Cheetahs have come as guests, give them some time to adapt: PM Modi | India News


BHOPAL: “We will have to show patience, wait for a few months to see the cheetahs released in the Kuno National Park. They cheetahs have come as guests, unaware of this area. For them to be able to make Kuno National Park their home, we will have to give a few months’ time” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation after launching the Project Cheetah.
Modi stressed that international guidelines are being followed and India is trying its best to settle these cheetahs. “We must not allow our efforts to fail”, he added.
Modi on Saturday released wild cheetahs – which had become extinct in India – in Kuno National Park. Cheetahs – brought from Namibia – are being introduced in India under Project Cheetah, the world’s first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project.
“When the cheetahs sprint in Kuno National Park, the grassland ecosystem will be restored and it will also lead to an increase in biodiversity. Employment opportunities will increase as a result of the growing eco-tourism in the area thereby opening up new possibilities for development” he said.
Project Cheetah is our endeavour towards environment and wildlife conservation, said Modi adding, when nature and environment are protected, then our future is also secure, PM said.
“Decades ago, the age-old link of biodiversity that was broken and became extinct, today we have a chance to restore it”, he said.
The Prime Minister underlined that this monumental occasion has led to the nature-loving consciousness of India being awakened with full force.
Modi congratulated all the countrymen on this historic occasion while making a special mention of Namibia and its government with whose cooperation, the cheetahs have returned to Indian soil after decades. “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”, Modi remarked.
Taking note of Azadi ka Amritkaal, Prime Minister recalled the ‘Panch Pran’ and highlighted the importance of ‘taking pride in our heritage’ and ‘liberation from the mentality of slavery’. “When we are away from our roots, we tend to lose a lot.”
He further recalled that in the last centuries, the exploitation of nature was considered to be a symbol of power and modernity. In 1947, when only the last three cheetahs were left in the country, they too were hunted mercilessly and irresponsibly in the Sal forests, he added.
The Prime Minister remarked that even though cheetahs had become extinct from India in 1952, no meaningful effort was made to rehabilitate them for the past seven decades.
He 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”, Modi remarked. He further added that this elixir of duty and faith in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is not just reviving our heritage, but now cheetahs have also set foot on the soil of India.
Drawing everyone’s attention to the years of hard work that went behind making this rehabilitation successful, Modi said that the utmost energy was deployed for an area that is not given too much political importance.
He mentioned that a detailed Cheetah Action Plan was prepared while our talented scientists conducted extensive research, working closely with South African and Namibian experts.
Modi further added that scientific surveys were conducted across the country to locate the most suitable area for cheetahs, and then Kuno National Park was chosen for this auspicious start.
The Prime Minister pointed out that today when the world looks at nature and the environment, it talks about sustainable development. “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”, he said. “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 added.
The Prime Minister said 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”, he said.
The Prime Minister remarked that the India of the 21st century 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.
Throwing light on the work carried out by the government, the Prime Minister said that since the formation of his government in 2014, about 250 new protected areas have been added in the country. There has also been a big increase in the number of Asiatic lions here and Gujarat has emerged as a dominating sphere of Asiatic lions in the country.
“Today 75 wetlands in the country have been declared as Ramsar sites, of which 26 sites have been added in the last 4 years”, the Prime Minister remarked.





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