By Prerna Singh Bindra
Every year, our planet loses over 150 species of plants and animals, and India is very much in the midst of this mass ‘sixth extinction’. We are losing species in our backyard – where are the once ubiquitous sparrows, or the fireflies that lit up our nights? And in the forests, iconic species like the great Indian bustards are down to a hundred, while flamingoes are poised to be wiped off the map of India.
The Vanishing takes an unflinching look at the unacknowledged crisis that India’s wildlife faces, bringing to fore the ecocide that the country’s growth story is leaving in its wake – laying to waste its forests, endangering its wildlife, even tigers whose increasing numbers shield the real story of how development projects are tearing their habitat to shreds. It tells us why extinction matters, linking the fate of wildlife to ours. The end of the gharial, an ancient crocodilian, signifies that the clear, fast-flowing rivers that are our lifelines are stilled and poisoned. The author deconstructs the raging human – wildlife conflict to show wild elephants as peaceable creatures and weaves a beautiful tale of their bond with their protectors.
With the high-decibel development versus environment debate dominating headlines, the book reveals how the ‘development at all costs’ model threatens our ecological and economic security.
The author travels to far-flung forests to give an eyewitness account, and an insider’s view of India’s vanishing natural heritage. The Vanishing is a sharp and stirring read about today’s desperate scenarios, and the quest for hope for a wild India.
About the Author
Prerna Singh Bindra has been at the forefront of the battle to conserve India’s wildlife for over a decade. She served as a member of the National Board for Wildlife and its core standing committee (2010–13), and on Uttarakhand’s State Board for Wildlife. Prerna’s primary focus is protecting wildlife habitats and critically endangered species. She is guest faculty for a module for popular writing at the National Centre for Biological Sciences. She is a widely published author with over 1500 pieces on nature and wildlife. She has authored The King and I: Travels in Tigerland and edited Voices in the Wilderness: Contemporary Wildlife Writing. Her book for children, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Tiger, is a recent release. Prerna lives in Gurgaon but her heart, she says, resides in the forest.