Hans Dalal, How a chance sighting of a tiger changed my life? at IIS 2015

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Tiger Conservationist & Wild Life Enthusiast, Hans Dalal talks on how his first tiger sighting led him to realize that conserving tiger is key to conserve mankind.

Hans Dalal suffered from cerebral palsy. But he loved the piano and aspired to become a musician. Since his physical condition didn’t allow him to pursue music, he chose the next best thing and became a sound engineer and ran his own music studio.

In 2007, during a wildlife adventure trip to Kanhagarh Tiger reserve, Hans was fortunate to sight a Royal Bengal tiger. It was a magnificent sight although it lasted for a brief 5 seconds. This raised a lot of questions in his mind. Why are there so little forests left? Why are tiger and the wildlife population dwindling in number? These questions set Hans on a quest to various forests across India.

After a few years of travelling across various jungles in India and working for various Tiger reserves and NGO’s, the answer became evident to Hans. Humans in their quest to seek development (economic and infrastructural) have been encroaching into forest space besides poaching Tigers. Endangered tiger simply meant endangering the whole pyramid of nature. Each tiger needs about 100 Square Kilometer of territory. Encroachment and isolation of forests meant more tiger-tiger conflicts and reduction in tiger gene pool that was leading to reduced tiger population. Hans also realized that the 48 Tiger reserves across India were a source for 700 fresh water sources for the human population. Extinction of Tigers represented a long term threat to humanity itself. He thus set on a mission to setup a Non-Profit Organization called PROWL (Preservation of Wild Landscapes) along with his wife. PROWL has a two pronged mission. Firstly to conserve environment through setting up camera traps to sight animals in green corridors between forests and also educating the forest officials in tracking wildlife movement. Secondly, PROWL also helps in uplifting and empowering the local communities around the forests in India. Hans realized that the local communities, who depended on the forests for their needs, played a key role in the ecosystem. Economically empowering them and addressing their social needs has been a key to conserve forests and its wild fauna. Be it, providing good sanitary facilities for women in Simlipal Orissa or providing health and first aid kits to forest guards in Sunderbans, or even recording the folk music of Bandhavgarh, PROWL has been uplifting the local communities. The local communities in turn trust PROWL and help them in conserving Tigers and Wildlife. Today Hans, his wife and PROWL have been on the fore-front of tiger conservation in India simply due to the ‘love at first sighting of a tiger’ Hans had in 2007.

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About Hans Dalal:
Hans has had a passion for the outdoors ever since he was introduced to the Himalayas at the age of 8. Since then, he has been on numerous expeditions to various peaks and places in the mountains. But his true love lies in the jungle. He discovered this when he saw his first tiger in the wild in 2007.

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