Bureaucrat turned conservationist Aditya Singh — who spent his life working to create a safe habitat for the tigers at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan — is no more.
But what many are unaware of is the legacy he leaves behind in the form of a 35-acre tiger reserve near Ranthambore.
His journey started in 1998 when he quit his corporate job at the Ministry of Communications in Delhi and relocated to Sawai Madhopur.
Here, he and his wife Poonam Singh started a tourist lodge at Ranthambore Bagh, where they offered visitors a serene experience of living in the jungle.
However, frequent episodes of tigers straying near the lodge, which was a buffer zone, caused the couple to wonder how they could curb this and limit human-animal conflict.
They started buying land from the farmers at the edges of the National Park and amassed over 35 acres of land, which they then rewilded into the Bhadlav Tiger Reserve.
The Bhadlav forest is strategically located at the junction of three valleys where the biodiversity of flora and fauna is at its finest.
Alongside the two pre-existing natural watering holes, Aditya and Poonam have created a couple of smaller water ponds, which serve as resting zones for the tired tigers and cubs.
For his work in Ranthambore, Aditya received the prestigious Carl Zeiss Award for Conservation (2012) and Sanctuary Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2011).
People from the forest department and wildlife communities expressed their grief at the passing of Aditya, calling him “one of the world’s best tiger photographers” and a “big-hearted person who gave back to the community”.