What is wildlife?
Wildlife, in simple words, refers to undomesticated living things (except human beings).
Is Wildlife important?
Why do we need a day to celebrate wildlife, let alone a week?
Just a mere ‘yes’ to the former question would not suffice for the crucial role wildlife plays in our ecosystems.
They are ecologically, economically, socially, culturally, medically and aesthetically significant. And we people and our livelihoods, unknowingly, are almost fully dependent on wildlife and the balance they bring to Nature.
In spite of the immense valuable services they provide, the concept of wildlife is still very vast, unexplored, unknown and under-appreciated by many, especially the common people. This is when and where such days of significance come into play and prove to be crucial in bringing awareness to the general public about the rich heritage of wildlife our country possesses and the importance of their conservation.
India has rightly marked one whole week for celebrating the wildlife she should be proud of!
Every year, National Wildlife Week is celebrated from 2nd to 8th October in India, where various organizations, schools, institutions etc. come forward with programmes, classes or workshops to educate people regarding the importance of wild flora and fauna.
The main motive of such an extensive celebration is to teach people about various aspects of wildlife and biodiversity, and to promote conservation of wild animals and their natural habitats.
Strict wildlife laws and their further protection were enforced with the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972. But the concept of Wildlife Week came into being in 1952 and was established by the Indian Board of Wildlife with a long-term goal to protect endangered and threatened animals.
The first Wildlife Week was celebrated in 1957.
For India, being one of the highly biodiversity rich countries of the world, it is essential that proper awareness and education be given in order to preserve such a rich heritage. The current increase in human population, advanced technologies, and consequently climate change, have all put forests and wildlife in danger, thus making such days/weeks all the more necessary and significant.
Moreover, with indigenous people dependent on forests and wildlife, it becomes our duty to protect these natural resources, and raise awareness among the public regarding the same for which wildlife week celebrations would be effective.