Salim Ali now in comics

Salim Ali now in comics

Chronicling the life of the legendary ornithologist, a new comic book brings young readers close to the life of Salim Ali, who had devoted his life to the cause of wildlife conservation.

Brought out recently by Amar Chitra Katha and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), 'Salim Ali - The Bird Man of India' tells the story of India's most passionate and erudite naturalist in cartoons.

It narrates how the man, armed only with a pair of binoculars, travelled across the country to learn about the birds of India.

Without any thought for money, fame, comfort or even safety, he had painstakingly observed and recorded birds in each region - deserts, rainforests, thorny scrub, mountains, and wetlands.

BNSH director Dr Asad Rahmani recalls that when Ali was a child he received his first lesson in ornithology from W S Millard, then the secretary of the BNHS.

"Millard helped him identify a yellow-throated sparrow. Over the years, Salim Ali's interest in birds led to his close association with the BNHS," he says.

After Independence, the Mumbai-based Ali was among those who wrote to the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru asking for financial assistance for the wildlife group.

"He conducted surveys, and studied birds across the country, providing the foundation upon which a lot of today's naturalists work," Rahmani says.

Famous as the 'birdman of India', the 'Padma Vibhushan' ornithologist had passed away in 1987 at the age of 90.

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