While generally most people are inspired to relocate based on the beauty of a place, it was the opposite for the Malhotras. The terrible state of nature in Haridwar was what attracted them back in 1986.I found their story so inspiring I had to share. It really is amazing to see what two people can create.
Anil told India times, “There was so much deforestation, the timber lobby was in charge, and the river was polluted. And no one seemed to care. That was when we decided to do something to reclaim the forests in India.”
In 1991 the couple settled on a 55-acre plot in Brahmagiri, a mountain range in the Western Ghatsand, began afforestation work. They planted native species where necessary and allowed nature to take care of the rest. Since then, the couple has been purchasing land as it becomes available, most of it agricultural acreage that has been stripped of its fertility.
Together the Malhotras’ have created what is likely India’s first private wildlife sanctuary! How amazing is that. Today, the SAI Sanctuary boasts about 300 acres of beautiful bio-diverse rainforest where elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, snakes, birds and hundreds of other animals all live. It also draws naturalists and scientists to do research on the different animal species as well as hundreds of indigenous trees and plants.
The SAI Sanctuary mission reads,
To protect and preserve the last remaining natural Wild Places of the Earth—especially equatorial rainforests—thereby safeguarding our vital water sources as well as the planet’s rich biodiversity of both flora and fauna for ourselves and future generations.
You can see all of the beautiful nature and hear the Malhoras tell their story in this video here.
And for more information with no shortage of inspiration, visit the Sai Sanctuary website.