Have to create environment for wildlife: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Reuters photo)

It is time India moved beyond conservation and thought about compassion to create an environment where nature and wildlife can flourish, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.

Referring to tiger conservation in his monthly radio address 'Mann ki Baat', the prime minister said "whenever we talk about nature and wildlife, we only talk about conservation. But now we have to move beyond conservation and think about compassion. Our scriptures have provided guidance on the issue."

Quoting scriptures, he said if there are no forests, tigers are forced to venture into the human habitat and are killed, and if there are no tigers in the forest, then man cuts the forest and destroys it.

"So, in fact the tiger protects the forest and not that the forest protects the tiger - our forefathers have explained this truth. Therefore, we need to not only conserve our forests, flora and fauna, but also create an environment wherein they can flourish properly," he said.

Referring to the recent release of tiger census, he said India now have 2,967 tigers.

A few years ago, the figure was half of what we have today, he pointed out.

At the Tiger Summit of 2010 it was resolved to double the number of tigers worldwide by 2022.

"But this is New India, where we accomplish goals in the quickest time possible. We doubled our tiger numbers in 2019 itself. Not only the tiger population in India was doubled, but also the number of protected areas and community reserves has also increased," he said.

In his address, Modi also referred to the 'Poshan Abhiyan' (nutrition campaign) to be held next month and urged people to contribute.

Under the campaign, nutrition for women and children is being converted into a mass movement.

"Due to lack of awareness, both poor and affluent families are affected by malnutrition. The month of September will be celebrated as 'Poshan Abhiyaan' across the country. You must get connected with it, get information about this initiative, add some new facet by contributing to it. If you manage to save a few people from malnutrition, it would mean that we can bring the country out of the circle of malnutrition," he said.

Modi said National Sports Day on August 29 will mark the launch of 'Fit India Movement'.

"We have to keep ourselves fit and the nation has to be made fit," he said.

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