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The Butterfly Man of Arunachal Pradesh

Roshan Upadhaya, a police constable from Miao, Changlang district, is known as the Butterfly Man of Arunachal Pradesh Till now, he has discovered six new unspotted butterfly species and a dragonfly which is new to India He has made it to India Book of Records, Asia Book of Records, and has numerous other achievements to his name

Roshan Upadhaya, a policeman constable of Miao in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, is known as the Butterfly Man of Arunachal Pradesh. Why? Because this khaki man captures butterflies with his DSLR and documents them. In this way, he teaches people about nature and conservation, and has many records to his name. 

Speaking to Indian Masterminds, Mr. Upadhaya shared in details about his love for butterflies, and about how he became the Butterfly Man of Arunachal Pradesh.

BUTTERFLY MAN

Mr. Roshan Upadhaya was recruited as a police constable during his graduation days in the year 2012. As he got a government job, he joined the service but continued his studies at the same time. Remembering those days, he said, “When I was going to give my final exam, my appendix blasted in my stomach and I got hospitalized. While in the hospital for 1-2 months, I started getting anxiety and depression attacks. So, I chose nature to heal myself.”

Gradually, while roaming in the forests, he saw many butterflies and started clicking their pictures with his DSLR and documented them. While doing this, he ventured into research work and discovered many new butterfly species.

Butterflies captured by Mr. Roshan Upadhaya

He has so far recorded six previously unspotted species of butterflies and a dragonfly – Atratothemis reelsi –  which was new to India. Of the butterflies he has documented, the Striped Hairstreak and Elusive Prince were new to India while the Veined Palmer and Spotted Yellow Lancer were new to Arunachal Pradesh.

Seeing his work and the records he has received, Mr. Upadhaya was referred to as the ‘Butterfly Man of Arunachal Pradesh’, by the people and the media.

“Now I am very much interested in educating teachers, kids and the young generation about nature and conservation. If I get a chance to visit the universities, I never miss the opportunity and conduct sessions with them,” he said.

Recently, he had been to Cotton University of Assam, where he conducted sessions with the zoology and research students.

Session at Cotton university, Assam

INSPIRATION

On being asked who inspired him on this journey, he said that he has many gurus who have motivated him. Back in 2017, he went to a butterfly meet in Pasighat, where he met many people and, by seeing them, he got motivated towards butterfly documentation.

“Some of my gurus are Nawangla Bhutia, who is the butterfly man of Sikkim, my friend Minom Pertin, and Dr. Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi who is one of the greatest experts of butterflies in India. Not only do they inspire me, but my family also supports me wholeheartedly. My father is my biggest supporter, he supports me in anything,” Mr. Upadhaya said.

RECORDS

In 2019, Mr. Upadhaya received the India Book of Records for lifting highest number of butterflies on his body. In 2020, he got the Asia Book of Records, and after this, he has also received Honorary Doctorate from the World Record University.

Records on his name

In 2019, he won a photography competition which was organized by WWF India. He has also received class-1 commendation certificate from the DGP of Arunachal Pradesh for his duty.

BUTTERFLY IS HIS FIRST WIFE

Mr. Upadhaya said that though he is married, his first love is butterfly. He is working on some books on butterfly which might come out next year. “I am living my life happily with nature. My motive is to teach the young generation about nature because nowadays global warming and conservation are the main areas to be worried about,” he said.

Being in the police department, he has to face some difficulties when it comes to time management. But he says that he is happy to do anything for mother nature.

“I get all kinds of support from the Police Department of Arunachal Pradesh. And I would like to thank Shri Satish Golcha, IPS, Director General of Police, Shri Mihin Gambo, APPS, SP Changlang district, and all the officers and staff of Arunachal Pradesh Police,” he said.

TEACHES KARATE AND ECONOMICS

Other than butterfly, another area of interest for Mr. Upadhaya is martial arts. He teaches karate to kids. His wife is a black belt and runs an academy called Self-Defense Academy in Miao. So, he also learned some of the techniques and tricks. “Sometimes I give training to the students over there as, being a policeman, I was trained in it during my training days.” 

Mr. Roshan Upadhaya teaching Karate to kids

Apart from this, Mr. Upadhaya also teaches economics to the students who are from poor background. He says that he loves to share his knowledge with kids who cannot afford coaching. Whenever he gets a chance, he visits colleges and coaching centres to teach. Many a times, students also come to his house for study.

Mr. Upadhaya said, “Conservation should be the religion of human beings, so that we can live happily and our upcoming generation will get some fresh oxygen. That’s why I work for and teach about conservation and the need to conserve. I also organize treks and butterfly walks for the school and college students.”

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