By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 30 Jul: The Doon School celebrated International Tiger Day on 29 July with VP Singh Badnore, the Governor of Punjab and the Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, as the Chief Guest. The event was an initiative of the NEST (Nature, Engineering, Science, and Technology) Society, a student led society at The Doon School.
The President of NEST Society, Vedant Gattani, welcomed all the 303 participants from the 13 invited schools from India and the UAE. Vedant addressed the gathering while reminding the audience about the significance of International Tiger Day and the purpose of the event, which was to “Promote a worldwide system whereby we are dedicated to protecting tigers and their natural habitats”.
Subsequently, Headmaster Dr Jagpreet Singh introduced the keynote speaker, VP Singh Badnore, who was the Chairman of the Special Task Force to rehabilitate and relocate tigers in Sariska, Rajasthan. Badnore was also on the Empowered Committee of Forests & Wildlife Management in Rajasthan, Wildlife Preservation Board, Rajasthan, and a core member of the Steering Committee on “Project Tiger”.
The students of The Doon School gave three presentations on the most famous tiger reserves of the country. Aakash Mishra, Neerav Agarwal, and Aprameya Gulati presented on Ranthambore National Park, while another presentation on Jim Corbett National Park was delivered by Ganadhipati Anissha Aryan, Madhav Mehra, Aditya Shashank Agrawal, and Neil Kashyap. Yuvan Kamdar, Anshuman Gupta, Eashman Sadana, and Karan Agarwal concluded the set of presentations with their exhibition on the Kaziranga National Park. All presentations included intricate details of the particular tiger reserve, such as its history, number and trend of tiger population, conservation efforts and projects, a unique feature of the particular national park, presence of eco-tourism and its aid in wildlife conservation, etc.
Badnore, in his speech, emphasised the need to connect local communities with conservation and stressed the importance of their support for achieving conservation success. He also highlighted the need for responsible tourism and the need for it to provide benefits to local communities while ensuring regulation and commitment to best practices. He touched upon the history of tiger population and conservation in India over a century and provided enlightening insights into his personal experiences of establishing the Sariska Tiger Reserve in 2004-2005. “As an environmentalist, it will always be my endeavour to effectively deal with the matters of saving the environment and wildlife, both, at the field, as well as policy levels,” he emphasised.
The floor was opened for questions and the audience was met with a detailed and informative response by the guest speaker. In the end, Soham Agarwal, in charge of the society, proposed the vote of thanks.
By OUR STAFF REPORTER