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Mankind has been evolving but at the cost of our environment. Here are the real heroes working toward balancing both in order to live a safe life.
The first Indian woman who has done a Ph.D. on tigers is a conservationist, ecologist, and author. She grew up listening to her father’s conversations about Salim Ali, Indira Gandhi, and nature, she was drawn toward the wild. She also worked with several organizations on species like the Asian elephant, snow leopard, Gangetic dolphins, and wild buffaloes. For her dedicated work in the field, she has won numerous awards and the title ‘The Tiger Princess.’ She is an author, is the founder of ‘Hidden India’ and through her writings and photography, she has raised awareness about wildlife.
The guardian of the Mangrove forests in Kerala, Kallen dedicated his life to conserving and protecting these forests and planted over a lakh mangroves. He emphasized the importance of these forests, which act as a natural defense against natural disasters like tsunamis and sea level rise because of global warming. He is regarded as the icon of environmental protection and has won many prestigious awards for his selfless commitment.
Bangalore, called the city of lakes, has seen a deteriorating number of water bodies. Anand Malligavad, an engineer by profession, is working on reviving the lakes that have disappeared as an effect of urbanization. After extensive research, the first lake in Anekal, on the verge of perishing, is brought to life. In the year 2019, three more lakes saw the light. Later he quit his job and gave all his time to rejuvenating these water bodies
Purnima is a bird conservationist working on protecting the Adjutant Stork, which was prey to the superstitious beliefs of the villagers of Assam. These are smelly, unclean scavenging birds that mostly nest on the Kadam trees. The sight of a man destroying their nests shook her. She put her Ph.D. on hold to bring awareness about these endangered species. She educated the women of the village about the importance of these helpless birds. Presently there are about 220 nests, 600 birds, and a few freed into the wild after rescue.
Suneha, based in Chennai, is a marine ecologist who focuses on habitat restoration, socio-ecology, and environmental education. Bachelor in zoology and a master's in Tropical Biodiversity, she has worked on many research and marine conservation projects across the South-Indian coastline.
A heartfelt appreciation to these people who are dedicating their life to nurture the fauna and flora.