A Life with Wildlife:From Princely India

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Dr. M.K. Ranjitsinh is unofficially termed as superhero of India’s conservation community. He has done thorough work and research regarding endangered species. He is credited for establishing many projects including Project Tiger which is one of the world’s most successful conservation projects and Project Snow Leopard. He wrote a book on Rudyard Kipling in 2008. Now he is back with his accounts on wildlife since from British era to present in his book A Life with Wildlife: From Princely India to the Present which is going to be released on June 14th.


 

Dr M.K. Ranjitsinh belongs to the royal family of Wankaner. He joined the IAS in 1961. As collector of Mandla, MP, he helped save the central Indian barasingha from extinction. As secretary, forests and tourism in MP, he established 14 new sanctuaries, 8 new national parks and more than doubled the area of 3 existing national parks, a total addition of over 9,000 sq. km. to the protected areas of the nation. He was the prime architect of the Wildlife (Protection) Act; was director of wildlife preservation twice and additional secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forests. He was member secretary of the task force which initiated Project Tiger and he also initiated Project Snow Leopard. He helped save the Manipur sangai and other endangered species. The eastern subspecies of the barasingha is named after him. He worked with UNEP as senior regional advisor in nature conservation for the Asia-Pacific region. He has published numerous articles and two books, Beyond the Tiger and The Indian Blackbuck, which was the subject of his PhD thesis.

 

Dr M.K. Ranjitsinh has had an unparalleled role in India’s wildlife conservation history. He was the prime architect of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 and of the Central government schemes to assist national parks and sanctuaries. His passion for saving endangered species continues after his retirement, whether in planning the relocation of the Asiatic lion from Gir forest, the reintroduction of the cheetah into the grasslands of central India, or in saving from extinction the Kashmir stag, the Manipur brow-antlered deer and the great Indian bustard.

 

A Life with Wildlife traces the course of wildlife from the princely and British era to the present and shows how wildlife conservation efforts in India have always emanated from the upper echelons of power. The book reveals the challenges of conservation in a democracy like India, and how to counteract them. There is also a candid, never-revealed-before account of the Bhopal gas tragedy from someone who played a pivotal role in its aftermath.This delightful first-hand narrative is in its essence the history of nature conservation in India, by a person who was part of it and contributed to it, during its most tumultuous period.

 

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