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India should be proud that it's home to 3/4ths of world's tiger population: Supriyo

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: July 30, 2019  | 18:23 IST

New Delhi, Jul 30 (PTI) It is a matter of pride that three-fourths of the world's tiger population feels healthy and at home in India, Union minister Babul Supriyo said on Tuesday. The minister of state for environment was speaking at a function at the Indira Paryavaran here to conclude the Global Tiger Day celebrations. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's analogy that the story of protecting tigers started with "Ek Tha Tiger" (once there was a tiger) and reached "Tiger Zinda Hai" (the tiger is alive) and that it should not end there, Supriyo said, "I am very proud to say that 3,000 zinda hai (3,000 tigers are alive in India)." "I am very happy that while in 2006, the number of tigers was 1,411, in 2010, it was 1,706, in 2014, it was 2,226 and in 2018, it is 2,967. It is a matter of pride that India is home to three-fourths of the world's tiger population and efforts are being made to make them feel safe and at home here," he added. The view was shared by C K Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, who said the success called for celebrations, adding that if the tiger population was growing at this rate, there was a need to identify new habitats for the big cats. "The achievement calls for celebrations. As a society, we jump to criticise a failure but do not celebrate a success. I thank the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for their efforts in conserving the big cats," he said. A National Geographic Channel documentary, "Counting Tigers", which showed how India counted the number of tigers through geo-tagging, was screened at the event, along with an animation film -- "Kinara" -- made by the Wildlife Trust of India on human-tiger conflict. A number of school students and forest officials attended the event. Speaking after the screening of the films, Supriyo said tigers were not to be blamed for incidents of man-animal conflict, as it was the man who had encroached on its natural habitat. "Tigers cannot be blamed for man-animal conflict. Villagers venture into forest areas and encroach upon their habitat and cut forests. Keeping that in mind, the ministry under the leadership of the prime minister has stringent rules now in terms of preserving forests and ensuring that tigers feel at home," he said. NTCA officials Anoop Nayak, Member Secretary, and Amit Malik, IG, also spoke at the event and said there was a need for good coordination between various ministry departments for a continued conservation of tigers. "We had a brainstorming session with many stakeholders -- the ministry of transport for infrastructure solutions, the ministry of agriculture for crop reading by heavy bulls, the ministries of mines and power to reduce electrocution of animals, the ministries of animal husbandry, health, home affairs and external affairs. A good discussion took place and we have come out with an action plan," Nayak said. During the event, prizes were distributed among school students for participating in poster-making and storytelling competitions held in the zoo as part of the Tiger Day celebrations. A skit on tigers was also performed by the children. PTI AG RC

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