Sanctuary Grant For Rajasthan’s Crane Conservationist
The Sanctuary Nature Foundation is pleased to announce the release of a monetary grant worth Rs. 50,000/- from its flagship Mud on Boots Project to grassroots conservationist Sevaram Malli Parihar for his conservation work in Rajasthan.
Photo: Sevaram Mali Parihar
Parihar lives in the village of Kheechan, which serves as a winter migration site for thousands of Demoiselle Cranes from Southern Europe, North Africa, and parts of Russia. Though Parihar earns his living as a building contractor, he has dedicated himself to the protection of these cranes and their habitat. Other than rescuing and treating injured birds, Parihar has been a relentless and successful advocate for their conservation.
Upon discovering that cranes were being electrocuted by the high-voltage electric poles erected around their feeding grounds in Kheechan, he filed complaints with the Deputy Collector of Phallodi tehsil. Since then, he has been monitoring the deaths of Demoiselle Cranes due to these high power electric currents, and has written countless letters to the electricity board and other authorities in an effort to resolve the issue. To garner public support, he has also highlighted the problem in the widely-read newspaper Rajasthan Patrika.
Photo: Yuwaraj Gurjar
Parihar’s activism bore fruit in October 2017 when the High Court took cognizance of his advocacy, and stipulated measures for the conservation of Demoiselle Cranes in Kheechan. The court directed the relocation of five towers of 400 KV electricity that pose a risk to the cranes; the extension of the cranes’ feeding grounds by 3000 sq. m.; the reservation of 100 acres of land for the movement of cranes; and the provision of three new water tanks during the migration months. Further, the court ordered for an expert committee to be instituted under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary of Rajasthan State to look into protecting the movement of the cranes.
Sanctuary first recognised Parihar’s contribution to conservation in 2008, when he was honoured with a Wildlife Service Award. The current financial support extended to him is in acknowledgment of all that he has achieved over the past decade and for the work that he continues to do. “Sevaram ji’s resilience is extraordinary. Despite stiff opposition from the Rajasthan Electricity Board, and negligible funds to carry out his work over the past decade, he has triumphed,” said Maitreyee Mujumdar, Project Coordinator of the Mud on Boots Project.
Photo: Dhritiman Mukherjee
The Sanctuary Nature Foundation’s Mud On Boots Project empowers and support grassroots conservationists across India, regardless of their academic qualifications or affiliations. This particular grant was made possible by the generosity of artist Shilpa Sharma, co-founder of Jaypore, who held a fundraiser for the cause in November 2017. To support the Mud on Boots Project write to