Case Study: ANNE WRIGHT

Anne Wright was born the daughter of British ICS Ocer and she spent her childhood in the forests of Central India. She is also the founder trustee of World Wildlife fund for Nature – India, which she helped setup in the late 1960s. She was appointed by the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as a member of the Tiger Task Force for Project Tiger in 1970. She then served for 19 years on the Indian Board for Wildlife and was closely involved with the passing of the Wildlife Protection Act. She was awarded ‘Order of the Golden Ark’ and the ‘Most Excellent order of the British Empire’ for her contributions towards wildlife. Her journey to being one of the initial pioneers to ‘Wildlife Conservation in India’ begun with her growing up in the Central Provinces (CP), among the jungles of Balaghat and Melghat, where she learnt about observing wildlife and other basic eld skills that set her path towards becoming a vivid wildlife explorer. Her mother died at the age of 12 after which she did not visit India until she was 17 years old, when her father was posted as a Counselor to the First British High Commissioner of Independent India. She then married Bob Wright, a merchant from Kolkata and continued to live there with occasional visits to England. Initially, Anne and her husband would indulge in social hunting of wild animals in the forests of Bihar. She was even close to killing a tiger herself, but fortunately it evaded from getting shot. Anne felt strongly to bring about positive change contribute in their work which resulted in the initiative providing water to not just wildlife in its landscape but also 17 forest villages as well. She then encouraged CCF Shahi to give up his guns and resort to documenting of wildlife using cameras. After her stint in Bihar, she started working towards combatting illegal wildlife trade in Kolkata and uncovering the extent to which tigers were being killed illegally without proper hunting licenses, to facilitate the wildlife trade demand. Anne wrote an article for the Stateman in 1970 and New York Times in 1971 on the illegal trade of wild animals, especially tigers and leopards in India.

Her articles were one of the initial documentations that highlighted the poaching and hunting scenario that India faced post-independence. Anne was a member of the state wildlife boards of West Bengal, Sikkim, Orissa, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. She is also a chairperson of the Rhino Foundation through which she has contributed towards saving the Rhinos of Northeast India. social Impact: Anne’s initiative to provide waterholes in the forests of Bihar during the draught of 1968 had a very prominent impact on the Forest Department of Bihar as it led to the Department providing water to 17 forest villages Economic Impact: Kipling Camp, a sustainable wildlife tourism-based camp that she started, provides employment to local community members in and around Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, India. Ecological Impact: Anne was a part of the Tiger Task Force that was constituted in 1970 by late Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi along with other inuential member’s like Dr. Karan Singh, Dr. M.K. Ranjitsi nh, Zafar Futehally and Kailash Sankhala. She was a part of the team that helped declare India’s rst nine tiger reserves. The program was funded by the Central Government and Guy Mountfort of WWF. The program required Anne to stay in two of the tiger reserves for three months each and she chose Palamau in Bihar and Manas in Assam. She was also inuential in redrafting of the 1912 act that levied a ne of Rs.50 for hunting tigers. A new Wildlife Protection Act Law was passed all over India except forthestates of Jammu and Kashmir, which helped deter .hunting and poaching of wildlife in India. During her tenure as state wildlife board member of several states in India, the board team pushed forward the creation of Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) in Orissa in 1975, Dalma WLS in 1976, Gautam Buddha Wildlife Sanctuary in Bihar in 1976, Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal in1983, Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh in 1983, Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal in 1984, Nameri in Assam in 1985, DibruSaikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam in 1986, Neora Valley National Park in West Bengal in 1986, Balphakram National Park in Meghalaya in 1986, Chilka Lake in Orissa in 1987, and Jaldapara in West Bengal in 1990

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