My dad always said if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life.
Back in 1998, photographer Aditya Singh made the decision to quit his day job in order to pursue his love of nature. Coupled with a desire to help wildlife, the photographer was led to live in a remote area of Rajasthan, beside the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. Both Aditya and his wife, Poonam, immediately became enamored with the wildness and the beauty of the animals who lived on it, so the couple chose to stay and protect the land – even helping to expand it.
As he explained it, “The area is called Bhadlav. I had first gone to this area soon after settling in Ranthambore along with a BBC filmmaker. This area adjacent to the boundary of the Ranthambore reserve was visited by predators who used to come for prey. As a result, farmers were selling their land.”
In order to earn a living, Aditya and Poonam began to operate a tourist resort. However, they still wanted to keep the wild areas of the reserve as natural and as quiet as possible. Over the span of 20 years, the couple began to buy the 35 acres of land surrounding the area in order to expand the tiger reserve and keep it from being disturbed by new developments going up around it. Their hard work and dedication mean that today the area is a splendid green forest on which tigers, leopards, and wild boars can freely wander.
Today, the couple’s land is worth $140,000, but they’re not going to be selling any time soon. Instead, the couple has plans to purchase even more land, and Aditya is hoping to inspire others to follow in his footsteps.
As he stated, “Money was never the consideration. It is just about my love for nature and wildlife. Instead, these days I am getting queries from people across India who want to replicate a similar model in their state.”
It is truly incredible what Aditya and Poonam have created together: a peaceful sanctuary where majestic tigers can live in peace.
Check out the pictures below:
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.