-A.S Bishnoi and Shakti Bishnoi


1.    The Haryana state of North India has 2 National Parks, 8 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 2 Wildlife Conservation Areas, 4 Animal & Bird Breeding Centers, 1 Deer park and 50 herbal parks which are managed by the Forests Department, Haryana. Wildlife and forest areas of Haryana lies mainly in the foothills of Shivalik hill range in the north and Aravalli hill range in the South Haryana. Aravalli mountains in Haryana are part of the Sariska to Delhi leopard wildlife corridor (including "Western-southern Haryana spur" which entails Satnali-Dadam-Tosha hill (ranges).

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary

2.    Sultanpur National Park is located at Sultanpur village on Gurugram-Jhajjar highway. Approximate area is 142.52 hectares.

The area was declared a Bird sanctuary in 1972. On 13 July 1989 the reserve was upgraded to a National Park. Visitors can observe the birds on foot, hence it gives peaceful interaction of humans with the birds and animals.

4.   Among approximately 9 migratory bird species, nearly 3 species migrate to India due to seasonal changes, namely Amur falcons, Egyptian vultures, plovers, ducks, storks, ibises, flamingos, jacanas, pochards and sociable lapwing. Some of them have become residents and enjoy Indian tropical weather, while others love to scale the earth their ancestor’ way. And travelling done for survival always enriches us.

5.  In winters the sanctuary is full of numerous bird calls. 

7. We both wanted our daughter to learn about nature and spend time in observing birds and their behaviors. So we visited the sanctuary often on weekends from our house in Delhi. Most of the time we stayed overnight in forest guest house in the sanctuary to be with the wildlife.  It is just an hour drive from Delhi’s hustle –bustle to the world of serenity and tranquility. December fog started conquering Delhi, and this encouraged us to run away from the concrete jungle. The sanctuary is the nearest gateway for exploring nature and we packed binoculars, cameras and winter ladoos by my mother for our journey. Nothing can be replaced with the delight of waking up with migrant birds’ song. We reached in the afternoon to make the most of our trip. We could go in the sanctuary and watch the birds. One has to walk through the sanctuary to see the birds, so one has to have stamina for exploring entire sanctuary. Fog was playing game of hide and seek.  But everything was like a dream. Fog added the magic to the entire landscape. We could appreciate the birds mostly with eyes and that is our favourite way to learn about wildlife. After our walk in the sanctuary we headed for our room sharing the wall of the sanctuary. Our daughter loves to collect twigs in winter evenings and asked us to make fire. We roasted sweet potatoes , potatoes, tomatoes and ate to our hearts content. After the day’s hardwork we slept as soon as we reached the bed. 

8.  Our daughter jumped out of the bed at dawn. We could not keep up with her enthusiasm throughout the day. Next we headed towards the watch tower as per our plan. Winter was showing its true colours, cool breeze was taking away heat from our body. All were packed with winter clothing. Our daughter was now bahubali and wearing white dhoti and agreed to wear jacket on top. I was thankful to her choice as before bahubali she was mowgli and adorned the chaddi. And as we know her, she is true to the character. With the silver ankle band, she was joyfully watching everything around her with utmost attention, the fog, trees, water, insects, fallen leaves, flying birds, sitting birds, swimming birds, chatting birds, sleeping birds, fighting birds, snacking birds, neelgai splashing water while running. the arrowhead formations of gargeny was wonderful in the fog playing peek-a-boo. Later  they jumped splashing cold water on each other. The best part of being pelagic birds is water proof wings. It reminds us of the power of creation. What is needed for survival is given to all living organisms whether animals or plants. Only humans has problem of accumulating. 
     if the water is deep enough on few areas in Sultanpur jheel, the common pochards visit, as they are the diving rather than dabbling ducks. If you are lucky, you can also spot the ferruginous ducks, also called fudge-ducks. Both the species of geese, greyleg and bar-headed visits here which are often spotted wandering the national park all night, and enjoying the morning sun by the lake. Big battalions of cranes and great white pelicans surprised our daughter by flying with the huge body they possess. Her smile was a signal that she too would fly soon. She was constantly comparing her body size with the pelicans, painted stork and other large birds which were 20 metres away from us. I could see her alternately watching her body and the distant bird and smiling with joy.
Little stints chirping near the lake shores and were enjoying the company of common red-shanks, sandpipers and white-tailed plovers. Large flocks of ruff  use the water body only as a transit halt on their way further south, and then on their way back north in spring. South of the park is full of larks and wagtails, scuttling after insects. The acacia woodlands of Sultanpur National Park also play host to black redstarts, canary-flycatchers. If the rainfall is good, the sanctuary has recorded a headcount of around 20,000 birds from October–March, while in those with scanty rainfall  the figure did not even cross 3,000.
Spoonbill was the first recognized bird with its name by our daughter who was then 2 years old. As the name is true to the distinctive feature of the bird. 
when we were going further , we heard sarus crane call. We looked at each with joyful eyes. We started walking towards northern side of the sanctuary as the call was emerging from there. As we walked fast paced, our daughter had to run to keep up with us. She was joyfully running in the jungle like little bahubali. 
As we were nearing the cranes, the calls were becoming louder. And in a clearing we saw red head shining with the first sun rays on a foggy winter day. Sarus crane pair is very popular in sultanpur jheel and nearby villages because it goes to the fields around the sanctuary. We could see it distinctly now standing 5.11 feet tall. They are the tallest flying birds in the world. What a sight it was to see them talking loudly with each other. Entire sanctuary was coming to life with their calls. My daughter was not blinking after seeing them. She sat on the slope of the walking path in the sand and and observed the bird attentively. We too sat with her and felt content with our life, having watched all the selfless creatures that day. We also understood how important it was for us to live in sync with nature. We too are one of the creatures and blessed with tremendous potential to revive the planet we have been exploiting and destroying for centuries. And if we observe, we will know what is needed to be done. And we should do it, rather than wasting our time in futile conversations regarding the same. Sarus crane was calling to each other very loudly, but great egret was standing still undeterred by their voices near them. It focused on its goal of catching fishes. Each bird gives us wonderful life lessons, but all we need is to observe them without causing disturbances.
We watched the mighty sarus crane for half an hour. Then the pair which will remain pair till they live took to flight. On seeing this, our daughter’ eyes opened bigger and she looked at them laughing and started flapping her hands like them. She gradually lifted her heals was standing on her toes flapping her hands, ready to take off. We were so happy to see this and our dream of flying was awakened resulting in imitating our daughter. We all were ready to take off on toes but could not. After the flight of sarus crane, many other birds flew too except us. But the joy of trying was tremendous. Morning sun gave warmth to the water and cool breeze started giving us the simulated feel of the open sky. Our camera was watching us from its tripod but could not press its record button. We kept flapping with our eyes closed. And suddenly my daughter hugged me and laughed loudly to express how wonderful her maiden flight was.
We all rejoiced and kept looking at the open sky full of golden sunlight.

But the real feather in the sanctuary's cap has proved to be the large number of rare species spotted this season, includes the endangered Osprey, the Lesser Flamingos and even the Saker or Cherrugfalcon.

Our memories were full of the migratory birds from November to February, when March reminded us of their return journey from here. Once winter ends, the esteemed avian guests start preparing for their journey back home. The atmosphere in the park changes considerably in spring (March–April). There are songs which reverberate in the jheel. The return journey of gypsies starts, it looks like the interaction amongst them increases manifold, may be discussing the route map and plans ahead. The frequency of meetings increases and so is the duration as there are many heated discussions regarding departure dates and precautions to be taken based on the feedback given. It seems all are in hurry and an air of urgency. Few Migrants express heartfelt gratitude towards the resident birds for sharing their land, water and food. Resident birds were expressing how much they enjoyed their stories. Difference between a bird which will migrate and stay back is very simple. The ones who have put on weight will migrate and the ones with normal size will stay back. The birds start dividing themselves in groups like troops preparing for war for the final assault. The waterfowl practice sorties overhead, preparing for their journey back north. On the lake bed, the red-wattled lapwings and black-winged stilts want this to end quickly, as they are constantly calling loudly, circling around and showing signs of irritation. Sarus crane is nowhere to be seen as they have option to find peace in fields nearby. Few resident birds starts targeting perfect places for nesting.  Coppersmith barbet excavates nesting holes. Tailorbird looks for raw material to build a perfect nest to impress his counterpart. And the grey shrike with its eye mask looks around with its detective instincts to observe the territory. The birds start their journeys and fly in large flocks in the sky. It’s a sight to see them so disciplined and systematic to cover the journey of hundreds of miles. Reminded of the song a hundred miles  ‘When you hear the birds fly … for hundred miles.”

Summer Commences 

10.  Summer commences in May and lasts till the end of June. The time for the resident birds to enjoy open spaces and solitude. They now have responsibility  to raise their chicks. Although few birds show signs of missing their winter friends. Red-turtle doves start building their nest on the acacias. The lapwings and stilts still have space conflict.  July to September are Sultanpur’s most crucial months, for the amount of rainfall determines the extent to which the lake will remain filled in winter. It has been sought that this dependency be reduced by bringing water from a nearby canal via a pipeline.

Rainfall (Monsoon)

11. Monsoon starts and first Rainfall was forecasted on early hours of Saturday morning, so we headed for the sanctuary on Friday night to stay there to soak ourselves in pure water on the next day. First rainfall fills the sanctuary with the fragrance of wet sand and we just sat there for three hours without moving. Blades of new grass with shades of green were awake after summer break.  After the scorching heat of four months the birds are not running away and hiding themselves but, perched on a place where they get fully drenched. The state bird of Haryana, the black francolin was calling loudly in joy. By the end of September, the skies are clear and resident birds await the arrival of migratory birds. With all the responsibilities of nest building and rearing of chicks is over, the sanctuary echoes with constant chit chat of free birds.


(a)  Water. The water levels in the sanctuary is receding due to less rainfall. The low levels of water is threat to lives of both migratory as well as resident birds.

(b) Real Estate Business: Because of real estate development and rapid urbanization, the area has been converted into concrete jungle choking not only wildlife but humans too. Earlier as per the government guidelines, no constructions were allowed in the range of five kilometers, however now it has been reduced to 300 meters. What has made the matter worse is a large number of illegal colonies that have sprouted around the area. Lot of residential school and rampant construction is happening as we write.

(c)  Bunds Destroyed:  The water embankments not only used to drain out the water but also brought rich silts into the region from the annual flooding in the Yamuna River.
Most of the bunds that have now become extinct were set up during the British times. The ones that are surviving continue to remain in a neglected state. 

(d)  Extinction of Ponds/Rise of Borewell. In over 460 ponds spread across Gurugram district, 208 have dried up, 186 are dirty. Even as there has been ban by the court to dig illegal bore wells, there are over 15,000 illegal bore wells that have been dug up in the city. In most of the areas in the city, the groundwater has fallen to levels of 500 meters. The alarming decline in water levels in the city will affect the Sultanpur Bird sanctuary unless replenished by regular rain water and river. But that is not possible due to climate change and in return monsoon varies. 

(f)  Pesticide  It is understood that agriculture fields surrounding area of Park, use pesticide for high yield to generate instant income from crop. Although there is demarcated boundary wall /fence to separate sanctuary from cultivable land. But for birds there is no boundary, they can fly outside the perimeter of park in search of food. These birds feed on seeds, insects, fish and grain. They often fly to agricultural fields nearby for food and this can led to poisoning and might kill them. Efforts should be there to minimize the usage of pesticide and farmers be encouraged to go nature friendly.

(g)  Climate Change(Global) and Pollution. We the humans are responsible for climate change and it is time to accept it and take corrective measures at individual levels, household levels, community level and revive the bruised planet earth for our survival, else our time is up.
Covid-19 is result of human greed. Many viruses lay under permafrost to clear the problematic human population. This is the beginning of our end.
      Corona Virus  has locked humans in their houses and wildlife is making visits to see the dominating human race scared and struggling to survive peeping out of their pigeon holes. This year post pandemic the pollution is less, no fishing, rivers are clean, good vegetation growth surrounding lake, humans are yet to come out of hibernation due to corona virus. Earth healing and everything which is in sync shall survive.

Here is a short video on Sultanpur National Park in Haryana

Amazing Facts About Wildlife

Why bats do not catch COVID

Why bats do not catch COVID
How do bats stay safe from the viruses they harbour?
S. Ananthanarayanan.
Bats have been implicated in several outbreaks of viral diseases that come to humans from animal sources. And the current pandemic of COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has notched up 96 million persons affected and 2 million dead.

Aaron T. Irving, Matae Ahn, Geraldine Goh, Danielle E. Anderson and Lin-Fa Wang, from Duke-NUS Medical School and Duke-NUS Global Health Institute, Singapore, and the Zhejiang University, China, in a paper in the journal, Nature, examine the immune system and defences of the bat, which enable the animal to play host to viruses, but steer clear of being affected by them. “Lessons from the effective host defence of bats would help us to better understand viral evolution and to better predict, prevent and control future viral spillovers,” the authors say.
A reason for the ‘spillover’ of pathogens from animal hosts, which have adapted to the pathogen, to humans, who are susceptible, is that human disturbance of an ecosystem raises the fraction of animals that are host to pathogens, over those that are not. Why this happens is that smaller and shorter-lived animals are more likely to survive and stay on when humans encroach an environment.  These smaller animals, with lesser body weight, cannot afford the large investment of energy that immunity requires. Hence, they do not throw out several pathogens, as do the larger animals. The capacity to tolerate foreign bodies in the bloodstream without severe immune reaction being provoked enables them to adapt to changes and remain in the new areas that humans inhabit.
Smaller animals are also short-lived. This has been related to the higher resting-metabolic-rate in small animals. The higher rate of metabolism leaves the animals with less energy to support immunity, and hence makes them, in their short life-spans, host to more pathogens than larger animals.
The bat, the paper points out –in respect of the life-span, is an exception. For its diminutive size, bats are rarely larger that common rats, it has a life-span associated with a much larger animal. The result is that the bat is both host to many viruses and stays around for a long time. The paper points out that as the only mammal that is capable of flight, the advantages of this capacity come at a high metabolic cost, a feature associated with smaller animals.  The life-span, however, is substantially greater than non-flying mammals of the same size. “When adjusted for body size, only 19 species of mammals are longer-lived than humans: 18 of these species are bats (the other is the naked mole-rat),” the paper says. “As a mammalian model of anti-ageing, bats may offer vital clues in human attempts to delay mortality and enhance longevity,” the paper says.
The paper says that apart from possible mechanisms to regulate the body responses to infection, the species richness of bat communities may be a reason for the ability to harbour a variety of viruses.  This idea flows out of research that shows that the number of pathogens an animal order can host increases with the richness of species within that order. In the case of bats, this richness is unprecedented - out of the 6,400 species of mammals, 1,423 species, are species of bats. And they are widely distributed, being found in all parts of the earth, except the poles, extreme desert climes and a few remote islands.
While bats have long been associated with infectious diseases, the discovery of SARS-related coronaviruses in bats, the paper says, has led to identifying bats as the richest source of genetically diverse coronaviruses. The paper adds that apart from several coronavirus diseases in humans, bats can affect other animals, like pigs and horses. There is even the case of a reversal of infection – from humans to domestic pets or zoo animals. And where civets or pangolins were suspected as sources of SARS or SARS-CoV-2, this is seen not to be the case, as these animals take ill when infected, and could not be the reservoirs. Whereas bats show no signs of disease even when infected by most viruses.
How do they do it?
The authors refer to proposed answers based on factors that reduce the viral load in bats. But they discount these suggestions, as bats do carry and tolerate high viral loads. And evidence indicates that what makes bats special might not be their ability to overcome the virus, but rather their ability to avoid the disease that follows. What is likely, they suggest, is that there is an effective balance between the immune reaction of the body, which would protect against viruses, and moderation of the reaction, so that it does not harm the body itself. This could also be the reason that bats have long life-spans and low incidence of cancer.
The immune reaction of the body gets activated when a foreign body, like microbes, viruses or certain toxins are detected. When a cell is infected by a virus, the cell releases a protein, called Interferon, as a signal to other cells and to trigger immune cells to set up defence action. The fever, body pain, that accompanies viral fever in humans is caused by the immune system, which acts on healthy tissue too.  And there are many bat-borne viruses, the paper says, which set the innate immune system of humans on a course of prolonged or strong response, leading to serious disease. 
Bats, on the other hand, show no signs of disease even with high levels of virus infection. The paper explains that the recognition of invasion by a virus is by way of stimulation of genes that code for the Interferon protein. This mechanism is called Stimulation of Interferon genes, or STING, and the paper says that STING-dependent interferon response has been found to be dampened in several bat species. 
The paper also cites a recent study, where three of the current authors took part, which found that a protein which senses an indicator of stress, to set off inflammation, is dampened in the case of bats. The result is that whatever the load of viruses, in bats, there is reduced inflammatory response. Which allows the bat to act as a viral reservoir without showing symptoms of infection.
“Deeper understanding (of the mechanism of robust defence and immune tolerance) will provide insights and strategies not only to aid in the prediction, prevention or control of zoonotic virus spillover from bats to humans, but also to potentially combat ageing and cancer in humans,” the paper says.
[the writer can be contacted at]

Note to editor: While the sensible thing is to write COVID, SARS with all caps (like the rest of the world), pls ensure that you do not change STING into lc, as the word, ‘sting’ has meaning and would mislead.

Book Reviews

Tracking Jim

Tracking Jim: A Hunt in Corbett Country Paperback – 30 March 2005
by Prosenjit Das Gupta (Author)

Search for this book in Google and you see the result from Amazon offering the book at Rs 2999.00!!!The book is currently out of print.  

The desription goes like this

"Legendary hunter, gifted raconteur, a man who understood every nuance of the jungles of Kumaon and whom the people of the region considered a benefactor and saviour. That is Jim Corbett for most of us..."

To IndianWildlifeClub readers we bring a book reading by the author himself.   Hear and see the video at

Tracking Jim -A book reading

Forest and trees



Our roots are deep in the woods,
Among the mosses, close to springs,
Our spirits soar high in the sky,
Among the birds and butterflies.
Madhav Gadgil

1.   “Sacred groves are a piece of natural vegetation that is protected by various communities due to religious reasons. Local communities take responsibility to protect and nurture the area. It could be only a few trees or an entire forest.” 

2.  Traditionally the sacred groves were a repository for various Ayurvedic medicines, fruits, deadwood and honey. Every household knew the uses of herbs needed for basic illnesses. Herbs were daily used in food for healthy life. Diets changed based on location and seasons. Our ancestor’ motive was to make ecological balance a way of life. But we learnt when deadly corona took over the world peace. Let us not forget that this is only the beginning of a new end. Many deadly viruses will surface after our negligence will melt permafrost. Lets rise and shine to give better tomorrow to the future generations. Earth has never been and will never be under threat. We are.

3.   Being home to very diverse yet strong religious practices, India contains many sacred groves. Before Mughals and British ruthless rule, our entire Bharat Khand was covered by sacred groves. One of the many benefits is the Ether content from the groves keeps our body, mind and spirit healthy. As a result we lived a wonderful life. Our values and principles were based on sustainable lifestyle. Our ancestors intelligently imbibed those practices as part our daily chores. Agastya muni, one of the Sapt Rishis and Shivji’s disciple, is responsible for all the wonderful habits we have today in us, which keeps the culturally aware Indians healthy, wealthy, wise. He went to every settlement of our Bharat Khand to impart what he learnt from Mahadev Shivji. He was extremely intelligent in making all our ancestors healthy and spiritual in whatever they were doing. He empowered without changing anyone. Knowingly and unknowingly everyone did the powerful practices of Shivji and lived wonderfully well. It is time to consult your grandparents. Everything is not in written form in our rich culture.

4. Shipin is the largest deodar grove in Himachal and contains trees that are hundreds of years old. Energy in sacred grove is 700 times more than a normal jungle. When we are in a jungle, we are aligned by the nature. But sacred grove is on another level, where we are in union. Being in sacred grove for few minutes would align your system. And yogi is what everyone should strive to be. We were fortunate to plant first Sacred Grove of Pune City at Naval jetty, MILIT. Under the able guidance of Mr Raghunath Dhole (The Tree man of India), we were able to plant the sacred grove. Mr. A S Bishnoi (Husband) worked tirelessly with his team of workers for 25 days to fulfil this dream. He gives saplings for free. He is working towards planting 75 sacred groves in our country this year, as we will complete 75 years of independence. He is the true patriot for Bharat Mata(mother).  

5. Meghalaya: has some of the richest groves in the country, Khasi hills in Meghalaya have one grove called law kyntangs in almost every village. The popular myth dictates that anyone damaging the plants and trees of the grove will be killed by the forest spirit. This myth has kept people from destroying the area and thus, it is best preserved. Our ancestors were wise to say so. We all have felt the presence of forest spirits. Fear is the best medicine to discipline humans. And the legend is true in all sense, because we are witnessing results of deforestation. In the name of modernisation and progress, the businessmen, political leaders and Indian and state services officers are giving us slow poison. They have organic food which is our age old way of farming, but rest of the humans are given choice to select from the chemical infused foods. We can do amends. Create your own kitchen garden.

6.  Indian sacred groves are often associated with temples, monasteries, shrines or with burial grounds. Our ancestors were very innovative in their ways to protect nature and enlighten us to live a meaningful life. We offered our prayers in temples with sacred groves. We attained Mukti in the sacred grove burial grounds. Historically, sacred groves find their mentions in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist texts. Numerous nature spirits and guardians are associated with Hindu, Jain and Budhist deities. Such nature spirits are known as Yakshas,  Nagas (serpent guardians) and guardian tutelary deities (like ayyanar and amman). There is countless folklore on forest spirits, guardians and nagas which has been part of our childhood.

7.  Planting and nurturing of trees has been a highly evolved practice in ancient India. Attaining moksh is very simple :-  If you plant native saplings and look after them, you not only clear your karma but also your ancestor’ karma. Your entire lineage will attain Moksh. You can confirm it in our ancient texts. Vrukshayurveda, the science of plant life, indicates how mystical beliefs and conservation of ecology was inter-connected. For example, if one plants kisirini, dadimi, rambha, priyala, and panasa, one experiences no affliction for seven births. Who has knowingly or unknowingly planted Ambu is respected as a recluse even while staying in the house. Every native plant has something to offer to the person who plants it. Nakshtravana were routine activity for ashrams headed by highly qualified gurus. The Hindu tradition considers forests to be of three types-Tapovan, Mahavan and Sreevan. Tapovan are forests associated with penance (tapas), and are inhabited by saints and Rishis. Mahavan refers to the grand natural forests. Tapovan and Mahavan are considered to be a Raksha(sanctuary) for flora and fauna as ordinary human beings are not allowed to enter in these forests. Sreevan, which means, "forests of prosperity" consists of dense forests are open for normal humans with rules. Panchvati, or a cluster of five tree species represented the five elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. If we observe, everything will make sense.

8. The groves are often associated with ponds and streams, and meet water requirements of local communities. It is now scientifically proven that water is because of trees and not vice versa. Sacred groves are scattered all over our country, and are referred by different names in different parts of India. Eg. Kovil Kadu in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, Gumpa Forest in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, Sarna in Jharkhand and Chatisgarh and so on. Sacred groves occur in a variety of places – from scrub forest in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan maintained by the Bishnois, to rain forest in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. 363 Bishnois of khejarli village were killed by king’s soldiers in as early as in September 1730 when they were trying to peacefully protect the trees of their village by holding the tree trunk. The first Chipko movement of the world history. Women, children and elders of the village were slaughtered holding the trees. Our country is full of such examples.  A Gurjjar settlement appears like a human-inhabited sacred grove because they plant neem for worshipping. Mangar Bani, the last surviving natural forest of Delhi is protected by Gurjars of nearby area. 14,000 sacred groves have been reported from all over India. Experts believe our entire country was a sacred grove inhabited by various deities and looked after by every human under able guidance of our Rishis and tribal leaders.

9. Every piece of land comes with responsibility. And if the land is with Govt of India  in your custody it’s all the more important for you to fulfil the responsibility even if you are in charge of that land for a month. Sarpanch has a important role to play in the panchayati land of every village. Make sacred grove, ghanavan, herbal garden in every village. Approach your district forest officer. Make your village panchayat land useful for every villager by planting sacred grove and herbs. Always ask yourself “what can I give” everyday of your life. Concept of sacred grove and Ghanavan (urban forest) has been part of earth and our ancestors lives. The knowledge of plants has been deeply rooted in us. But over the years we have started living superficially. We think we exist on conditioned air, filter water, and packet foods. It is time to wake up and be enlightened. Enlightenment is attained by doing. And all the great yogis have been involved in doing something selflessly for bringing the balance on our planet. Yogis are in all forms, living amongst us, living within us. It is up to each one of you to be a yogi or a burden.

10.Sacred Grove (deorai/devrai) Plantation: - Minimum 100 X100 ft or 200 X 200 ft (ideal) land is needed. And you don’t need to cut the existing tree of that area. You have to remove the invasive plants. Final step is to contact Mr Raghunath Dhole for saplings and plantation guidance.

11.  Urban forest or “Ghanvan” plantation: - Any piece of land in any shape or size is eligible for it. This is dense forest and secluded habitat for birds, Honey bees, butterflies and other insects. And you can contact Mr Raghunath Dhole for saplings and plantation guidance. His number-9822245645.

12. Lockdown effect: - Corona pandemic did a surprise check on humans. Everyone was so busy with shopping and accumulating things, target of turning earth to concrete jungle, as one house is not good enough to brag about in social gatherings. Suddenly humans were scared! The metropolitan people were caged in their pigeon holes. As per the capacity of an individual, they made changes in their lives.  Everything came to a standstill. Responsibility saw light. Life skills became the most important part of our daily routine. First lockdown was turning point and it helped many people to turn inward and realised our role in the universe and at home. Some people could understand how they were wasting their time in doing useless things. Those who could not will be still found cribbing around you. The feeling of animals, plants, butterflies, birds can be understood by everyone quiet clearly now. And after a long time many people realised the relevance of plants in our lives. The way we have been treating them and taking things for granted has resulted in global warming.

13. Lockdown gave us opportunity to contribute more than pre-corona times. Mr A S Bishnoi  planted 1213 saplings in MILIT and nearby places (Dhonje, Singhad and Khanapur) since March ’20  when everyone was indoors due to corona, he was out to fulfil our dream to give better future to everyone. We are looking after them and every new leaf makes our daughter smile. All plants are alive and growing. We celebrate every important occasion by planting trees and share the responsibility with our daughter to look after them.

What Every Individual Can do: -

13.  First, stop complaining. Start observing. Walk, cycle or run around the area you live. Find places where you can contribute. If you want to plant, get native saplings (no invasive or hybrids). Plant the saplings and look after them. If you are attentive, you will know what to do. Remember, Plants don’t survive only on water. Be there for them, they have always been there for us. Grow your own vegetables and fruits. After first monsoon shower plant the saplings and they will thrive. Lastly, remember – we don’t own anything, pyramids taught us this important lesson long ago. So, Coexist. Let us transform our country INDIA to “SACRED INDIA”. Explore the possibility. Don’t do it because I told you to. And definitely there is no reward for it. Do it for yourself. And you will live a meaningful life. Self-help books won’t be needed. Planting and producing child is same. But your efforts will determine the future of plant and the child. If you cannot nurture them, then neither plant nor produce. The future we create is every individual’s responsibility. We are doing what is needed. You can too. All you need is will to do.

-Mrs Shakti Bishnoi
(Shakti Bishnoi is a postgraduate from London School of Business Management. She is an experienced ornithologist, bird watcher and child counselor)

Here is a short film on Mangarbani Sacred Grove in Delhi/Haryana

Forest and trees

Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing

 Forest bathing, or “shinrin-yoku? in Japanese, basically consists of hanging out in the woods and reaping its health benefits.  Any time you can walk among trees without distractions or hurrying  ideally for two hours or more counts as a bath in the forest.

 One study from researchers at Chiba University compared nearly 300 college-age subjects after they took walks in a city and after they walked in a forest. The students had lower concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol, lower pulse rates and lower blood pressure after they took forest baths than on days when they’d walked in the city. Similarly, in a larger study led by researchers from Kyoto University, participants scored lower on ratings for hostility and depression after spending time in the woods compared to when they roamed an urban setting.

Additional research from Nippon Medical School found that human “natural killer” cells, which help protect against viruses and cancers, showed higher activity levels after subjects went forest bathing, increasing even further after a second day of walking in the woods. The cells continued to function at a higher level for more than a week after the experience, too. So you retain the immunity increase for many days after immersing yoursef in a forest.

It isn’t entirely clear why forest bathing works, The Washington Post notes: Some experts believe forest bathing’s health benefits come from inhaling phytoncides, the chemicals plants emit to protect themselves from bugs. Others are saying that perhaps increased feelings of awe are why forest bathers enjoy better health.

At any rate, it’s obvious nature benefits both mind and body: U.S.-based research shows nature walks clear your head more than city strolls, while one European study found that simply living in a tree-filled neighborhood decreased men’s death rates by 16 percent. Spending time in nature is also proven to relieve depression, improve focus, boost creativity and make you feel more alive.

Simply find a spot with trees, and take a two-hour walk while savoring the sights, sounds and smells of nature without rushing. Breathe deeply, sit occasionally, and touch the trees and plants around you. Soon, you just might find yourself with a greater love for nature and a healthier body, too.

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World Animal Protection

Hope this email finds you well! Request you to please publish this statement in your esteemed newspaper. 
World Animal Protection welcomes decision to withdraw sick elephants from Amer Fort rides 
World Animal Protection welcomes the decision of the Rajasthan Forest Department to “to stop the use of 20 medically unfit elephants for tourist rides at the Amer fort after a team of vets examined the animals in July 2020.” The decision is based on sound medical and moral grounds of not using sick and unfit animals for entertainment. 
World Animal Protection has persistently been campaigning for sick elephants to be taken off rides in Amer fort 

and has recommended that elephant rides be phased out in favour of more humane alternatives like electric or battery-operated vehicles. It is hoped that the Rajasthan state forest department will adhere to this decision in the interests of both human safety and animal welfare and that this progressive step will spell the end of the cruel spectacle of elephant rides in Amer fort and elsewhere. World Animal Protection also hopes that all stakeholders, including the elephant owners, will come together and seek elephant-friendly facilities for the maintenance of these sick elephants and eventually all the captive elephants giving rides at Amer fort in Rajasthan. World Animal Protection will be very happy to play a constructive role in this transition from elephant rides to elephant-friendly facilities. 

Thanks and Regards
Amita Wadhwani
Digital Marketing Manager
World Animal Protection India

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