Tadoba festival kicks off in Chandrapur; PM praises tiger conservation efforts at TATR

NewsDrum Desk
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Chandrapur, Mar 1 (PTI) Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Friday inaugurated the 'Tadoba Festival' that seeks to promote wildlife conservation, sustainable tourism and local heritage.

The three-day festival, named after a tiger reserve in Chandrapur district, has been organised at Chanda Club Ground.

A message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi was read out at the opening ceremony.

The festival celebrates Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve's successes and showcases its contribution to tiger conservation on the global stage, the PM said in his letter to the state forest department.

"It is yet another manifestation of India's legacy of abundant natural wealth. With its burgeoning tiger population, it stands as one of the nation's fastest- growing tiger reserves. Such festivals acknowledge our biodiversity, as well as appreciate the dedicated efforts of forest personnel, local communities, scientific institutions, and NGOs towards tiger conservation," the PM said.

In his message, the PM said such festivals stimulate conversations about addressing the challenges in tiger conservation and help in outlining sustainable solutions for the future.

"The Festival also helps highlight Maharashtra's steadfast commitment to wildlife conservation and community progress. Drawing inspiration from our timeless traditions of coexisting in harmony with the diverse flora and fauna of Mother Earth, we reaffirm our commitment to safeguard habitats for our tiger population and fostering ecosystems conducive to their well-being," he said.

The implementation of innovative approaches to engage local communities in tiger conservation has yielded rich dividends, he said.

"India takes pride in being home to a majority of the world's tiger population. We also increased our tiger numbers by a record margin over the last few years. This has happened due to the approach of Jan Bhagidari," the PM said while hailing the efforts of forest officials, guards and tiger reserve frontline staff.

Best wishes to the people and government of Maharashtra for making Tadoba Festival 2024 a resounding success, the PM said in the letter.

The PM's Mann Ki Baat programme, in which he praised TATR for use to Artificial Intelligence for tiger conservation, was also broadcast during the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, actor and Wildlife Goodwill Ambassador of Maharashtra Raveena Tandon praised the efforts of the forest staff in ensuring TATR's fame as the tiger capital of the world and asked people attending the festival to spread the message of this success across the world.

State forest minister Mungantiwar said the Tadoba Festival is not just a celebration but a commitment to the country's natural heritage and sustainable development.

A slew of programmes, including a musical concert by singer Shreya Ghosal, performance by Grammy Award-winning music composer Ricky Kej and Guinness World Record attempt by potted sapling with shaping Hindi word 'Bharatmata', will be held as part of the festival, informed a senior forest department officer.

The event kicked-off with an interactive session on man-animal conflict mitigation and a short film on TATR was also telecast during the inaugural ceremony. Later, a nature quiz was organised for guides and naturalists of TATR.

A coffee table book on TATR was released by Mungantiwar, who is also the guardian minister of Chandrapur district.

A 'kavi sammelan' (gathering of poets) presided over by poet Kumar Vishwas and performance by music composer Kej will be highlights of the event on Saturday.

Veteran actor Hema Malini and her troupe will perform classical dance at the closing ceremony on Sunday, said the officer. PTI COR RSY BNM