Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced an online competition to name the eight cheetahs that were released in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park on September 17. PM Modi made the announcement while addressing his monthly radio address "Mann Ki Baat". The competition will be organised on the MyGov platform.
Following the announcement, the Prime Minister said, "Who knows, you may be the first to get an opportunity to see a cheetah as a reward."
"What should be the name of the campaign on cheetahs? Can we even think of naming all these cheetahs…. by what name should each of them be called," PM Modi said while addressing the 93rd episode of his monthly radio programme "Mann Ki Baat".
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister on Sunday said that based on the recommendation of the task force set up to observe cheetahs in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park, it will be decided when people will be able to see the animals.
Notably, eight cheetahs were airlifted from Namibia on the occasion of Prime Minister Modi's birthday, including five females and three males, and were released in the Kuno National Park, putting the sanctuary in the Sheopur district firmly on the world map. PM Modi himself released these felines into the park in Madhya Pradesh.
Following the arrival of cheetahs in India, PM Modi thanked the Namibian government in his speech. "On this historic day, I want to congratulate all Indians and also thank the government of Namibia. This could not have been possible without their help," PM Modi said.
The cheetah is the only large carnivore that got completely wiped out from India, mainly due to their use for coursing, sport hunting, overhunting and habitat loss. The introduction of the cheetahs in India was done under "Project Cheetah" which, according to the Environment Ministry, is the first time a large carnivorous species has been moved across continents for establishing a new population.
Notably, the cheetahs came back to India nearly 70 years after the species was declared extinct in the country in 1952.