Governor of Sikkim Shri Shriniwas Patil felicitates Nomad Shepherd Kalden Singhi

HE the Governor of Sikkim Shri Shriniwas Patil felicitates Nomad Shepherd Kalden Singhi

Gangtok, 30 May 2018:(IPR) Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim Shri Shriniwas Patil felicitated the only Nomad Shepherd of North Sikkim Kalden Singhi at Raj Bhavan, Gangtok. He also gifted him a book on Guru Padmasambhava and asked about his welfare. This was in addition to a letter of appreciation sent earlier. Mr. Singhi was recently awarded the India Biodiversity Award on International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May 2018 for shepherding the last flock of Tibetan Highland Sheep (also known as ‘Luk’ or ‘Bhyanglung’) in Sikkim’s trans-Himalayan cold desert. The Award for Conservation of Domesticated Species was presented to him by the Ministry of Forests, Environment, Govt. of India, National Biodiversity Authority and UNDP at a national celebration held this year at Hyderabad. He was nominated for the same by Sikkim Biodiversity Board (SBB) which has its headquarters in the Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department (FEWMD), and whose members include among others the Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Fisheries and Veterinary Services Department (AHLFVSD) of the Government of Sikkim. Last year Mr. Singhi was awarded Breed Conservation Award by ICAR-NBAGR at Karnal, Haryana.

Green Circle the Environment Group of Sikkim warmly appreciates the kind gesture accorded to Kalden Singhi by the Hon’ble Governor, as it would go a long way in easing some of the hardships endured in maintaining his last flock. GC also thanks the Sikkim Biodiversity Board, FEWMD for nominating him; AHLFVSD officials involved and ICAR, Sikkim headed by Dr. R. K. Avasthe whose scientist Dr. Brijesh Kumar carried out studies on his sheep. GC also thanks the Lachen Biodiversity Management Committee and Forest officials of North Division for their roles in documenting Kalden Singhi’s work. We recognize that the high cold pastures bordering the North of Sikkim are under the jurisdiction of the Forest Dept. where globally threatened species of wildlife like Snow Leopard and Tibetan Argali, even Black-necked Cranes live in harmony with equally endangered domesticated animals like Yak and Luk, in an area which is home to various medicinal plants and highland wetlands forming the source of River Tista. And hope that the various stakeholders of this unique landscape continue to play their part in reviving the last population of this indigenous sheep breed whose wool or fleece is amongst the best obtained from native ovine breeds of the Indian subcontinent.