Wildlife adoption scheme was started in Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali in 2013 with the aim of increasing the intensity of wildlife consisting of forests and wild animals that are rich in Mumbai, Thane. However, this plan has not received much response in the last three years. At present 90 more wild animals are waiting for adoption. The other four states have good response to this scheme. Then why should the city’s financial capital not lose its pocket? On this occasion, there’s conversation with garden department forest officer Popat Balaji Bhalekar.
What is the Wildlife Adoption Plan?
In order to create awareness among the people regarding the wild animals, the state government started wild animal adoption scheme in December 2013. This scheme is successfully implemented at Banneragatta Biological Park in the state of Karnataka. The scheme was started in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali. Under this scheme, wildlife can be adopted for throughout the year. The person who adopts will pay the cost of animal feeding and therapeutic care throughout the year. Also, this scheme is not limited to financial assistance only. Its main purpose is for the common man to find love and affection towards wildlife. Sanjay Gandhi National Park will give the certificate of accepting a guardianship if he/she adopts a wild animal. The person’s name board is also placed near the animal’s cage. Not only this, a family can be assessed free of cost once a week.
Which of these animals can be adopted under this scheme?
Under the Wildlife adoption scheme, eight species of wild animals in Sanjay Gandhi National Park can be adopted on one year agreements. Presently, in the park, 96 Wildlife Residents are waiting for adoption under this scheme. These include the Tiger, Leo, Leopard, Deer, etc.
Three years have passed since the scheme started. How was the response to this plan during this period?
Wild animals have been classified under the Wild Animal Adoption Scheme. In the last three years, the scheme has received a composite response. Recently, a six-year leopard named Bhima was adopted by Union Minister of State; Ramdas Athavale. The plan has been discussed again when its news came to the media. Thereafter many have taken the information of this plan through telephone. However, seeing the experience of the past few years, this scheme has not received any such great response. In the coming days more efforts will be made to make more and more people, organizations, take the initiative to adopt wildlife animals.
Why has the plan received less response ?
Under this scheme, animals can be adopted for one year. In the last three years, 15 people have adopted animals under this scheme. The animal adoption agreement has not been renewed since seven of them died after one year of adoption. After the contract is over, they are given an idea about the renovation. However, there is no restriction on maintenance of animal adoption plan. This plan is completely voluntary. It is true that this scheme is not properly promoted. The cost is also an important issue. The cost of wild animals is high. Therefore, this plan may not have received enough response.
Basically, what is the basis of adoption scheme for conservation and maintenance of wild animals? Do the forests provide adequate provision for them?
Every year, Forest Department makes special financial provision for conservation of wild animals. Also, as much as needed, Sanjay Gandhi National Park gets help from the Forest Department. Therefore, we do not have to resort to adoption plan for the expenditure of wild animals. We have adequate funds available to us. However, this park is very close to the metropolis like Mumbai. Many wild animals live in forests. This scheme has been implemented in order to be cautious about the wild animals, their lives and the natural resources of the city and to be aware of its conservation. Wild animals are important components of the human chain. Therefore, for the purpose of creating faith among the people, donors and loved ones of the society are invited under the Wildlife adoption scheme.
Are there any attempts to get response to wildlife adoption scheme?
This plan has not received much response in the last three years. However, we will continue the initiative of adoption of animals by more and more organizations and individuals. To this, the gardener committee has decided to contact the corporates, banks, charitable persons, animal lovers and give them information about this scheme in writing and personally. Proposal has been sent to forest department for adoption of animals under this scheme. This proposal is under consideration of the government and many people are expected to come to adopt wild animals if sanctioned.