Everytime I switch on the tv or the pc, I come across the aircel campaign ad in support of the tiger. It is indeed comforting that more corporates are getting involved in wildlife conservation. It is great to create awareness and sensitize people of the critical status of our flagship animal. It warms the cockles of my heart that a million and more people have joined Team India captain Mahender Singh Dhoni and soccer star Baichung Bhutia in the campaign to save the awe-inspiring animal from possible extinction. But merely creating a frenzy with numbers and making people comfortable with the thought of participating in the campaign would lead us nowhere.
The need of the hour is to step out of the drawing rooms and make a noise on the street everytime a tiger is lost to poaching due the callousness and complacency of the forest department and the forest minister. We ought to make our ministers accoutable. Until we do this, our tiger will take a beating.
I write out of experience, as I have fought battles for this cause for 15 years. Forest officers don't care. The ministers are thick-skinned. They don't care a damn about our forest and its beautiful denizens. They don't worry about ecology. They don't really care about the well being of the masses. All they care for is moolah (cash).
As I write my first blog and share my views with those who think alike, I hear another tiger has perished in the Bandipur national park. I am told that though it seems to have died out of natural cause, a paw had been severed and taken away. Besides, fifteen claws were found missing. We have to await the post mortem report to assess the cause of death. Was it poisoned?
Frustratingly, this is the fifth tiger death in Bandipur in the last four months.
I hope, the aircel campaign ad whittles down its "alive tigers" numbers. In the first place, I wonder how they got the "1411" figure. Only a genius could have computed it with such accuracy.
Come let's raise a stink to keep our ministers and officers on their toes.