Sunita Dhairyam has had an exciting and varied career involving art, travel, conservation and education. She was Manager, at Kabini River Lodge(currently called Jungle Lodges & Resorts), in the Nagarhole Tiger reserve in the South Indian State of Karnataka rich in wildlife, particularly tigers where she managed resources of the resort and introduced the guests to nature. As a freelance artist she worked on murals in diverse locations like the Stillwater theatre in Minnesota, and the Bilibong sports bar in Bloomington, Minneapolis and later on commissioned by the Maharaja of Mysore to do a mural in his Fernhill Palace, today a luxury hotel in Ooty. Also did numerous murals for Jungle Lodges and Resorts in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Now she owns a design company, Temple Tree Designs,(www.templetreedesign.in) through which she sells her wild life related products for the sole purpose of raising funds for her Mariamma Charitable Trust which she started to compensate villagers in Bandipur whose cattle have been killed/injured by wild animals.
Her support for wildlife conservation in India continues by working with local people who live on the periphery of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, to live in harmony and tolerance of the forest and wildlife. The Ammembal Medical Charities started operating from her farm in 2000 to give free medical treatment for poor people. The Mariamma charitable Trust has since taken over the running of the free clinic and 22 years later it is still being run. "This enabled me to come into direct contact with the rural people inhabiting this crucial wildlife habitat and understand their problems related to wildlife and the environment, therefore giving me an opportunity to work with them to tackle these serious issues." Her charitable trust called The Mariamma Charitable Trust (www.savetigers.net) runs programmes in more than 250 villages spanning 3 major tiger reserve - The Bandipur Tiger Reserve, The Nagarhole Tiger Reserve & The Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. This initiative is to reduce the man-animal conflict by preventing revenge killing (in the form of poisoning of carcasses) of these large carnivores in this sensitive zone. WWF - India has now supported the Trust in this endeavour as the pressure was too high. Funds permitting she undertakes immunization of rural dogs to prevent the spread of diseases like rabies. This serves the purpose of lessening the impact of their diseases like Canine Distemper Virus, Parvo virus and rabies on highly endangered wildlife as well as controlling the population of community dogs. They give financial help to young bright students to further their education, both for school and college.
Sunita has started a training center for marginalised women to empower them. This center is called "Belaku Kendra" The Center of Light.
Anyone interested in supporting these efforts can find links on Sunita's website.