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Cheetahs return is a ‘Sprint of Hope’ for Indian ecology conservation efforts: SK Narvar

Indian plan of ecological conservation is guided by the Prime Minister’s vision of driving economic development and conservation of ecology hand-in-hand. The Government’s commitment is evident from the budgetary allocation for tiger conservation increased from Rs 185 crore in 2014 to Rs 300 crore in 2022.

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SK Narvar - Capital India Corp chairman
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S K Narvar, Chairman, Capital India Corp, speaks about introducing the Cheetah into Indian forests and how ecology and economy are set to take a leap under PM Modi’s vision.

Ques: What do you make of the Cheetah’s returning to India after 70 years?

SK Narvar: The Asian Cheetah is primarily considered native to India and has been a part of Indian wildlife for centuries. However, hunting and wildlife exploitation in the colonial era resulted in their extinction from the country. While India has successfully run national programs such as Project Tiger, the Return of Cheetahs is a momentous occasion for the country. It is a proud moment for all of us. But more importantly, it is a moment of great responsibility to ensure that the population of Cheetahs revive from this point. It for India will be yet another step toward restoring our natural and wildlife.

Ques: In light of this event, how has India fared in wildlife conservation in the past decade?

SK Narvar: The Return of Cheetah indicates the Indian Government’s growing interest in saving our natural and wildlife resources. Under PM Modi’s visionary leadership, there’s a genuine focus on sustainability and living in resonance with nature. The entire exercise behind the Return of Cheetah is a testimony of the Government’s commitment to the cause. It is one of the many vital steps taken by the Government. Post-2014, the Protected Area increased to 981 from 740 and forest cover increased by 16000 square km. Community reserves also shot up to 100 from 43 in 2014: Tiger and Asiatic Lion’s population witnesses incremental increase year-on-year. Between 2014 and 2018, the tiger count increased by over 700 in the past four years.

PM Modi and CheetahsQues: What is India’s plan for ecological conservation?

SK Narvar: Indian plan of ecological conservation is guided by the Prime Minister’s vision of driving economic development and conservation of ecology hand-in-hand. The Government’s commitment is evident from the budgetary allocation for tiger conservation increased from Rs 185 crore in 2014 to Rs 300 crore in 2022. It will power endeavours to protect biodiversity in the future. However, India’s immediate objective would be to ensure cheetahs thrive in the country.

Ques: What care does India need to take to make the project successful?

SK Narvar: The cheetahs have experienced a world of change in being transported from Africa to India. The first step was to offer them a safe abode in Kuno National Park. Furthermore, we have to oversee how they adapt to the natural habitat, compete against other cats, and can hunt for food. Successful projects will help raise India’s stature as an environment and nature-friendly destination at the global level. As PM Modi aptly commented, economy and ecology can go hand in hand for long-term benefits of humankind.

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