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Letter to Editor 

The following letter was written by Kamat to the Editor of Indian Express (the most circulated English language newspaper at the time in India) and was published on 10th of August in 1973. It laments on a golden opportunity lost by India to develop forests as a job-creating industry and to preserve environment, as well as Kamat's own frustrations on securing an employment in India.


From:
Dr. K.L.Kamat 
2179, Rajajinagar II Stage, 
Bangalore-10 

August 10, 1973 

To:
The Editor 
The Indian Express 
Bangalore-1 

Dear Sir, 

Your editorial on 'Neglected Forests' (5-8-1973) should be an eye opener to the public and the government. 

It is a pity that our leaders are totally ignorant of possibilities of using forestry for creating national wealth and employment openings. In USA it is estimated that a doctorate degree holder in forestry will generate employment for one hundred other people. In our country a Ph.D. degree holder in forestry is himself unemployed! 

I studied at New York State University, College of Forestry, (supposed to be one of the pioneer forestry colleges in USA) and was able to secure a fellowship and a Ph.D. degree. On my initiative, the Indian Embassy arranged for my practical training with U.S. Forest Service. Fully equipped with up-to-date knowledge about forestry in general and Forest Entomology in particular, I returned to India with a hope to secure a post suitable for my qualifications and training. Contrary to the impression that the Indian Embassy gave to me, I realized that our forestry has not made much progress and my country cannot use my education to develop forestry. The Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun, the only one institute of its kind in India, could have utilized my specialization but as usual, they did not had any vacancies but were hopeful that some more posts will be sanctioned in next Five Year Plan! 

In post-independence period, Arts and Science colleges are blooming like mushrooms but not a single forestry college was opened in the country. We have added precious little to the forestry knowledge that we inherited from the British. The only forest institute they built is a temple to us and forestry book they wrote is a Bible for us. Sometime back I had prepared a plan to start a forestry college in our state and sent to our M.P., Mr. Dinakar Desai. He took keen interest in the plan but unfortunately the ‘new wave' defeated him in the election and the plan had its natural burial. Our present minister for Agriculture and Forest has too many plans on paper and we should be happy even if he makes a beginning in developing Forestry of the State in right direction. 

I have no doubts that well developed forestry can yield as much National Wealth and employment opportunities as agriculture or any other industry. 

Yours faithfully,


(K.L.Kamat)

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