Born on April 13, 1938, he is an alumni of the Indian Forest College (Dehradun) and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (Delhi). He joined the IFS in 1962 and went on to retire as chief conservator of forests in 1985. Out of those 29 years of active service, 17 were spent with the Punjab government and 12 on depuation with the Nigerian government.
A collection of memories spanning seven decades, the book narrates the life experience of Randev. “I have travelled to over 17 countries to understand the best and worst of nature conservation and the people of India need to realise that they cannot subsist on unsustainable deveolpment (coal) forever,” he says. The book has been a labour of love for fours years in the making and starts with his journey from his village, encompassing all aspects of his life — from education and religion to the author’s social life.
“Young Indian generation living abroad has forgotten their glorious heritage. Through my words I hope to reach out to them to make them realise their ignorance. The rat race for money and fame has started to destroy them and they do not even realise it,” says Randev, and adds, “But, it isn’t just youngsters, this book has experiences from my life that people from all age groups should be able to relate too.”
Having spent a majority of his life in understanding and improving nature conservation, Randev emphasised on how he could have never done this without the help of his professors in college, who were his mentors, both professionally and personally.
Regarding the book’s religous aspect, he talks about how Sikh leaders today are manipulating religion for their own good. He also mentions how Sikhs have become an international community, “By migrating to other countries, whether legally or illegaly,” he laughs.
Ravi Inder Singh, retired chief commissioner Punjab (IAS), who released the book, says, “The frankness and honesty of this book as well as its astonishing details are quite something. It should serve as an inspiration that being born in a village, the backwardness should not stop youngsters from trying to achieve their dreams.” And adds further, “The book is an observation of society over seven decades. It is a treasure trove of facts and information.”
“Before I leave this world I want to leave my legacy for this generation. I want Indians living abroad to re-connect with their country of origin – India,” signs off Randev.