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By Nithin Sridhar
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat said on Saturday that his government will build animal protection walls in villages adjoining the forest areas. The measure, if properly implemented, will help the government decrease the entry of wild animals into human villages that result in man-animal conflicts.
The Chief Minister also suggested growing fruits and fodder bearing trees inside forest areas that are enclosed by protection walls, so that animals will have access to sufficient food within the forest, thereby reducing their need to stray into human habitation.
Uttarakhand has been a hotbed of man-animal conflict since its formation. According to a Times of India report, between 2000 (when the state of Uttarakhand was formed) and 2015, around 400 people have died in some 14,000 villages that exist in proximity of the forests. Of these 400 people, around 241 people were believed to have been killed by leopards. Further, these man-animal encounters have killed 800 leopards, 90 tigers, and 280 elephants during the same period.
A 2012 report on the mortality of the leopard population in Uttarakhand states that, between January 2009 to October 2010, 78 leopards had died in the region. Of those 78 leopards, 11 were found dead, scrambled in a trap and 21 cases of poaching were documented. The report further states that between 2000 and 2008, out of the 394 leopards that died in Uttarakhand area, only 236 were incidents of natural deaths. Around 116 leopards had died due to accidents and 50 died due to poaching. Around 50 tigers were also declared as man-eaters during the same period and most of these were shot as well.
The major reasons for increased man-animal conflicts include poaching, declining availability of food, and the dwindling forest habitat. In the case of leopards, though their population across the country may have decreased by 70-80% in the last 100 years, the population of leopards in Uttarakhand increased between 2003 and 2008. During 2003, the leopard population in Uttarakhand was 2092. This number increased to 2105 in 2005 and to 2335 in 2008.
This increase in leopard population has further increased the competition for food and resources available inside the forest that has further given a rise in the incidents of leopards straying into human settlements in search for food.
Highlighting this, Tushar Rattan, a journalist who writes on conservation, writes in his article: “The Indian leopard is reclusive by nature. But of late it is increasingly venturing into the human habitation because of dwindling prey base, habitat loss, and poaching. There, it preys on dogs, sheep, goats and young ones of cattle. Occasionally, it attacks humans, particularly children and women.” Also, the presence of water and palatable crops in the villages adjacent to the forests have caused the wild animals to roam into the villages.
The branding of leopards as man-eaters is another reason behind the death of leopards. In many such cases, the leopards are named as man-eaters and killed without following due procedure.
Tushar gives an example of 2 leopards that were killed in Himachal Pradesh (another hotbed of man-animal conflicts) after getting the permission of Himachal Pradesh wildlife department to kill the ‘man-eaters’. But, the autopsy done later on the two leopards failed to establish that they were man-eaters.
He points out that for a leopard to be branded and then shot, by law, a special committee has to declare a specific leopard a man-eater after thorough investigation into pug marks, DNA scans of hairs etc. Even then, shooting the animal is to be adopted only as a last resort and after getting a written permission from chief wildlife warden. But, apparently this procedure was not followed in the Himachal incident.
Therefore, poaching, increased competition for resources, shooting of man-eaters, and accidents are among the primary causes for unnatural deaths of leopards. The same holds for many other animals as well.
Measures that could minimize the man-animal conflicts
The best way these conflicts between animals and humans can be reduced is by reducing the interaction between people and the wild-animals. The Uttarakhand government’s plans for building animal protection walls and planting many fruit and fodder bearing trees are very positive and may go a long way in minimizing the conflict.
The 2012 report quoted earlier makes several recommendations for leopard conservation that can be adopted for the conservation of other wildlife as well. These recommendations include:
- Conducting a proper census at buffer zones and potential risk sites where leopards’ movement is common but at risk.
- Patrolling the villages and other areas surrounding the forest during the night will help in monitoring poaching activities.
- Including the knowledge and the opinion of local villagers who are living adjacent to the protected forests in framing the conservation policy.
- Community participation should be ensured besides; involvement of local people, government organization, NGOs, and subject experts is highly required.
- Affected regions should be monitored sharply and the movement of other wild animals (herbivores) should be ensured. This would help in knowing the specific status of poaching of wildlife.
- The reasons behind the death of wild animals must be explored and found out so that it may help in taking proper measures in the future.
- Radio-telemetric studies are required on leopards, which were released / translocated to protected habitat. This will be helpful in knowing the adaptation status of the species.
These measures, if implemented thoroughly and consistently, will result in increased protection of wildlife and reduced degree of man-animal conflict.
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord