Sunita Dhairyam

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for January, 2014

Sunita Dhairyam is an ardent conservationist and social worker. She is involved in social work for its obvious benefits to humans but is also keenly aware of the importance of working with rural people to live in harmony and tolerance of the forest and wildlife. The focus of her support for wildlife conservation is working with local people who live on the periphery of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in India.

Her role is multifaceted and includes:

  • The Ammembal Medical Charities which started operating from her farm, to give free medical treatment for poor people. This enabled her 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 her an opportunity to work with them to tackle these serious issues. 
  • Sunita formed a charitable trust called The Mariamma Charitable Trust to compensate people whose cattle have been killed/injured by wild animals. This program is run for 15 villages in an attempt 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. 
  • She owns a design company, Temple Tree Designs, through which she sells her wildlife related products for the sole purpose of raising funds for the Mariamma Charitable Trust.
  • Twice a year, she undertakes the immunization of rural dogs to prevent the spread of diseases like rabies. This serves the purpose of lessening the impact of their diseases on precious wildlife as well as controlling the population. IPAN (Indian Project for Animals and Nature) is an ally in this effort, who have trained personnel like dog catchers and veterinary doctors.
  • She works with the local community to spread conservation awareness among children and adults alike. 
  • She gives financial support to young bright students to further their education, both for school and college. she pays the salary for a school teacher in the village government school for six months of every year, as the school is always understaffed.

More recently she has been recognized by the Vodafone Foundation which has published a book "Women of Pure Wonder", featuring 60 women in India who have lived extraordinary lives and are achievers against all odds, and she is proud to say that she is one of them.  Ironically, she is the only one who is actively working for wildlife conservation and is a wildlife artist. The book was launched on the 4th. of December in Delhi. 

As an artist Sunita has done a mural in Fernhill Palace of the Maharaja of Mysore, which is today a luxury hotel in Ooty, India.

She was commissioned to paint murals by the Karnataka Forest Department for their reception and conference room and commissioned to paint murals based on animal themes for the Jungle Lodges & Resorts rooms in Bandipur(The Bandipur Safari Lodge).

She founded a company 'Temple Tree Designs' to design and manufacture products such as t-shirts, key-chains etc. based on wildlife/nature themes.

Visit Sunita's Website for more information.


Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(December, 2019)
(November, 2019)
(October, 2019)
(September, 2019)
(August, 2019)
(July, 2019)
(June, 2019)
(May, 2019)
(April, 2019)
(March, 2019)
(February, 2019)
(January, 2019)
(December, 2018)
(November, 2018)
(October, 2018)
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