A Bollywood music composer buys a forest to save tigers

Abhishek Ray, a Bollywood music composer, has put all his savings in a natural reserve to protect wild tigers from the devastating impact of humans.

Abhishek Ray is a much acclaimed Bollywood singer, musician and composer, but he’s also an environmentalist. He’s been forever struggling to preserve wildlife and has invested every rupee he has earned with his music and acting in Mumbai to purchase a forest and turn his estate into a natural habitat. The reserve, located near Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, at the foot of the Himalayas, is home to the largest population of wild tigers in the world.

Abhishek Ray Sitabani
Abhishek Ray on the hill of Sitabani, his estate.

How Ray decided to buy the forest

“Certified” observer of tigers and leopards since he was a child, Abhishek Ray draws inspiration from nature to compose music. “The forest has its own sounds and those are the best that I have heard”, he told many Indian media. His compositions include a national anthem on the protection of tigers. “I inhale nature and exhale music”, he adds.

Ten years ago, during one of his expeditions in Corbett, the musician and activist noticed a large forest spoiled by humans living in the nearby villages, unethical farming practices and poachers. The animals that frequent the forest – deer, tigers, leopards and about 650 species of birds – couldn’t wait to be found and be saved by Ray.

Il compositore di Bollywood Abhishek Ray con un cerbiatto nel nuovo habitat naturale
Abhishek Ray with a pricket in its new natural habitat

What Ray has done to protect the environment

Annoyed by the fact that humans have exclusive access to the resources of the forest, Abhishek Ray decided to buy the land off of the families living in the villages. But it took him seven years to do so. Then he created a perennial water body where animals can drink even in the driest months. He eliminated a terrible parasite, planted 400 trees and made the grass grow on entire stretches of land.

Today the soil is almost completely reclaimed and everything has come back to life, from the meadows to the wildlife. “If you help nature just a bit, nature does the rest”, Ray concludes.

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