PM Modi releases eight cheetahs to India brought from Namibia.
On Saturday, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi released eight wild cheetahs in Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh brought from Namibia.
The carnivorous animal which got extinct in India was brought back to the country by the Prime Minister under Project Cheetah, which is the world’s first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project.
Out of the eight cheetahs introduced in India, five are female and three male and all of them were released at two points in Kuno National Park.
While addressing to the nation on this historic day, the Prime Minister said, “Decades ago, the age-old link of biodiversity that was broken and became extinct, today we have a chance to restore it. Today the cheetah has returned to the soil of India.”
PM Modi further congratulated all the people of the nation on this historic occasion and remarked that bringing these cheetahs has awakened the nature loving consciousness of India with full force. He also thanked Namibia and its government as it would not have been possible to bring the cheetahs back to Indian soil after decades without their cooperation.
“I am sure, these cheetahs will not only make us aware of our responsibilities towards nature but will also make us aware of our human values ??and traditions”, the Prime Minister said.
PM Modi mentioned that even though cheetahs had become extinct from India in 1952, no meaningful effort was made to rehabilitate them for the past seven decades. The Prime Minister expressed elation that in the Azadi Ka Amit Mahotsav, the country has started to rehabilitate cheetahs with new energy. “Amrit has the power to revive even the dead”, he added.
The Prime Minister also asked the countrymen to have patience and wait for a few months to take a look at the cheetahs as they will need some time to adjust to the National park.
“Today these cheetahs have come as guests, and are unaware of this area. For these cheetahs to be able to make Kuno National Park their home, we have to give them a few months' time,” he said. The Prime Minister said that international guidelines are being followed and India is trying its best to settle these cheetahs. “We must not allow our efforts to fail”, the Prime Minister added.
While talking about how the world looks at nature and the environment today, they only think about sustainable development but PM Modi says for India, nature and environment, its animals and birds, are not just about sustainability and security but the basis of India’s sensibility and spirituality.
“We are taught to care about even the smallest creatures living around us. Our traditions are such that if the life of a living being goes away without any reason, then we are filled with guilt. Then how can we accept that the existence of an entire species is lost because of us?”, he said.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister added that today cheetahs are found in some countries of Africa, and in Iran, however, India's name was removed from that list long ago. “Children will not have to go through this irony in the years to come. I am sure, they will be able to see the cheetah running in their own country, in Kuno National Park. Today a big void in our forest and life is being filled through the cheetah”, PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that 21st century India is giving a message to the whole world that economy and ecology are not conflicting fields. He said that India is a living and breathing example that economic progress of the country can take place along with protecting the environment. “Today, on one hand, we are included in the fastest growing economies of the world, at the same time the forest areas of the country are also expanding rapidly”, the Prime Minister pointed out.
According to the official statement, the release of wild Cheetahs by the Prime Minister in Kuno National Park is part of his efforts to revitalise and diversify India’s wildlife and its habitat. Cheetahs are believed to help restore open forest and grassland ecosystems in India which will further help to conserve biodiversity and enhance the ecosystem services like water security, carbon sequestration and soil moisture conservation, benefiting society at large. This effort, in line with the Prime Minister’s commitment to environmental protection and wildlife conservation, will also lead to enhanced livelihood opportunities for the local community through eco-development and ecotourism activities.