Ensuring captive elephant welfare through scientific approaches in healthcare, management and violence control
Speaker: Dr. Rajeev T S
Kerala Veterinary & Animal Science UniversitySponsored By: vetpms.com
Date: 17th May, 2020
Time: 4.00 PM (IST)
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Speaker: Padmashri Dr. K. K. Sarma
Popularly known as "The Elephant Man of Asia"
Organized by: Indian Veterinary Association & World Veterinary AssociationSponsored By: vetpms.com
Date: 25th April, 2020
Time: 12.00 PM (IST)
Our webinar co-ordinator:
1. Dr. Yashpal S.Malik, LMIVA
2. Dr. Sontakke Umesh Balaji, LMIVA
3. Dr. Kuldeep Dhama, LMIVA
4. Dr. Vijaypal Singh, LMIVA
Organized and Supported By
IVA Team11 VCI 2020
DR. KUSHAL KONWAR SARMA
Dr. Sarma is Professor & Head, Department of Surgery & Radiology, College of Veterinary Science, AAU, Guwahati, Assam. Dr. Sarma is widely recognized as the “Elephant Man of Asia” and is globally known for his work in the field of wild life health care, management and conservation. The service rendered by him in this field has saved the lives of thousands of wild animals globally. His relentless efforts have led to a notable change in the perspective towards wild animal healthcare and conservation in India, particularly in the survival and welfare of Asian Elephants and One-horned Rhinoceros.
Graduated from the College of Veterinary Science, AAU, in 1984. He completed his master’s degree in Veterinary Surgery & Radiology in 1987 and PhD in the same field in 1994. He joined the AAU in 1987 as an Assistant professor and promoted to Professor in the Surgery & Radiology Department in 2006 and has been the Head of his department from 2012. Dr. Sarma has authored over 150 research papers in National and International scientific journals, authored 6 books, co-authored or contributed chapters in 7 books, guided 45 students in PhD & MVSc in Veterinary Science and published over 100 popular articles in various English or vernacular journals. He is member of the Editorial Board of one International (Chiang Mai University, Thailand) and two highly-rated National journals. Dr. Sarma has completed two research projects as Principal Investigator and two as co-investigator. His work with IIT Guwahati on “Electrospun silk polyaniline conduits for functional nerve regeneration in rat sciatic nerve injury model” received critical acclamations in medicine.
Dr. Sarma has travelled extensively, served one month in Indonesia as International Elephant Expert and is a guest faculty of the North Carolina State University and New Mexico University in USA. He had led the Rhino translocation programme in Chitwan National Park in Nepal. He has organized several National and international seminars, conferences and training programmes as the Course Director or Organizing Secretary.
Besides his call of duty as a university professor and administrator, Dr. Sarma has dedicated his life to the healthcare and welfare of wild animals in general, elephants and rhinos in particular. He has not enjoyed a single holiday or weekend for personal comfort or pleasure for over three decades, running from forest to forest, at the service of wildlife. He attends over 700 elephants annually for preemptive and on-call basis, which now includes besides Assam, other Indian reserves like Dudhwa (UP), Rajaji (Uttarakhand), Jaldapara (West Bengal), Kanha, Panna (MP) etc. He has the distinction of subjugating a record 139 rogue elephants in the jungles of north eastern region of India. He is the spearhead of the Veterinary team with the target of leading the world famous Manas National Park on the path of revival by reintroduction of the One-horned Rhinoceros. Besides rescue, treatment and translocation of many wild elephants, Dr. Sarma provides parallel services to Rhinos, Swamp deer, Tigers, Leopards, Bear, Bison, and Wild Buffaloes etc.
Dr. Sarma is a member of the Steering Committee and Captive Elephant Healthcare and Welfare Committee of Project Elephant, Govt. of India; Zoo and Circus Elephant evaluation committee, Central Zoo Authority; Assam and Tripura State Boards of Wildlife etc. He is the serving Chairman of the Blue Cross Society, Assam and has also served as the Vice President of Indian Society for Veterinary Surgery. He is presently the member of Asian Elephant Specialist Group, IUCN, and EEHV Asia Working Group.
Gold Medalist of 1984 batch of Veterinary Graduates of AAU, Dr. Sarma has bagged many National and International awards/recognitions. He received prestigious Dr. S. J. Anjelo Gold Medal from the Indian Veterinary Association (1997). He was conferred ‘Award of Excellence’ by the Chief Minister, Assam in recognition of outstanding contribution for rescuing stray rhinos from human dominated landscape (2012). He was conferred the prestigious ‘Fellow’ of Indian Society for Veterinary Surgery (2012) and Indian Society of Animal Production and Management (2020). Dr. Sarma has received ‘Certificate of Recognition for commitment to Asian elephant Conservation, Health and Welfare’ by North Carolina State University in USA (2014). Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, Hon’ble Governor of Assam had presented Dr. Sarma with the ‘Award of Excellence’ and honoured him with the title, “Elephant Man of Asia” (2018). Dr. Sarma is the first practicing veterinarian in the entire country and among a very few illustrious personalities in the conservation arena to receive Padmashree. He has been awarded the “Life Time Achievement Award” by Kaziranga Wildlife Society, one of the oldest conservation NGO of the country.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FOR IMPROVING ANIMAL AND HUMAN HEALTH
When we look back to the day when the first unicellular organism appeared in water, we can understand that it was a favourable condition that had evolved in the aquatic ambience. The entire plant and animal kingdom have evolved over millions of years as the condition in the planet became more and more congenial for the same. So in one word we can say that if healthy or favourable environmental conditions are not maintained, the species will go extinct one by one. Therefore, it is needless to say that unhealthy environmental conditions will make us all sick; newer and newer diseases will surface and threaten all the species, animals and humans alike. Emerging and re-emerging viral and bacterial diseases in the recent decades is a testimony to this.
Probably the mankind, being the self proclaimed custodians has done a blunder by allowing itself to proliferate exponentially, with no consideration to the carrying capacity of the planet. I think the root cause of all maladies that has affected the environment today is the burgeoning human population, particularly after the World War-II. The evil effects of this have been manifold precipitated by the so called improvement in lifestyle of the people, feeding habits, luxury etc. without any consideration to their fallout on the environment. The growing population needs more food, so more and more forests had to be cleared for agriculture, more milk – means rearing of more cows, more meats means more husbandry of food animals and poultry and so on; all putting pressure on the environmental parameters and addition of green house gases in the air. Over sixty percent of planet’s green cover has been lost in last fifty years, pollution levels in all cities across the globe are rising to levels which are untenable for species survival; polluted water, noise all leading to severe distress. Many species have been wiped out by these changes; glaciers are melting at a much rapid rate, sea levels are rising, and there is strange climatic conditions; drought and flood, both becoming severe. So, mere protection of environment at the present state will not do, we will have to work to improve it to negate these damaging effects, if we want to improve animal and human life.