Aditya ‘Dicky’ Singh (May 1966 – September 6, 2023) was an esteemed Indian figure in wildlife conservation and photography.
Known for his groundbreaking work, Singh undertook an ambitious project near Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India. Starting in 1998, he transformed a massive 40 acres of land at the park’s edge into a thriving wild area, a project that spanned over several decades.
With an educational background in civil engineering, Singh obtained his bachelor’s degree from Bangalore. However, his professional journey began as an IAS officer in the Indian Civil Service. Choosing passion over profession, Singh left his service to delve deep into wildlife conservation and the art of wildlife photography.
The late 90s saw Singh and his wife’s entrepreneurial side. They leased a government property in Khilchipur and started a resort in 1998. This resort, however, didn’t remain their focus for long. Eventually, they shifted towards a more personal hospitality venture, a six-room luxury homestay within their residence.
In the world of wildlife documentaries, Singh’s name frequently popped up. He collaborated as a field assistant or a line producer with notable broadcasting giants such as the BBC’s Wildlife Division, National Geographic Film and Television, NHK Broadcasting Service of Japan, Irish television, and more.
Around the turn of the millennium, Singh started acquiring land near the Ranthambore Fort. Over time, he amassed a total of 50 acres, embarking on a mission to reforest this expanse. This endeavor involved purchasing adjacent plots, fencing them, and letting nature reclaim her space. A decade later, the once barren land was rich with trees.
But Singh’s influence didn’t stop there. His dedication to preserving wildlife, particularly tigers, was commendable. He spearheaded ‘Operation Co-Operation’, a pivotal anti-poaching initiative. This joint venture, in collaboration with the Ranthambhore National Park and the local Forest Department, was instrumental in identifying and arresting tiger poachers.
On the literary front, Singh authored “Noor: Queen of Ranthambore”, paying tribute to the famed tigress, Noor.
Singh’s exceptional contributions didn’t go unnoticed. He was honored with the Carl Zeiss Award for Conservation in 2012. Furthermore, he clinched the title of Sanctuary Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2011.
On the personal front, Singh shared his life with his wife, Poonam, and their daughter, Nyra.
Tragically, on September 6, 2023, Singh passed away peacefully in his sleep due to a heart attack. He was 57.
His demise left a void in the wildlife community, with figures like Valmik Thapar remembering him as one of the finest wildlife photographers.