"That tree is about 700 years old and draws different types of birds," she says, running her hand along the massive trunk
"We started buying lands across the stream whenever they came up for sale. Many of the farmers considered their holdings 'wasteland' as very little grew on it and were happy to get money," says Malhotra
But there were legal complications as many land documents were not in order and many farmers had debts to be settled. "Once we bought the land, we allowed the forest to regenerate. We planted native species where necessary and allowed nature to take care of the rest," says Anil. Today, SAI Sanctuary covers approximately 300 acres, and draws naturalists and scientists doing research on the different animal species as well as hundreds of indigenous trees and plants, which have medicinal value as well.