Gujarat wants Asiatic lion to roarBy IANS
Friday, March 5, 2010
PANAJI - Gujarat Tourism Minister Jai Narain Vyas Saturday made an impassioned plea for a sustained campaign for protecting the Asiatic lion, on the lines of the recent eye-catching campaign to save the tiger in India.
“The Rs.200 crore spent on the project to save the tiger is a step in the right direction. But there are 1,430 tigers in India and only 600 Asiatic lions. Why not a campaign to save the lions too?” Vyas said at the western region conference of tourism ministers here, pointing to Gujarat’s Gir wildlife sanctuary, which is home to the Asiatic lion in India.
“Gir is known for its Asiatic lions. Why are we forgetting them? A campaign to save the lion should also be started on the lines of the ’save the tiger’ campaign,” Vyas said.
“If a tiger is a secular animal, then a lion is also secular. Please pay attention to it,” Vyas added.
Vyas was making a presentation at the one-day conference. Organised by the union tourism ministry, it was aimed at deliberating on tourism related issues and problems that specifically pertain to the states in the western region to ensure holistic and integrated development of tourism.
Tourism ministers and officials from Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and the union territory of Daman and Diu attended the conference, which was chaired by Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja.