Activists, Anil and Pamela Malhotra, met and married during the 1960’s but moved to India in 1986 after the death of Anil’s father. They were introduced to a country that was in a bad way, specifically the state of nature in the Haridwar province.
“There was so much deforestation, the timber lobby was in charge, and the river was polluted. And no one seemed to care. That was when we decided to do something to reclaim the forests in India,” Anil tells the India Times.
They began in 1991 when they purchased their first 55 acres in Brahmagiri, a mountain range in the Western Ghats. The farmer sold it to them because he could no longer grow on it.
“For me and Pamela, this was what we were looking for all our life,” says Anil.
What has, since, become known as the Save Animals Initiative (SAI) Sanctuary was established.
The Malhotras have continued their journey of purchasing old farmland and returning it to nature by planting trees and ushering in wildlife.
“Once we bought the land, we allowed the forest to regenerate. We planted native species where necessary and allowed nature to take care of the rest,” says Anil.
They currently have around 300 acres on the sanctuary and have created a home for elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, snakes, birds and hundreds of other animals.
They also have constructed two eco-friendly cottages on the premises that tourists use to experience and support the sanctuary.