Dr. Sunita Singh has been particularly interested in the active participation of rural women in forest conservation works. Dr. Sunita Singh is a forest officer and has contributed to a lot of work towards forest conservation. After joining the Forest Service, Sunita has worked in many fields. She was very mischievous as a child and perhaps that is why her primary education started late as compared to other children.
Sunita’s early education
Sunita and her family are originally from the Chhapra district of Bihar. Sunita’s father used to work in Delhi, so she did her graduation from Delhi itself. She received a school and college education from Delhi School and higher education in environmental science, Govind Vallabh Pant University. Sunita’s parents wanted her to become a doctor and Sunita herself wanted the same till the 12th standard. When she was in her first year of B.Sc, she came to know about Forest Service. Then she felt that this is the only profession that I would like to take up.
After doing B.Sc, Sunita went to Pantnagar University in Uttar Pradesh to do MSc in Environmental Science. “I was drawn to the glamor and charm of IFS. It was quite different from other professions. In this, I got a lot of opportunities to roam outside. I was fond of mountaineering and climbing rocks etc. Often boys do such things. That’s why I liked this workspace very much. I have never seen such a combination of technical prowess and glamor in the professions of IAS and IPS”- Dr. Sunita Singh.
Why Sunita Singh has decided to be a forest officer?
At that time environmental problems were starting to raise their heads. People used to read news related to that in newspapers every day. Sunita had a firm belief even then and still firmly believes that if there is a forest on one-third of the area in our country, then 80 percent of the environmental problems of our country will be solved automatically. Often people think that the service of the country can be done by going to IAS or IPS or Army only. But Sunita felt that she would be able to do proper service to the country through the IFS( Indian Forest Service) job.
When Sunita decided what she wanted to do next, her mother and father supported her. Sunita’s parents encouraged her. But when Sunita passed the IFS exam, her mother got a little upset. Sunita’s mother suddenly started worrying about her. Then her father explained a lot that if Sunita is able to fulfill this job properly, then she will find some other job. Sunita’s parents encouraged her. Sunita has two more sisters and today Sunita and her two sisters also work. Parents never forced Sunita one of her sisters to marry and settle down. Sunita’s father wanted his children to grow up and achieve something personally.
What did she feel after the exam?
After the successful completion of the exam, Sunita felt the fear many times. Sometimes it felt like she was lost somewhere. She understood so much that the work she is going to do, only men handle it. But he never let this matter overwhelm him. Initially, Sunita felt that if I become a forest officer now, it means that she will go to the forests and try to save the forest. But soon he realized that it would involve a lot of administrative work. In this, you will have to work with your lower officials, manage your team properly. Apart from all this, good relations with other people will also have to be made. Because the main job is the management of the people.
Since 1980, women have got the opportunity to join the IFS. Earlier, women were not recruited in IFS. Sunita Singh is of the 1987 batch. After success in the exam, Sunita was sent for training.
Sunita’s work as an officer.
Sunita Singh’s first posting was in 1989 in Pune. After that, when she was promoted, the re-posting was also done in Pune. However, both these postings were urban, so there was more administrative work in them. When Sunita Singh got her third posting, she was in the Raigad district in the capacity of DCF. Sunita used to look after the work of social forestry there. Her first job there was to make the information about the ongoing schemes accessible to the people because most of the people did not know anything about him. After that Sunita found many such people who wanted to adopt this work.
As far as the new project is concerned, Sunita had sent some applications for the development of the fallow land but she probably did not get the approval. One of the projects Sunita is very fond of is the development of a Smriti Van outside the city of Alibaug. The idea behind this is that any person can plant any kind of tree on this land in memory of his loved one. For the maintenance of that tree, he/she will have to pay only 500 rupees.
Sunita Singh’s team planted hundreds of trees there according to the quality of the soil. This has also helped in collecting rainwater there. Due to the digging of two wells, enough water has been found to keep the area green. Since city dwellers have planted those plants, they will have a close emotional association with these trees. So even if she gets transferred, she need not worry. She says if you start thinking about what will happen to your project then you might never do anything for them. Do as best as you can and leave it once you are in that position.
The struggle of Sunita’s life
Sunita Singh also had to face a lot of problems in this job. Sunita got married in 1993. By that time she had become a forest officer. She had to be transferred for work, so her husband also took a job at the same place. Sunita’s husband always understood her problems and also helped her. Even when she was pregnant, she did not give up work. Even in such a condition, other people took work from him as the bull of the crusher. She was not given any exemptions and concessions even when she was pregnant.
When she had a daughter, it would have been difficult for Sunita to spend more time with her daughter. During the tour, if there was no big officer with her, she used to take her little daughter with her. Sometimes she leaves her daughter sick and goes to work. Then his mother-in-law would bring her daughter to his office. At that time she used to make her daughter sleep on one side of the table and work on the other side.
That is why the country needs an honest officer like Sunita Singh who can do anything for his work which is fully dedicated to environmental protection. Then perhaps our country will get rid of every environmental problem.