Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the doors of two crates that held eight African cheetahs Saturday morning, hours after they landed in India, releasing two of them into the quarantine enclosure of Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, and Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav accompanied PM Modi as he took photographs of the big cats, which had been reintroduced after 70 years.
It was soon after that the Prime Minister emphasized that the restoration of the carnivore to India had been an “important and historic” moment and that Project Cheetah was India’s “endeavor towards wildlife conservation and the environment”.
Cheetahs were released at two locations in Kuno National Park by the Prime Minister. There was also the interaction between the Prime Minister and Cheetah Mitras, the Cheetah Rehabilitation Management Group, and students.
As part of his address, the Prime Minister thanked humanity for the few chances we’ve had to change the past and build a better future.’Decades ago, we broke the age-old link of biodiversity and it went extinct. Now we can fix it,’ he said.
“I would like to congratulate all my countrymen, especially Namibia, whose government helped the Cheetah return to India after decades. Our conservation of the Cheetah will not only make us more aware of our responsibilities to the natural world, but also of our values and traditions,” the Prime Minister said.
Taking note of Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal, the Prime Minister spoke of pride in our heritage and freedom from slavery mentality.”We tend to lose a lot when we are away from our roots,” the Prime Minister said, recalling that exploitation of nature used to be a symbol of power and modernity in the past. The Sal forests were also used cruelly and irresponsibly to hunt the last three cheetahs left in 1947. In spite of the fact that cheetahs were extinct in India in 1952, no meaningful effort was made to rehabilitate them. The country is rehabilitating cheetahs with new energy in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,” PM Modi said.
He said that years of work went into making this rehab successful and that the utmost energy was put into a place that doesn’t get a lot of political attention.
We worked closely with South African and Namibian experts on developing a detailed Cheetah Action Plan. Kuno National Park was chosen after scientific surveys were conducted across the country to find the best cheetah habitat. Our hard work paid off today,” he said.
Putting the cheetahs in Kuno National Park will help restore the grassland ecosystem and increase biodiversity, eco-tourism, and employment opportunities in the area, according to the Prime Minister.
He cautioned “all countrymen” to be “patient” and wait for a few months before visiting the park to see the cheetahs.
It is the first time these cheetahs have visited this area, as they are guests. It will take a few months for these cheetahs to make Kuno National Park their home. Indian officials are following international guidelines to settle these cheetahs. I don’t want our efforts to fail,” he said.
Whenever the world talks about nature and the environment today, it’s about sustainable development. For India, nature, and the environment, its animals and birds, aren’t just about sustainability and security; they’re a part of what makes us human. Our teachers teach us to care about everything around us. Traditionally, we feel guilty if a living being dies without reason. Then how can we accept that a whole species are going extinct because of us?
Today, you can find cheetahs in some African countries and Iran, but India’s name was removed long ago from that list. The Prime Minister said that “the India of the 21st century” is showing the world that the economy and ecology aren’t in conflict.
Our economy is one of the fastest growing in the world, but our forest areas are also expanding rapidly. We have added about 250 new protected areas since our government was formed in 2014. As well to the increase in Asiatic lions here, Gujarat has emerged as the country’s largest sphere for Asiatic lions. Several decades of hard work, research-based policies, and public involvement have contributed to the rise of tigers, lions, and even the once critically endangered one-horned Rhino, as well as elephant numbers increasing to 30,000 in the country due to decades of hard work, research-based policies, and public participation.