HYDERABAD: The nation of a billion plus people calls it their national animal, even though there are only 3200 of them left today. The decline in tiger population has been rapid and currently Telangana and Andhra Pradesh together have 70 wild cats.
“Their number is going to go up to 100 in next two to three years,” said Imran Siddiqui, field biologist and co-founder of Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society. Siddiqui’s optimism and vision is shared by 1,500 students of Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet who participated and pledged their support towards conservation of the wild cats at a programme titled ‘Kids For Tigers’.
With July 29 marked as International Tiger Day, the students celebrated ‘Bagh Divas’.
Actress Dia Mirza, who was also present on the occasion said, “Global Tiger Day is a not just a day to mark in our calendars but a resolution to make a commitment to ourselves as individuals to remember that the tiger is the metaphor for life and that in protecting tiger and its habitat we are in fact protecting our own future.”
She lauded the idea of making children champions of the cause by education them about the severity of the situation.
“Nature doesn’t need people. But, people need nature, so we need to protect it. You are the part of the nature” she emphasised.
Dia also made students take an oath towards tiger conservation and urged students to “stop people from causing harm to nature, remember nature is part of our lives and to save tigers. “We need to make so much noise that government of India listens to our voices and takes measures to conserve forests and tigers. Tigers are becoming extinct and we are duty bound to protect them,” she added.
‘Bagh Bachao. Bharath Bachao’ is an initiate of Aircel’s ‘Save Our Tigers’ was conducted in association with Sanctuary Asia.
“Tigers sit at the pinnacle of the ecological pyramid and saving them is equivalent to saving nature. We want to inspire as many children as possible to take action to prevent the loss of this beautiful animal. These children hold the future of this planet in their hands and will make the right choices if they know what is at stake,” said Bittu Sahgal, environmental activist and founder editor of Sanctuary Asia.