The awareness about the dwindling population of Tigers in India has grown tremendously after the Save our Tigers campaign by Aircel. So much so that my five year old son says “Save our Tiger” whenever he sees the logo of Aircel.
The irony is instead of being thankful to him and act on the information provided by Kerkar, the forest department named him as an abettor in the crime.
A lot of famous people have given their support to this campaign like M S Dhoni and Baichung Bhutia to the campaign and Sachin Tendulkar and John Abraham to the cause in general.
I don’t know if Aircel managed to get any mileage out of the campaign in terms of number of subscribers but a lot more people now seem to know that there are about 1411 tigers left in India.
The government has also stepped up its efforts in saving the tigers. Now killing a tiger may mean up to 10 years in jail and a fine of Rs.1Crore. Under the amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 the Tiger in now in category one of endangered species. What in interesting is the fine mentioned above in for the second offence, the first offence is a little less severe. If you know there are going to be repeat offenders, why not make it even harder for them?
The campaign to save the Tigers is not easy with a lot of people interested in their own agendas instead of the environment which includes the forest department of Goa that says there are no tigers in Goa while other claim there are proofs of at least 4 tigers in Goa, even villagers confirm the same who have lost their cattle to tigers.
The reason the forest department is denying the presence of tigers in Goa is to protect the mining going on there. Rajendra Kerkar is an activist who brought to light the killing of a Tiger in Mhadei wildlife sanctuary in Goa. He even collected evidence including photographs to prove his case. The irony is instead of being thankful to him and act on the information provided by Kerkar, the forest department named him as an abettor in the crime.
A WII Forensic report confirms a tiger had been killed. Leading environmentalists are fighting in support of Kerkar and to get Mhadei to Bhimgarh be declared tiger reserve. However it is not an easy task, the money from mining has the potential to silence the people speaking against it.