Thursday, April 12, 2007

elephantine beggars

I am back from Corbett where i have seen herds of elephants displaying far greater family values than seen in our present day human families. It hurts to see the mighty elephant
begging for food and pleading for his mahout's livelihood on the streets of Mumbai.
If camels can be banned from entering the city and there are restrictions on pony rides why is the elephant persecuted by us.
Is there no law to prevent them from being used in circuses? I saw at least 4 of them tied outside a tent in Karjat,off Mumbai, yesterday. With over 80 TV channels and 8 radio channels and a multitude of cinema halls do we still need ANIMALS in a circus for entertainment.
Y do we need a new zoo in Borilvilli? A few arguments bandied for Zoos are that the poor who cant afford to go to sanctuaries to watch wild animals can see them in a cage or in their 'natural surrounding' akin to the Singapore Zoo.
By the same logic since the poor cant see the Taj Mahal or the Meenakshi temple, why don't we shift these world heritage sites to Mumbai.
Yesterday i saw an elephant begging in the crowded lane outside Chembur Station.It was jostling with vendors,shoppers,bullock carts and automotive in all shapes and sizes.
She was probably a matriarch, used to navigating dense forests but she was all at sea in this concrete jungle where no human being in his or her right sense would venture unless their life was at stake.
If you guys have any reason to agree with my plea on behalf of elephant please help with suggestions and ideas.
I wrote to Maneka Gandhi and she says that we should get a lawyer to file a PIL.
Please let me know what the average Mumbaikar like me can do to prevent the elephant from torturing itself in the sweltering heat of our tarred roads,from the air and noise pollution of Mumbai.


Krish said...

Great issue you brought up. I was in Chembur market the same evening. When the market is so crowded, people like us feel scared and prefer to take an auto or avoid going to the market if at all possible. And making this magnificent beast walk through the market seems so bizzare.

It might make sense to start local, i.e. with Mumbai city. I wonder whether we can petition either the municipal corporation to ban these animals from getting on the streets. It might also help if we show the concerned authorities how pitiable this situation is. Next time anyone sees such a scene, let's take a picture with our cellphones and use that to strengthen our case.

scarecro said...

How about offering the elephant owner money to release the elephant? Owning an elephant has got involve some costs and effort. Can the owner be persuaded to release the elephant?

I don't know what you do with a released elephant though, is there some programme for such animals?

Animal welfare groups, perhaps might know the answer.

Suresh said...

I am aware that there are many such elephants used for begging all over mumbai.The only way pressure can be applied on the concerned authorities is thru constant badgering from media.I can help by talking to afew channels, and newspapers.We will have to tacle the issue specifically, in other words next time you see an elephant try and get more info from the mahout like who is the owner, where is he based, etc.We can get media to then heighten the issue with names and location.You can bet that the authorities will have to move thier backsides and do something about it.I can organise the media hype if any of you get me details.

abhijit said...


I honestly think that all of us (like-minded people) should form a group. I cant see a name for it right now, but it would be an honour if we would be called as eco-terrorists.
The pace at which everything is getting destroyed is enormous and has to be arrested. I cant see anything else so effective!

green indians said...

hi abhijit,
Thanks for ur comments. Yes, looks like us greenies must flex our muscles to get heard. Sadly, it looks like we need to enter the rough and tumble of politics to get results.

abhijit said...

hi again..

thanks for your reply. yes.. forming a Green Party...ok... but then having a parallel wing/department which is based on a "krantikaari" ideology is very important. for me this seems to be a bigger & a tougher fight than our freedom struggle!