Lesser Known Hero – Shri Nalni Jayal

ND Jayal.jpgMr. Nalni Jayal is the founder of The Himalaya Trust and we keep on hearing about his work on Environmental issues, establishment of National Parks, assistance in establishing Environment Ministry in India, Kinnaur Development, PIL on Tehri Dam and so on. But unfortunately, only a few people know of his efforts and the change we see today, because of his efforts during and after his days as an IAS.

Recently, we received a communication from one of his subordinate in those days when Jayal ji was leading INTACH.  The way he conveyed his excitement on the release of a Book of Mr. Jai Ram Ramesh – Indira Gandhi (A Life in Nature) in which Mr. Jayal and his work is mentioned quite a few times, it made us put it on our blog: This is what S. Gopikrishna ji wrote on 8 July, 2017

Dear Mr Jairam Ramesh:

Thank you very much for an enjoyable and educative evening. The book arrived yesterday.

I write to convey my gratitude for the multiple references you have made to my former boss and mentor, Mr N.D. Jayal. He is one of the lesser-known heroes of modern Indian environmental history. Thank you for bringing out his contributions in the early days of the environment ministry, then with the establishment of INTACH, and later with the Supreme Court case against the Tehri Dam. I was in NDJ’s team at INTACH, working directly with Mrs Indira Ramesh, between 1990 and 1992. I spoke with Mrs Ramesh this morning about references to NDJ in your book. She said that NDJ is waiting to read your book.

The second point is a question. What is the role Indira Gandhi played in the establishment of Anamalai Tiger Reserve, earlier known as Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. I ask because of a historical reason. In 1992, when I moved to Chennai as the correspondent for Down to Earth, I met naturalist M. Krishnan at his home. He mentioned about his personal experience with Indira Gandhi. He said that in his travels he had seen the deterioration of the forests, and had taken pictures. He sought time from IG, met her and submitted the pictures requesting her to do something for its protection. She heard him and collected the pictures. Nothing happened. Krishnan approached her again. IG asked Krishnan not to be impatient and said that the Government of Tamil Nadu was coming to her with something big. She will get this done during that interaction. Do you know what this “something big” was, and if IG was personally responsible for getting protection for the forest? The wildlife sanctuary was notified in 1976, during the Emergency period.

Warm regards,
Gopi

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