Prerna Singh Bindra
Month Year: December 2007
WILDLIFE SERVICE AWARD
In an arena dominated by ruthless men, this woman has investigated, explored, networked, fought and researched virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation and is often the source of first information reports on the seamier side of wildlife conservation. She unabashedly wears her heart on her sleeve for India’s forests and its endangered wildlife. Over the last decade she has evolved, from someone who fell in love with tigers after watching a female with her three sub-adult cubs in Ranthambhore, to a wildlife defender who uses passion, drive and investigative skills to smoke out stories that she shares with the conservation world and the public at large.
Her belief in nature has grown in direct proportion to the destruction wreaked by a system that trots out policies inimical to wildlife on a daily basis. One of India’s most prolific environmental and travel writers, she has worked for a phalanx of newspapers and magazines, including The Asian Age, Sanctuary Asia, India Today, The Week and The Pioneer, hammering out over 1,000 articles on Indian wildlife and conservation in the process. She was the one who broke the story on the killing of ‘Bumbooram’, the famous Ranthambhore tiger that moved former U.S. President Bill Clinton to make a global appeal for tiger protection.
She also demonstrated how easy it was to buy ivory in Gujarat and Shahtoosh shawls in the by-lanes of Srinagar. She followed the trail of the brutal elephant killings in Orissa and has continuously highlighted the tiger crisis, even as she wrote about lesser-known endangered fauna, including lion-tailed macaques and Great Indian Bustards. For her dedication to wildlife and her role in networking and engaging the public on wildlife issues, she was presented with the Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award in 2007. “Why do wild creatures have to economically justify their existence to us,” she asks of readers in her best-selling book The King and I: Travels in Tigerland. She has helped resurrect Tigerlink, the newsletter started by the Ranthambhore Foundation and is currently the Managing Editor of Simplifly, the in- flight magazine for Air Deccan. Prerna Bindra believes in the power of public opinion, which she feels will help us overcome the most recent crisis that faces wildlife in India.
First published in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol XXVII No. 6, December 2007.