The Keodaleo National Park in Rajasthan is rehabilitated, supplied with water.
Sunita says she remembers going to the Keodaleo National Park for the first time with her parents when she was about ten years old. Her father worked for the water department and often had to make tours around the state to various national parks and reserves for research and reconnaisance. He knew a lot about wildlife and plants and would point out various species to her. “When I went before and when I went to shoot the video, it was completely different,” explains Sunita. “When I was young I just looked around and enjoyed seeing the different birds, but this time I went with my husband as a reporter. I interviewed the top official at the park and he took us around and described everything. I learnt a lot.”
The park is a 29-square-kilometre World Heritage Site. It was created by a maharaja and is home to more than 300 species of migratory birds, as well as a vast variety of faunal species. Sunita feels it is vital that this area is conserved and protected because India should be proud to have so much wildlife. “The park is a reproducing ground for many birds. These animals and birds cannot fight for their homes, so we need to speak for them. They need to be protected.”
Not everyone feels the same as Sunita, however. A few years ago, the residents of surrounding towns staged protests and riots against the decision to allow dam water to be siphoned off into the Bharatpur lake, saying that they didn’t have enough access to water themselves. The District Collector at the time was in the process of being transferred, however, and had already received orders to release the water, because the sanctuary was on the verge of complete ruin.
“It’s a very good thing. Foreigners come from all corners of the world to see the birds here. Locals also come and enjoy it. We need places like this, clean places where animals can be safe.”