The Cheetah Project is the government’s effort for environmental and wildlife conservation: PM
Sheopur (Madhya Pradesh): Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that “Project Cheetah”, under which the BJP government in the Center has reintroduced big cats to the country with the support of Namibia, is the government’s push for the environmental and wildlife conservation.
Prime Minister Modi, in an address to the nation after the release of cheetahs in Kuno National Park on Saturday, said: “We lose some things when we move away from our roots. Therefore, we should be proud of our heritage.
The Prime Minister thanked the Namibian government for its cooperation in relocating eight cheetahs to India and also congratulated Indian citizens for the successful release of the cheetahs in Kuno National Park.
He said the cheetahs will add to biodiversity, boost tourism and generate income for locals.
“The biodiversity that was extinct and the bond that disconnected for decades, today we have a chance to reconnect it. Today the cheetah has returned to the soil of India. And I would say also that with these cheetahs, the nature-loving consciousness of India has also been awakened with full force,” Prime Minister Modi said.
He added that Kuno National Park was chosen for the release of the cheetahs after a detailed study by experts.
“It is unfortunate that we declared the country’s cheetahs extinct in 1952, but for decades no significant effort has been made to rehabilitate them. Today, as we celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the country has begun to rehabilitate cheetahs with new energy,” the PM said.
The Prime Minister said the grassland ecosystem will once again be restored and biodiversity will increase further.
“It is true that when nature and the environment are protected, our future is also secure. The paths to growth and prosperity are also opened. When the cheetahs run again in Kuno National Park, the The grassland ecosystem will be restored again and biodiversity will increase further,” Prime Minister Modi said.
Prime Minister Modi called on people to be patient before visiting Kuno National Park to catch a glimpse of the cheetahs and called them “guests of India”.
“These cheetahs came as guests, ignoring this area. In order for them to settle in Kuno National Park, we will have to give these cheetahs a few months. In line with international guidelines, India is doing its best better to settle these cheetahs. We must not let our efforts fail,” the prime minister said.
“India was removed from the list of natural habitats for cheetahs decades ago, we must make efforts to regain this place,” he said.
Emphasizing that India in the 21st century is giving a message to the world that economy and ecology are not contradictory fields and said, “For us it is also the basis of our sensibility and spirituality.”
“This is a historic moment. Cheetahs will make us more environmentally conscious,” he added.
Cheetahs were declared extinct from India in 1952, but today 8 cheetahs (5 females and 3 males) have been brought from African Namibia as part of the ‘Cheetah Project’ and government efforts to revitalize and diversify the country’s wildlife and habitat.
The eight cheetahs were brought on a cargo plane to Gwalior as part of an intercontinental cheetah transfer project. Later, Indian Air Force helicopters transported the cheetahs to Kuno National Park from Gwalior Air Force Station.
Radio collars were fitted to all the cheetahs to be monitored by satellite. Other than that, there is a dedicated monitoring team behind each cheetah who will monitor their location for 24 hours.
The Cheetahs were subject to a memorandum of understanding signed earlier this year.
As part of the Indian government’s ambitious Cheetah Project, the reintroduction of wildlife species, especially the cheetah, has been undertaken in accordance with the guidelines of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
India has a long history of wildlife conservation. One of the most successful wildlife conservation ventures, “Project Tiger”, which was started in 1972, has not only contributed to the conservation of tigers but also of the whole ecosystem.
In continuation of this, the reintroduction of cheetahs is a step forward and a milestone in the history of wildlife conservation in India.