Daphne Sheldrick

For me Daphne was a symbol of what humans are capable of doing for conservation of animals and their landscapes. She was the first person, a recognised authority on the rearing of wild creatures and was the first person to perfect the milk formula and necessary husbandry for both infant milk-dependent elephants and rhinos.
Daphne sheldrick a women with courage and confidence and it all came when she understood what her life messages has to be. She departed this planet couple of days back after a long fight with a cancer. 
 
I first met Daphne Sheldrick in the year 2003 when I was in Kenya, it was one of the remarkable visit that I had. I asked her how she manages to do so many things in terms of conservation and saving elephants and rhinos? her answer was - as I would do for my own kids.
 
For me Daphne was a symbol of what humans are capable of doing for conservation of animals and their landscapes. She was the first person, a recognised authority on the rearing of wild creatures and was the first person to perfect the milk formula and necessary husbandry for both infant milk-dependent elephants and rhinos.
 
There will be many more articles about her work and devotion but I wanted to bring another aspect which is about understanding animals, wild as well domesticated. 
 
Currently we see a constant struggle in the developing world between humans and animals. More and more land is being used by humans and hardly anything is left for animals, whatever is left is in constants struggle. India and other developing countries are examples of this, where struggles between human and animals are quite regular. With the increasing population, extreme pressure on land mass, hasn’t left enough space for animals to live in their wild habitat. This is a serious issue since we all living being share this planet, her resources and have right to live in dignity.
 
This is a established fact that since the advent of agriculture and other humans activities, we have lost so many species from this planet. This has only made this planet more poorer than it was. When we generally talk about humanity we have forgotten to include that humanity is also about giving the space for other creatures. We are not the only “animals” to occupy this planet, in fact we are sharing this planet among other animals who are bit different than us.
 
This has been much of philosophical debate that as soon as we find something or someone different we fear, we fight and kill. It takes a long time for us merge with that difference and give the respect what others deserve . 
 
Human history is full of injustices done to their own species, it was not a long time back ( and still) when white majority people thought that except them everyone else has no rights. 
 
As a conservationist Daphene challenged the ideas of many around her, she didn’t only challenged but provided and cared the space that animals deserve for their own growth and wellbeing. 
 
When I asked her, just before leaving that what she think about future of national parks in developing countries ? Since their is constant danger of poachers and pressure for human habitat ? Daphne replied - ah we need to understand that humans are mere visitors in this planet and one day or other we will be replaced by someone else; who knows? If we can create a culture of sharing this planet, than only and perhaps this cultural trait would save the human species for extinction. 
 
We both laughed about it at that time but thinking about it today I think what she meant is that we need to create a culture of sharing spaces. Sharing what we have not only among our race, species and nation but whatever exist. It is one of most profound statement by someone who lived her life caring and loving.
 
I wish there’ll be many more Daphne in the world to care what this planet is about. 
 
In the loving memory of Daphne
Vivek ji 

Peace and prosperity - Raymond, Yavatmal

Dialogue

Vivek ji speaking about peace and prosperity in Raymond plant

I have nothing to preach but to share - Vivek ji

Letters from life

Hon Vivek ji during Maharshi Vidhya mandir program

Vivek ji meets President Ramnath Kovind

Dialogue

Hon Vivek ji meeting with President of India shri Ramnath Kovind ji