Can we really save the Indian tiger?
Government campaigns have a tradition of failing in India. We have seen 'Save Ganga' and 'Save Himalayas' bite the dust. What exactly are the authorities planning to do about the dwindling numbers of our national animal?
CJ: RATAN SHARGA Fri, Feb 05, 2010 15:41:00 IST
FIRST ‘SAVE Ganga’, then ‘Save Himalayas’ and ‘Save environment’ and now a new campaign ‘Save Tigers’, our own national animal.
It is shocking that we are left with only 1,411 tigers. But is the figure accurate? Whether that number has been authenticated by some reliable agency with some strong corroborative evidence to support the figure is not known.
Also how is it that the numbers have so dwindled? Project Tiger was launched way back in 1972 to protect the Bengal Tiger and by the year 2008 there were some 40 Project Tiger ‘Tiger Reserves in India’ with the famous Jim Corbett National Park at Ramnagar leading the list of protected bio-geographical spheres to act as safe havens for this species.
In 1990, there were some 3500 Tigers alive but then horrible episodes like the vanishing of Tigers from the Sariska Tiger Reserve were reported. A strong voice was raised against the illegal activities of poachers which ultimately lead to the arrest of the notorious poacher of Tigers- Sansar Chand.
Will the current campaign really help? Will they be able to stop the hunting of the species? What have government agencies been doing for so long? Nothing concrete has been done on ground to save the forest cover first, and then no effective steps have been taken by these agencies to restrict the movement of human beings inside the jungles.
We all are aware of the fact that many villages have sprung up on the periphery of these Tiger Reserves. This promotes the animal-human conflict resulting either in human tragedy or the ending of the animal after it becomes man-eater.
If we are really to save our tigers the little that is left of their habitats has to be conserved and made secure. The lesser the human-animal interaction the better it is for both.