Madhu Bhatnagar is a SPHEEHA member and one of Sanctuary’s Green Teacher Awardees and is a living example of what teachers can do to help keep our forests and wildlife alive. Every year she organises programs for Kids, under the banner of SPHEEHA Sanctuary Cub programme. 

Her work has been highlighted by many leading organisation like Santuary Asia, Kids for Tiger amongst others.The featured image is from the ‘Leave Me Alone’ campaign, organised an event at Delhi Public School, Shastripuram, Agra, to mark Global Tiger Day, held annualy on July 29 to give worldwide attention to the reservation of tigers.

Every year hundred of students from various schools participate in the event and films like ‘The Truth About Tigers’ by Shekar Dattatri are screened and then followed with discussions explaining the intrinsic link between the tiger, forests, water, climate change and us. The students become aware and are always moved by the news on the plight of the tiger.

Madhu makes students aware that we have lost 97% of all wild tigers in a bit over 100 years. Instead of 100,000, as few as 3000 live in the wild today, last year it was 3200! A number of Tiger species have already been extinct. Tigers may be one of the most admired animals, but they are also vulnerable to extinction. She also dwells on the man-animal conflict and explains how people and animals are competing for space. The conflict threatens the world’s remaining wild tigers and poses a major problem for communities living in or near tiger forests. As forests shrink and prey gets scarce, tigers are forced to hunt domestic livestock, which many local communities depend on for their livelihood. In retaliation, tigers are killed or captured. “Conflict” tigers are known to end up for sale in black markets. Local community dependence on forests for fuelwood, food and timber also heightens the risk of tiger attacks.

Every year the students attending this program leave by taking an oath to help provide the tiger with space, protection and isolation.