Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Big B Excitement of the campaign for Save Our Tiger Blog News

Big B Excitement of the campaign for Save Our Tiger Blog News
Jalsa , Mumbai   Dec 13 , 2010    Mon  10 : 45  PM
Back in Mumbai and home, but the heart and mind still wandering in the forests of Pench and among the excitement of the campaign for Save Our Tiger. So much to learn and get knowledge of during this short stay. I went into this venture as another celebrity endorsing another cause, much like what we do in so many others, but have come away deeply involved and concerned for the plight of the tiger, our national animal. There were so many facets that we were so unaware of, so many little pieces of information, the simplicity of the campaign and how little it takes to do just that much in order that this magnificent animal can survive. And to think that the most pertinent and simple and revealing aspect of the tiger came about from the lips of a little kid in one of the several sites that were functional during this marathon telethon. He said, or was it a she, that the tiger is like an umbrella under the shade of which grow survive and develop several other aspects of life and nature.
The tiger when protected will live in the forests. The forests will survive and so will the trees and the flora and fauna. Apart from the mountainous terrains of the country and in particular the Himalayas which from the source of rivers, it is the forests that become the origine of rivers in the country. It is the forest that soaks in all the rain water and then eventually becomes the reservoir for the water which forms the rivers. Forests become the reason and cause for the rain because of their emissions. Protection of the environment makes for healthy nature existence and then follow a series of other benefits for our daily livelihood.
Now alarmingly only 1411 tigers left in the country, when during the turn the the century there were 40,000. The world population of the tiger is now about 3-4000, so that makes a quarter of the world tiger population existing in India alone, and hence the importance of doing everything we can to protect them.
What was urgently needed was Rapid Response Teams to facilitate emergencies in the jungle, which can go a long way to protect the animal. Our RRT ’s are so ill equipped that it was a shame to see them on foot in the forests, with just a stick and their courage to help in protecting the tiger from its enemies and itself. Each reserve in the country and there are several needed at least 2 RRT’s and the funding of RRT was approximately 14 lakh rupees.
At the very start of the event I donated one unit and Abhishek did another unit. So at least one game park had been taken care of. NDTV had hoped that they would consider it worthwhile if they could get 10 such units during the course of the telethon. But guess what ! We were able to muster funds to get 35 units, approximately 5 crore rupees.
I also put up some of my personal belongings on auction - 2 of my favorite sunglasses and a Cartier watch of mine. The glasses fetched Rs 1.25 lakhs and 60,000 rupees respectively. And the watch got a bid of Rs 7.20 lakhs !! Not bad at all !! So full of pride and happy that we were able to do this all for the tiger. In the finale I jammed a bit too with the Shankar Ehsaan Loy band and drummed a rhythm on a special drum that you sat on like a stool and thumped. Cool stuff !!
The setting was right in the heart of the territory just a few hundred yards away from the reserve in the forest, so it looked natural and very authentic. The entire work force of this event had been working hard for several days, getting things in order, and a very large contingent of the NDTV channel were there, working till late hours to get the entire thing going and working to its efficient best. Incredible job !!
There are some pictures of my day visit into the jungle. No tiger but some very interesting others.
Sot the spotted dear and the langur monkey ! Almost so beautifully camouflaged that at quick glance it would be difficult to see them. The deer is under the tree on the left and further left among the creepers is a white spot - the langur, sitting. The spotted deer and the langur move together always. Reason. Since the grass is dry, the deer does not get sufficient to eat. The langur due to its ability to climb the trees, goes high up in the branches to get its leaves and fruit and throwing away waste that it cannot devour. This the deer gets and eats to survive. Also the deer remains close to the monkey, because they are the first to spot the predator when it is on the move. A alarm and a warning to the deer !

Look at both the pictures of these trees and tell me what is so special about them !!!
The camera team that covers everything during my trip to the jungle. Enthusiastic fans on oncoming vehicle also captured in the picture.
Ratna, our very well informed and trained naturalist. Drove us through the jungle, most of the time with her head facing us behind her and giving us intricate details of the forest the animals and their habits !!
The Ghost tree ! Among large areas of green forest a single white leafless tree ! That is why its name.

Spotted deer ! Male and female and I am certain with a few langurs up in the trees !!

Another start ghost tree !!

The bison or a close relative known here as the ‘Gaur’, with its white stockinged legs ..

Excavated earth by the bottom of a tree. Not by man or water or river force. Its earth eaten by the monkey and deer, because of its rich salt content !!

Serene picturesque terrain … beautiful as the evening comes in ..
More later I hope and with love
Amitabh Bachchan

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