- Posted September 3, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Know someone changing the world?
Hi, I am elephant, I beg your pardon!!!
- zdan, CNN iReport producer
Recently a media report indicated that government of India is planning to declare elephant a NATIONAL HERITAGE ANIMAL as declared by govt of India Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh in a press release released by Press Info Bureau, New Delhi on Tuesday 31 August 2010.
But in this week today, Friday 3rd Sept I shot this Video which shows how an Elephant in Thane city at the outskirt of Mumbai (one hour by rail) is being taken around and forced to 'beg' or people voluntarily offer money, pothole-ridden roads in busy traffic amid horns and engines noises.
In one video you can see how buses are horning.. how one auto with ice is just parked infront of elephant, how noisy is the busy city where elephant is made to stand...and above all the auto driver abused the mahout for parking the elephant in front of the auto and told him to go little behind...
I TRIED TO FIND OUT THE OWNERSHIP OF THE elephant but the mahout refused to comment and asked from where the elephant came to the city.l he resued to comment sensing some trouble with me.
Other people did not know from the elephant came...but I quite often see such elephant moving around Thane city.. and today while coming to this city from another town I also saw one elephant walking on the highway in Thane...
It ma be noted that Following an aggressive campaign by
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
elephants are not supposed to allowed in the city. But i think it is virtually impossible to stop entering elephants to the neighboring city Thane where periodically I spot elephants right outside the main railway station of Thane city. Here is the video where the elephant is made to beg ... people offer coins and food (food vege, fruits ok it directly goes into its tummy).. but money .. God knows who uses it.
India is a charitable organisation with affiliates in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and the US.
Founded in 2000, PETA India is dedicated to establishing and defending the rights of all animals. PETA India educates policy-makers and the public about animal abuse and promotes an understanding of the right of all animals to be treated with respect.
According to PETA's press release, it had reportedly made a representation to to the Mumbai commissioner of police and the chief conservator of forests, Thane Circle pointing out many of the problems associated with allowing elephants on roads and outside temples in the city, threat to human life and property.
Here is the Ministry of Environment and Forests's press release:
" the Ministry of Environment and Forests will declare elephant as a National Heritage Animal. The Ministry will also set up National Elephant Conservation Authority to give same degree of visibility, importance and criticality as much as given to National Tiger Conservation Authority. A
fter releasing the Report of the Elephant Task Force here today, Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests (I/c) said we will bring a science based exercise in protecting and census of this animal. Shri Ramesh appreciated the way the Task Force has addressed the main concerns of the issue. They include elephant corridors in context of mining, power and irrigation projects, of protection of elephant corridors, elephant in captivity, institutional changes in order to put elephant conservation on high, sound footing and give same degree of visibility as Project Tiger gets.
The Minister also welcomes the suggestion to organize an International Elephant Conference in 2011. Referring to damage to crops and plantations in various states, he said the identification of high conflict areas between man and animal will help in early conflict management work. He added, “ Two agencies, Railways and Power Grid Corporation will play an important role in halting damage to elephants.”
A specialized task force was set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the Chairmanship of Dr Mahesh Rangarajan to address the problems related to the Asian elephant. Presenting the Report Dr Rangarajan said the elephant must be given its due pride of place. The National Heritage Animal status would be a befitting thinng to this because it unifies both culture and ecology. Survival of animal depends on partnership with people. An education and outreach programme called ‘Gaja to Praja’ is required to educate peopleto save elephants.”
The Task Force recommends a new system of assessment at three tiers. Crisis of elephant is not a crisis of extinction but a crisis of attrition. The crisis has to be looked into the conservation of habitat. Rationalise the boundaries after proper biological assessment, prioritize corridors out of 88 cirridors, immidiate implementation in 26 corridors which has vital feasibility, 50 years Perspective Plans instead of five year management planasas this is a long lived species, inclusion of people who are knowledge bearers outside the government are few suggestions that the Task Force has made.The task force stresses that the animal should be monitored on an age-sex classification. An age-sex classification is necessary as there is a low male-female sex ratio of elephants in the wild. It also adds that reserves and corridors should be protected from developmental projects, and special attention should be paid to the conflict between humans and elephants as almost 400 people are killed protecting the cops every year from human-elephant conflict in India.
About 400 human beings are killed per year by this animal and fifty-thousand people suffer due to them. India has some 3500 animals in captivity.
HOPE ALL countries will adopt and give full freedom to kind hearted elephants....