The recent Express Adda held at The Claridges, Delhi hosted a very special guest Mr. Romulus Whitaker, a herpetologist, who is also known as the ‘Snake man of India’.
In the year 1970, Mr. Whitaker curiosity was transformed into a vision by starting a ‘Madras Snake Park’.
He has taught many about the wonders of reptiles. At the age of 74, he was awarded a Padma Shri for his outstanding work in nature conservation.
During the discussion, he shared his views about myths around snakes, setting up a venom cooperative with the Irulas and also shared the importance of zoos.
Mr. Whitaker discussed about environmental crisis, educating people about snakes and crocodiles and conservation of tigers.
He further replied to the intriguing questions raised by the audience on the Madras of the seventies and about his Mumbai days and film making.
The discussion was moderated by Seema Chishti, Deputy Editor and Sowmiya Ashok, Assistant Editor of The Indian Express.
Among the ones present were, Mr. Vladimir Poluektov, Press Secretary, Embassy of Russia, Mr. Shashi Kant Sharma, SSBC India, Susan Sharma, founder, Founder, Indian Wildlife Club, PranayLal, Author, Vandana Singh, Writer and Policy Advisor, M R Madhavan, President, PRS Legislative Research, Mr. Bikram Grewal, Ornithologist, Mr. RanjitLal, Environmentalist and bird watcher, Juan Jose Cortez Rojas, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Bolivia, Shylashri Shankar, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, Bharat K Reddy, Chief Representative, JP Morgan India, Gillian Wright, Author, Mark Tully, Author, Surendra Ahuja, Former Naval test pilot, Preeti Ahuja, HoD, Step by Step School, SL Kapur, President, Yes Foundation, Sandeep Kapur, Managing Director, Sugam Electronics, Yogesh Parashar, Pediatrician, Gajinder Bains, Vice-President, Napino Control Systems, Krishna Pophale, Consultant, DebjaniSen Gupta, Associate Professor, Delhi university, Ishaan Kumar, Graphic Designer, Sourajit Ghosal, Advertising Professional.
The Adda, now a keenly awaited fixture on the social calendar of Delhi and Mumbai, has earlier featured politicians Kapil Sibal and Arun Jaitley, superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, ambassadors Richard Verma, cutting edge filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee, Spiritual Leader such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Baba Ramdev, sportspersons Saina Nehwal, Viswanathan Anand and Virat Kohli, and intellectuals Dr. Amartya Sen, Thomas Friedman, Martin Wolf and Fareed Zakaria among others.