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| Last Updated:: 16/08/2017

Wildlife Trust of India launches jumbo effort to protect elephants











In a bid to protect wild elephants and their walking corridors across the length and breadth of the country, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) on Saturday launched 'Gaj Yatra' in the Capital to commemorate World Elephant Day. 




The elephant yatra is organised by WTI in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). 




In accordance with the plan, a roadshow will take place through 12 elephant-range states over the next 15 months, wherein local artists will create elephant-size artworks, and Gaj Mahotsavs will be held at various venues featuring concerts, parades, street plays and activities for children. 




This year's event was hosted at Teen Murti Bhavan, and the campaign was launched by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Vivek Menon, WTI executive director & CEO, and Dia Mirza, actor, filmmaker, humanitarian and WTI Brand Ambassador. 




Chief guest Dr Harsh Vardhan released the 'All India Elephant Census, 2017 Report' along with the 'Right of Passage', which is a publication on India's 101 identified and mapped elephant corridors, prepared by WTI and the UK-based charity, Elephant Family in consultation with all elephant range state forest departments in the country. 




200 children from 10 schools across the NCR attended the show, and accompanied the minister on a short walk. 




Menon said, "Space is the biggest problem for wild elephants currently. Very simply, urbanisation is stopping elephants from moving. In at least more than a quarter of the corridors there is some linear infrastructure - either a road, railway line or a dam. 




In the olden days when roads were built on elephant paths they had other directions to go, but now all directions are getting stopped and that will create a lot of havoc because elephants will kill - they kill 400 people a year and we kill 100, so they are winning the war." 




Dia said: "Rather than infesting in fixed deposits, we should be investing in our forests because that is where we get our water and resources from, and without it we are nothing. Small changes in our lifestyles - like not using plastic bottles, segregating waste and using animal-friendly lifestyle products can make a big difference."








Source: India Today