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Old 22nd March 2011, 11:24   #1
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Default The Tiger Man

Tiger Man Fateh Singh Rathore dead
Sunny Sebastian

JAIPUR: The tigers would surely mourn this one death. Celebrated conservationist Fateh Singh Rathore passed away on Tuesday after a brief illness. The “Tiger Man”, as he was popularly known in conservation circles all over the world, bade farewell to his fond tigers and the rest of the world at his residence situated on the outskirts of the Ranthambhore National Park, a place he nourished and protected with considerable vigour during his lifetime. He was 79.
He is survived by a son, Govardhan Rathore, and two daughters, Padmini and Jaya.
Born to a senior police officer, Sagat Singh Rathore, in Choradia village of Jodhpur district's Shergarh tehsil, Fateh Singh Rathore first reached Ranthambhore in 1971 and became part of the pioneering efforts at international level to save the species of tiger through Project Tiger.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has expressed deep sorrow over the passing of the top conservationist of the State. “Learning about his illness I tried to meet him last month as well but unfortunately I could not,” Mr. Gehlot said.
Only last month the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) had bestowed on Mr. Rathore, also referred to as “Fatji” by his friends, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Conservation. Dharmendra Khandal, a close associate of the family and scientist with Tiger Watch, which Mr. Rathore founded, said the death took place around 10-25 on Tuesday morning.
“We were aware of his precarious condition though he was his normal self this past fortnight. However there was a clear decline in his condition yesterday and this morning he left...” Dr. Khandal said.
The cremation is due on Wednesday morning at “Maa Farm”, the farmhouse residence of the Rathores on the Sawai Madhopur-Ranthambhore road.
“In the death of Fatji, the first conservation-epoch for Ranthambhore Tiger Park has come to an end. In his park management paradigm he represented a boorish traditional fervour with a sudden outburst of puckish humour and jerky anger. Like a vicar in church, he trained countless persons into tiger-centric issues,” said Harsh Vardhan, noted conservationist and friend of the Rathore family, talking to The Hindu.
“He had led them all from the forefront while very few stood by him while he faced odds from the tree-fellers, poachers and also his senior forest officers throughout his career. Yet he fought untiring until was forced to be bed-ridden since November 2010. When he had breakfast with me at my place in Jaipur last month he complained of not able to stand up properly,” said Mr. Vardhan who had rescued Mr. Rathore from an angry crowd in Ranthmbhore years back. A large number of conservationist friends of the Tiger Man, including Rajasthan Minister Bharat Singh, Valmik Thapar, Belinda Wright and Bittu Seghal are already in Ranthmabhore

This article appeared in The Hindu

The Tiger Man-fatehsinghrathore.jpg
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Old 22nd March 2011, 12:27   #2
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That is very sad news. Rip in peace, Fatji.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 13:35   #3
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Rest in peace, Fatehji.

I remember reading an article once which cited that Fatehji, literally woke up from the dead. Fatehji was a pioneer of Tiger conservation in India and was known for being an upfront and no-nonsense guy. His efforts in relocating villagers for expanding the Tiger reservers were very successful, but at a cost. During one of his park rounds, a few villagers who were displaced by the project tiger initiative, stopped his vehicle and beat him up to pulp. They stopped only when his driver threw himself on the seemingly lifeless body of Fatehji, leaving him for dead. Fatehji recovered from the incident and his never say die attitude made him take up Project Tiger with a newborn enthusiasm.

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