Aneeta is the founding and Managing Trustee of Sanskara Development Trust since 2002. In addition, she was the Chief Representative for WildAid in India a non- profit organisation working in the field of wildlife awareness and conservation from 2003 – 2012.
Currently, Aneeta is a special invitee on the State Board for Wildlife in Uttarakhand and a member of the Monitoring Committee for the removal of minor minerals from river beds in Uttarakhand, formed by Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Aneeta is actively involved in projects for the protection of India’s biodiversity and works with local communities, national and international organisations and governing authorities to create awareness for the protection of endangered wildlife and to help secure wildlife habitats.
Focusing on the restoration of elephant and tiger habitats in the State of Uttarakhand, Aneeta worked with the State to declare a Sanctuary and Conservation Reserve. Continuing to secure wildlife corridors, Aneeta is working for the relocation of a village on the edge of Corbett Tiger Reserve and provides health and education facilities to the local communities that live on the edge of the reserve.
Aneeta initiated the protection of a sacred grove – Mangar Bani, an important ecosystem in the fragile Aravali region of Haryana in India and worked to safeguard the ‘deemed forest ‘ from being taken over by urban developers.
- Supported local wildlife artists and artisans in Ranthambhore, Rajasthan, by creating marketing linkages for their art works in India and abroad (2002)
- Exhibited works from the Ranthambhore School of Art, inaugurated by the well known wildlife artists David Shepherd OBE at the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan in London (2002)
- Created a gallery to display wildlife art in New Delhi (2003)
- Programmed Public Service Announcements for environmental protection through the Asian Conservation Awareness Programme (ACAP) a program of WildAid and the Wildlife Protection Society of India. These were broadcast by Doordarshan and other national and international television networks, endorsed by celebrities of sport, Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly and renowned personalities of Indian Cinema (2004)
- Secured the support of the office of the Hon. President of India, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam and the State Forest Department of Uttarakhand for the declaration of India’s first 2 Conservation Reserves in the State (2005)
- Created a 4 point pledge for Conservation Reserves in India, endorsed by the Honorable President of India A.P.J Abdul Kalam (2005)
- Filmed well known conservationists in India including the late Padma Bhushan Billy Arjan Singh and recorded legendary tales about the renowned legendary Jim Corbett compiling a documentary called ‘Remembering Corbett’, launched by the British Council in New Delhi in support of the work undertaken by the Jim Corbett Trust (2006)
- Started a local theatre and education programme in Choti Haldwani village in Kaladhungi by engaging well known personality Tom Alter and created a play based on Jim Corbett’s
‘My India’ (2007)
- Raised funds for campaigns for wildlife conservation through art auctions in London, UK, and conducted one that featured the works of 40 Indian artists of great repute, supported by Merill Lynch Global Client (2006)
- Filmed and distributed a television message on ‘Indian Forest Guards’ supported by WildAid and endorsed by film personality Shah Rukh Khan which was broadcast on television networks and via CCTV’s at airports across India. The campaign was supported by the Airports Authority of India, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India (2007)
- Introduced the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Management Planning Authority) before the issue was taken up in Parliament, to the Hon. Member of the Rajya Sabha, Dr. Karan Singh, which was then supported in Parliament (2008 – 2009)
- Worked with the Gujjar community in Mangar village in Haryana to protect a sacred grove (deemed forest area), in collaboration with the local Gram Panchayat and Government authorities, including the Centrally Empowered Committee of the Hon. Supreme Court of India (2009)
- Conducted the largest national wildlife awareness billboard campaign which went out at 32 airports across India. This was in collaboration with WildAid, the Airports Authority of India, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Government of India and the Wildlife Protection Society of India with a message to ‘end illegal wildlife trade’ (2009 – 2010)
- Provided health and education facilities to people living in 9 villages along an elephant corridor in the Bhabar – Terai forest tract of Uttarakhand in collaboration with the Birla Institute of Scientific Research (2008 – 2011)
- Highlighted the need to protect critical tiger habitats in Uttarakhand by submitting scientific and research details through Sanskara Development Trust, supported by WildAid, to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and initiated the conservation process to increase the Protected Area Network in the State (2009)
- Submitted reports about illegal boulder mining which was a threat to tiger and elephant habitats in Uttarakhand. This helped to curb all mining in rivers within the elephant corridor in the landscape(2010) Created cultural ballets for social integration with the aim to create support for wildlife conservation, supported by Sanskara Development Trust.National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries ( 2012)Forged ahead for the declaration of the Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary and Powalgarh Conservation Reserve in the State (2012)
- Participated as a member of the Monitoring Committee formed by the FAC, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of IndiaI for removal of minor minerals from river beds in Uttarakhand (2013)
- Working on the re settlement of Sunderkhal village on the Eastern edge of Corbett Tiger Reserve, to create a clear corridor for wildlife and to help secure a future for the landless residents belonging to the Scheduled Caste. The State Government of Uttarakhand is currently supporting the relocation (2011 – 2014)
- Provided educational assistance for the safe travel of the Secondary school children of Sunderkhal village by hiring a school bus for them to avoid human – animal conflict (2011 – 2014)
- Engaged local teachers to implement computer courses for the children of Choti Haldwani village in Kaladhungi (Jim Corbett’s village), Nainital District in Uttarakhand (2011- 2014)
- Hosted ‘Kisan Club’ farmers to educate and train the village folk living around Powalgarh Conservation Reserve, to switch to organic farming practices, supported by the Kota Bagh Block, Government of Uttarakhand (2014)
- Releasing a new multi media campaign for the protection of India’s tigers. This is supported by the National Conservation Authority and Ministry of Environment and Forests – Government of India and will be launched in New Delhi (2014)
Background and Aspirations
Aneeta is of Indian origin, born in Delhi in 1963. During her early years she lived in the tea gardens of Assam and Bengal. Her family went to create their residence in Kaladhungi in Uttarakhand in 1975.
Aneeta is married and has a son who is a cinematographer. She is based in New Delhi since 1982 and has a summer home in the hills of Nainital.
Aneeta studied at St. Andrew’s School in Darjeeling, All Saints College in Nainital and St. Helen’s Convent in Kurseong in West Bengal. She then went on to study at the University of Delhi and has a Diploma in Textile Design.
In addition she read Oriental philosophy which motivated her to work as a community leader in both urban and rural settings. Aneeta is fluent in English, Hindi and Nepali and was an elementary school teacher at the American Embassy School in New Delhi in 1998.
Taking up the medium of theatre and education to reach out to people in villages in Uttarakhand, Aneeta worked to highlight the value of protecting the environment and established a network of individuals and organisations for the cause.
Aneeta has been engaged in crucial issues for the protection of India’s endangered landscapes and has worked with the Government of India towards finding a middle path between conservation and development, helping to secure specific conservation status for certain wildlife habitats.She is self motivated and a visionary and believes in taking swift action while integrating different levels of society towards achieving long term conservation goals.
Aneeta’s strength lies in the ability to communicate with forest dwelling communities who are affected by wildlife related issues such as human- animal conflict. She works to find alternate solutions for the local communities by engaging in dialogue with Government authorities, both at State and Central levels.
Films such as ‘the broken corridor’ by South East Asian News, which is about elephant migration in Uttarakhand and ‘the lost forest’ by Carrot Films, which is the story of a sacred grove in Haryana have featured her initiatives.
Committed to working for the protection of India’s natural heritage, Aneeta is dedicated to the protection of the environment by being directly engaged at the grass roots level and influencing policy.