Mr Sunayan Sharma is an officer of Indian Forest Service (IFS) who served the Forest Department of Rajasthan for about 38 years. He is basically a mechanical engineer but choose forestry profession purely because of his love for forest and wildlife. He also did Post Graduate Course in Wildlife Management from Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun during the service in 85-86
He spent many years of service focused on wildlife management and conservation. He served as Wildlife Warden at Jodhpur looking after 7 desert districts of western Rajasthan during 1986-1988. He was Research Officer at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur from88 to91. From 1991 to 1996, he served as Field Director, Project Tiger, Sariska. During the period, there was a serious disturbance due to marble mining in and around Sariska. Mr Sharma was very strong headed for complete protection of the Reserve. He was instrumental in putting a halt to about 450 marble mines operating within and on periphery of the Tiger Reserve. Several poachers including influential bureaucrats were caught and seizers made under his able leadership. Sariska flourished under his management.
In 2006, World Heritage Site, Keoladeo National Park, was facing serious threat of survival due to acute draught conditions and serious invasion of Prosopis juliflora in most of the Park area. Mr. Sharma was entrusted the job of saving the Park. He was Director of the Park during 2006-2008. He implemented an innovative scheme under which Prosopis juliflora from most of the area of the Park was removed in collaboration with people living around the Park. He developed a water source by getting a 3.5 km long water canal inside the Park to tap the rain water which, otherwise was going waste. As a long term strategy, he prepared a scheme to bring 300 Million Cft of water from Govardhan drain with the help of an 18 km long dedicated underground pipeline. Planning Commission, Government of India had agreed to fund this huge project worth INR 5.6 billion. State government of Rajasthan has assigned the task of its execution to the State Irrigation Department.
Sariska lost its entire tiger population at the hands of poachers by 2005. The survival of a tiger-less tiger reserve became a big question mark! State and Central governments prepared an ambitious plan of translocating tigers from other reserves to Sariska. Tiger translocation has not been done earlier any where in the world. Senior officials had reservation lest this important project fails. Again, at this crucial juncture, Mr Sharma was specially posted to Sariska to take up this unique responsibility. He joined Sariska for second term in 2008. His management was scanned and appreciated by many wildlife managers and scientists across the country. He developed exemplary protection strategy by creating patrolling tracks and vantage points for surveillance over the sensitive remote areas of Sariska. Several Protection Check-posts were created in poaching prone areas. The translocated tigers were successfully rehabilitated and protected under his able management.
Sariska was last posting of Mr. Sharma. He retired from service in 2010. Soon after retirement, Mr Sunayan Sharma has joined the Foundation as Senior Vice President. He is entirely dedicated to the cause of wildlife conservation.
copyright © Sariska Tiger foundation,Thanagazi,Alwar 2010-11