Hyena, Wild Boar, Leopards, Sambhar, among others.

 

Ashok Kumar
Though increasing, the elephant population around the world is still vulnerable and after Ashok Kumar, from Jamshedpur, passed through forest after forest, in no time those forests and their elephants totally captivated him. He fell in love with everything wild and soon started acting to protect it. Today, he contributes to tackle the magnitude of illegal wildlife trade, focuses on facilitating better coordination between forest departments and enforcement authorities, builds capacity of all the wildlife enforcement authorities and aids to set up forensics and legal assistance to ensure convictions.

While we are busy urbanising our so-called modern cities, the plight of animals is going unnoticed. As, many face the danger of extinction, no one seems to mind. However, thankfully, there are many others around the world who are making a difference and Media India Group salutes these heroes.

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