Commemorating 50 years of Project Tiger: PM inaugurates Intl. Meet
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Commemorating 50 years of Project Tiger: PM inaugurates Intl. Meet

April 9, 2023

Mysuru, Apr. 9 (MTY&BS)-Prime Minister Narendra Modi today released the ‘Tiger Estimation Summary Report’ and declared the number of big cats in India as on 2022 as ‘3,167’.

The PM, who inaugurated the International Conference on Tiger Conservation and also the First Indian Conservation Conference organised as part of 50 years of Project Tiger, at KSOU Convocation Hall in city this afternoon, released the booklets — ‘Amrit Kaal Ka Vision For Tiger Conservation’, ‘Management Effectiveness Evaluation Report (2022) of Tiger Reserves’ and also a coin in commemoration of 50 years of Project Tiger.

Modi, who began his address with an appeal to audience to give a standing ovation to tigers on the increase of their numbers in India, termed it as a matter of happiness not just for the country, but also for the world.

“At a time when the country is celebrating its 75 years of Independence, we have been a witness to the significant development in the terms of conservation. The country has not just succeeded in adding the number of tigers but also in creating a suitable eco-system,” added Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Moreover, many wildlife enthusiasts had a question — how India was succeeding in the conservation of big cats, when the population of tigers is on a decline in the world. The success can be attributed to the innate culture and tradition that exists among our countrymen that gives a true meaning of ‘Nature in our Culture’.

Tracing the history of Tiger Reserves in the country and the success stories that followed, PM Modi said that from nine Tiger Reserves in the year 1973, we have touched 53 Tiger Reserves in the last 50 years. Moreover, the country has 75 percent of Tiger population of the world. While in the last 10 to 12 years, we have added 75,000 square km area of forests and tree growing areas, all contributing to the increase in the number of Tigers in the country, asserted Modi.

Tiger is not just an animal, but also a part of the age-old tradition, as the paintings of big cats are found in 10,000 year old rock arts seen in Madhya Pradesh and other age old arts in Central India and Maharashtra. There are several communities that still worship tigers and consider them as one among the family. It is also the vehicle of Goddess Durga and Lord Ayyappa, added Modi.

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Recalling his tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister, Modi said: “I had worked on the conservation of lions, where I learnt that to save the animals from going extinct, we have to involve locals and build a relationship with the animals. It is nothing but a blend of ‘Emotion and Economy’. As a part of the initiative, ‘Vanya Prani Mitra’ programme was launched to check poaching and even cash rewards were given. Even women were employed as Foresters and Guards.”

Likewise India has many other success stories like being the country with largest Asiatic elephants, single horn rhinos and increase in number of aquatic creatures including the endangered species by cleaning and protecting the water bodies.

Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav and Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey were also present. The PM went through the exhibition organised as part of the Conference.

Later, Modi left for New Delhi from Mysore Airport in Mandakalli at around 2 pm.

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