Daulat Singh Shaktavat
A person of rare qualities like courage, forbearance and commitment, that many aspire for but which comes naturally to him.
Thirty three years of his life have been dedicated to the forest department service, in protecting and nurturing its forest and animals.
Born in Deoli, Tonk, Rajasthan (India) he spent an ideal childhood in the lap of nature which left in him a deep and enduring love for nature and a burning desire to protect forest and its animals. In his own words "My love for these endangered animals will never cease". Amongst all the animals he protects, the tiger holds a special place in both, Daulat Singh's heart and life.
A TRYST WITH FATE
On the 20th of August 2010, a large male tiger moving along the periphery of Ranthambhore Narional Park entered a village called Bhuripahdi around 50 kms from Sawaimadhopur town and killed a buffalo.
A large crowd had gathered and started pelting the tiger with stones.As time passed, the situation got uglier as more stones found their mark and the patience of the tiger was reaching a point of no return. As the tiger was holed up in dense crops, it was not possible to immediately tranquilize the tiger. A few crackers were burst to get the tiger moving.
Daulat Singh in the meantime climbed up onto a mount and kept track of the tiger's movements.The tiger tried to escape towards the forest but its part was blocked by the now frenzied mob. The tiger now turned around and charged towards the mount on which Daulat Singh was standing and attacked.
Daulat Singh thrust his right hand at the tiger to protect his face but to no avail. The tiger soon had Daulat Singh's head in his mouth and was savaging a fighting Daulat Singh. By a twist of faith a forest guard who was nearby, flung his lathi at the tiger and luckily the lathi hit its mark.The tiger released Daulat Singh and moved off into the adjoining scrub.
The uncontrolled mob, police and forest staff run away from spot. Daulat Singh was grievously injured and smelt death. After such an attack, he stood up holding the tattered flesh of his face with one hand and sought help uttering his blood group to his colleagues.
Daulat Singh was rushed to Sawaimadhopur, and air lifted to Jaipur on the orders of the then Hon'ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan.He was not completely well till January 2011. Subsequently news was received that the same male tiger had been located almost a 200 kms away from the Ranthambhore at Keoladeo National Park Bharatpur and was a danger to both himself and people.Govt.plan to translocate the Tiger from Bharatpur to Sariska Tiger reserve. A barely recovered Daulat Singh rushed to the spot and join the WII dehradun and official team, operation took four days and finely the tiger was tranquilized and safely transported to Sariska Tiger Reserve, Such is the enduring love of the man for the animals he protects. Now after years of enduring severe pain, a lost right eye and five surgeries ,holding steel plates and twenty screws laid below the skin to reconstruct his disoriented face and jaw, later the man is fighting fit and doing what he really loves to do that is Protect his forest and his animals. During his illustrious career many a daring tranquilization of tigers ,leopards and other animals during the crises situations where he risked his life across boundaries beyond his jurisdiction has been undertaken by Daulat Singh that has saved both the tigers, and human lives. A witness to this are the many letters of thanks and appreciation received from people high and low from around Sariska and Ranthombhore National Park.