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Quartet on `Mission Possible'

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ADVENTUROUS LOT: The team from Hyderabad is all set to tour the forests of the country. Photo: Mohd. Yousuf
ADVENTUROUS LOT: The team from Hyderabad is all set to tour the forests of the country. Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

Staff Reporter

To undertake expedition along the periphery of major forests, wildlife sanctuaries Four businessmen to undertake month-long expedition along the periphery of all major forest areas and wildlife sanctuaries across India

  • The team to travel in a Tata Sierra vehicle
  • Team plans to traverse 15,000-20,000 km
  • Base camp at Hyderabad to guide the team

    HYDERABAD: Proud lovers of India's wildlife heritage, it always rankled their hearts whenever a tiger census revealed declining numbers.

    "A tiger is essentially a symbol of a healthy forest and when you poach tigers, destroy their habitat, you are destroying eco-balance and natural heritage that cannot be regenerated. And importantly, our own sustenance of life," says the foursome.

    But instead of despairing, they decided on a pilot project and do their bit for wildlife and forests. The result is `Mission Possible', a month-long expedition along the periphery of all major forest areas and wildlife sanctuaries across India.

    With a message

    Going on this expedition are businessmen Syed Sikender Ali, Devidas Manghnani, Syed Abbas Ali and Mirza Mohammad Raza. The team, with the youngest member aged 43, is all geared up to set off in a Tata Sierra on Wednesday with the message to save tigers and forests and promote secularism.

    "One tiger is being poached daily in India and there are only 3,000 tigers and 300 Asiatic lions left in our forests because of shrinking habitat. We already lost Asiatic Cheetahs five decades ago. While our own Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam forest reserve of 3,568 sq km are ideal habitats for tigers and can accommodate 300 tigers, the real number is not more than 30," they say.

    The US-based Sikender Ali, conceived the idea and things got synchronised in the last three weeks, said Fazal Ali Adil, in-charge of the base camp at Hyderabad and guiding the team on the move about the terrain.

    The team plans to traverse 15,000-20,000 km covering about 500 km a day with adequate time for daily interactions with villagers en route. "We are carrying our laptops and audio-visual material to educate people on protecting forests as we will be crossing different States, sub-cultures," says Devidas.

    The focus will be to educate migrant tribals who are easily exploited by poachers to gain entry into reserve forests. "We will also appeal against plastic litter and massive cattle grazing in forests violating the Wildlife Act. Thousands of migrant cattle trampling on saplings affects natural regeneration of forest," they say.

    "We hope our effort motivates youth to protect the beautiful legacy of wildlife," they sign off.


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