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Guj CM virtually attends celebration organized on World Lion Day

    CM calls on to create awareness for lions conservation-breeding participating in a virtual celebration

    Number of lions in state has increased by 29 percent in five years- has reached to 674

    Gandhinagar, Tuesday:  Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Vijay Rupani today participated in the celebration of World Lion Day organized by the State Forest Department via video conference from Gandhinagar. He called on to create awareness in the conservation, protection, acceptance and breeding of lions.

    Mr. Rupani said that Gujarat is blessed and proud that Gujarat has the heritage of Asiatic Lion. He added that the number of lions in the state has increased by 29 per cent in the last few years from 529 in 2015 to 674. This raise clearly indicates that the rearing of lions along with the human population in Saurashtra, the system of acceptance in public life has become a mentality. He expressed his hope to awaken this mindset and inspire all, including children and youth, in the protection, breeding and conservation of lions.

    Describing the greatness of the lion in our culture, CM said that we have Narsingh Avatar and we worship lions as a symbol of Shakti devotion. Not only that, our emblem also features a replica of a lion. He also gave the role of expanding the area of ​​lion’s roaming in the state from the forests of Gir to the districts like Chotila, Sayla, Amreli, Bhavnagar which have become 30 thousand square kilometers.

    Lion safaris are being developed near Ambardi in Amreli and Indreshwar in Junagadh to make it easier for tourists to see lions and to develop tourism activities in areas other than Gir forest.

    CM made it clear that the state government has taken up the tasks of maintaining the health of the lions and their conservation by developing a new concept of an advanced Lion Hospital, Lion Ambulance, Rescue and Rapid Action Team, trekkers and Vanyaprani Mitra in Sasan Gir with public participation.

    For breeding of lion species, gene pools have been started at three places – Rampara in Saurashtra, Sakkarbaug and Satveerada of Junagadh – by retaining the genetic traits of lions.

    CM added that Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has also announced the Lion Project by the Central Government, giving priority to the conservation of Asiatic lions.

    The Chief Minister said that under the Lion Project, in the coming years, the link between lion conservation and breeding will be strengthened by making maximum use of Rescue Centres, Hospitals, Laboratories, Breeding Centres, infrastructural facilities in Treatment Centres for Lions, radio collars and modern technology.

    CM also added that a state-of-the-art hospital and a Disease Diastatic and Research Centre are to be set up at Sasan Gir in the future.

    CM announced the winners of the online drawing and photography competitions organized by the Forest Department on the occasion of World Lion Day and congratulated the contestants.

    CM added that we should be committed to spread the pride of Asiatic Lions worldwide from this World Lion Day.

    Minister of Forest and Environment, Mr. Ganpatsinh Vasava, in his address expressed that due to the lions of Asia and Gujarat, tourism activity has also developed extensively and local employment opportunities have opened up.

    Mr. Vasava said that by connecting 5,000 schools and more than 11 lakh people in the celebration of World Lion Day in 2019, Gujarat got a place in the World Book of Records. He said that the Chief Minister Mr. Vijay Rupani has shown great sensitivity towards wildlife and their health care. To protect lions against the diseases seen in the past, the vaccines were ordered from America under the guidance of the Chief Minister.

    On this occasion, Additional Chief Secretary of Forest Environment Mr. Arun Solanki gave a welcome speech with the outline of World Lion Day and the Chief Principal conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force Mr. D. K. Sharma gave vote of thanks.

    Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Shyamal Tikadar, Forest Department officials from Gandhinagar as well as school children from Saurashtra areas, forest workers, representatives of voluntary organizations joined the celebration through video conference.

    Source: Information Department, Gujarat