Imagine the world without flora and fauna. It is difficult to imagine a world where we can’t hear the sound the wind blowing through the tall grass. People around the globe has failed to understand the importance of wildlife conservation. Not are aware of the what steps need to be taken to preserve wildlife? Wildlife plays a crucial role in this delicate ecosystem and without wildlife the human race would not survive.
Indian Government and NGO’s have been working in unison towards the protection of wildlife. As a result, The Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 has several provisions for the conservation of wildlife. This initiative has led to increase in tourism industry around wildlife. This led to many former poachers becoming safari guides and now protect wildlife. Due to government initiative the Gir forest in Gujarat is home to the only surviving population of Asiatic lions in the world. The population of Asiatic lions had reduced to 180 in 1960.
Today it takes me immense proud to share the story of Latika Nath who’s work will inspire inspire people to explore a side of India often ignored or forgotten. She is known to wear many hats such as a cosmopolitan scientist, the keen conservationist television personality, the hard-working researcher, the intellectual, the dutiful wife, hard work researcher, dutiful wife and is known as India’s “Tiger Princess.” But above also known as the First Indian to hold a doctorate on tigers, her love for wildlife has been a blind of adventurous and tough as the same time. She had to be brave to face adverse conditions to be being in uncomfortable surroundings in the jungle and above all red tapism.
During her growing up days she used to regularly visit family homes in Kashmir, Assam and Himachal Pradesh. Post completing her graduation in environment Science from Maitreyi College in Delhi University, she got a scholarship to study at the School of Forestry at the University of Wales. Post completing her education was all set to pack her bags and leave for Dachigam National Park to study the Hangul and the bears but trip was cancelled as terrorism was at his peak in Kashmir. “My grandparents’ home was burnt using incendiary bombs, the staff were tortured, shot and murdered and we lost everything. I then took the decision to join the Wildlife Institute of India, where the director Dr HS Panwar, advised me to consider doing a doctorate on tigers as no holistic scientific studies had been done on India’s national animal till date.”
But the journey was all smooth sailing as before embarking on this journey she was accused of cooking data, causing her permits to be revoked. But at this hour of need Dr Judith Pallot, vouched for her and invited her to the University of Oxford and also suggested to study under the guidance to reputed Biologist David Macdonald who was the founder of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford. She did not complete her doctoral research and also received her PhD too from the prestigious Institution.
Even as a qualified wildlife biologist, jobs don’t get easy at all and it comes with its own hazards. As a life of a work of Wildlife biologist Latika has to stationed weeks in forests doing research and hours with the animals by observing them in their natural habitat. India Tiger Princess” Latika Nath describes her jobs and said Meet “India’s Tiger Princess” Latika Nath – the first Indian with a doctorate on tigers. Latika played a very crucial role when she decided to work towards Kanha forest ecosystem and founded the Wild India ResortsPvt Ltd and the main mission was to establish eco-friendly resorts all over the nation. The first resort was opened in Singinawa Jungle Lodge in Mukki, Kanha. In 2008 she founded the Singinawa Foundation and in the last decade has closely worked towards indigenous tribal communities that inhabit the tiger reserve –to uplift its social and environmental landscape made.
She has worked towards providing alternate sources of income to the villagers in the buffer zone of Kanha Tiger Reserve and has been creating charcoal briquettes from lantana and cow dung as a fuel source, funded by TOFT. She was appointed the ambassador for Aircel’s Save The Tiger television campaign, and has held art camps in Kanha where artistes from 16 countries came together to celebrate the tiger.
She also gave an insight into What she risked as well as what she gained and said “It was a daunting prospect to break into primarily a male bastion, and work in the field shoulder to shoulder with men. You learn to adapt and live in sync with the other inhabitants of your habitat, and most importantly to protect and nurture the fragile ecosystems you’re part ofI am just about beginning to prove that I am not a socialite adopting a cause but a serious conservation ecologist who can prove her right to be counted in the ranks of India’s foremost conservationists, and I have what it takes to do real work on the ground,”
Latika plan to continue to build awareness through her books and support conservation initiatives across the world. She added that My focus is no longer on academic research but I will lend support to students and researchers by offering a base in Kanha and by working with them on projects of my choosing. I will also continue to offer consultancy on conservation projects. Survival of mankind is linked to the survival of all the species on this planet and short-term benefit of mankind cannot be at the cost of the long-term destruction of life on the planet.”