Updates from the campaign
Aircel presents Kids for Tigers (The Sanctuary Tiger Programme: 2010 - 2012)
Read through the latest updates on the second phase of the action-based environmental education campaign Aircel "Kids for Tigers".
A Kids for Tigers Fest was held in Delhi on April 13, 2012 as the culmination of the programme that involved 46 schools across Delhi and Gurgaon for the year 2011-12. The event was hosted at The Shri Ram School and saw the participation of over 26 schools, 1050 kids and 70 teachers from across the city. The school was ablaze with the colourful and vibrant scrolls designed by the different schools and bus loads of children poured in to the venue, some dressed as endangered species, others wearing eco-friendly accessories and some carrying nature games that they had conceptualised and created. The half a day long program saw the students and teachers participating in a host of creative activities, like face painting, best from waste, fancy dress, eco-fashion shows, music from junk and skits developed to address various environmental and conservation issues. There were also interactive session with naturalists, NGO stalls and nature games which were aimed at spreading the message of conservation. The Tiger Ambassadors from various schools also shared their involvement with the programme and encouraged each child to use his voice to create awareness for the issues facing tiger.
A public awareness campaign was organised in Kumily town on March 21, 2012. M.P. Sanjayan, Range Officer, Eco-development, Periyar Tiger Reserve welcomed the gathering and V. Pon Raj, President, Kumily Gramapanchayath, spoke to the group about the importance of protecting forests with a special focus on the need to prevent forest fires. M.M. Varghees, Member, District Pachayath, Idukki District and Sanjayankumar, IFS, Deputy Director, Periyar East Division, Periyar Tiger Reserve also addressed the group. Joy Mekkunnel, President, Kerala Vyapari Vyapasai Ekopanasamith, Kumily Unit also graced the occasion. This was followed by a street play performed by a local theatre group and an awareness rally that moved through the town. The gathering was followed by a mobile announcement unit and the group carried banners and posters bearing environmental messages. Around 160 students from three schools in the area participated in the event along with members of local Forestry Clubs, Eco-development Committees and various forest officials.
Over 1,000 students from 19 schools in Dehradun participated in a rally on March 17, 2012. The kids were dressed as different wild animals and had painted impactful banners depicting the various conservation issues facing India. Popular singer, Bobby Cash, sang Born Free and congratulated the children for their efforts. They were also appreciated by the Governor. The schools painted messages on scrolls that will later be sent to the Chief Minister of the state.
A Kids for Tigers rally in association with Aircel & Sanctuary was held in Goa on March 10, 2012. More than 450 kids from over 11 schools across Goa came together with their slogans, placards and festive spirit to garner public support for protecting Goa's tigers. The rally was aimed at emphasizing the importance of saving the tiger and its forests in Goa by collectively demanding that the notification of the long awaited Mhadei Tiger Reserve be expedited. Fancy dress competitions, placard painting, slogan creation and a scroll painting competition allowed children to express their involvement with Nature and conservation. The rally was supported by Goa's prominent environmentalists Mr. Rajendra Kerkar, Mr. Paresh Porob, Ms. Tallulah D'Silva, Mr. Nirmal Kulkarni and wildlife photographer Mr. Parag Rangnekar. The highlight of the rally was when the newly elected Chief Minister of Goa, Shri. Manohar Parikar joined the rally. This gave the children an opportunity to present their wish list to him and requesting him to look into securing Goa's ecological security.
Kids for Tigers rally was held in Pune on February 25, 2012 to spread awareness on conservation. More than 650 kids from 15 schools in Pune marched down the Jungli Maharaj road armed with banners bearing the message “Bagh Bachao, Bharat Bachao”. A special appeal was made to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to protect tigers by protecting the state’s forests and supporting, equipping and training Maharashtra's frontline forest staff. The kids put up different nukkad nataks on issues ranging from forest fires to poaching and illegal grazing and also drew attention to local environmental issues such as protecting open spaces and stopping littering. There was also a fancy dress competition, placard painting event and a scroll painting competition.
Around 400 students from 18 schools in Chennai participated in the Chennai Tiger Fest held on February 18, 2012 at the Kumarrani Meena Muthiah Matriculation Higher Secondary School (KRMM). The day began with a speech by Dr. Jayshree Vencatesan, Trustee, Care Earth Trust followed by Jayanthi Murali, IFS, Conservator and Head, Land Use Board, Tamil Nadu Planning Commission who spoke about the importance of conserving forests and wildlife. R. Sridevi, Principal, KRMM, introduced the Tiger Ambassadors to the gathering and felicitated them for their excellent work. The day-long event was filled with exciting programmes for the kids including a face painting competition, an advertising competition, street plays, painting sessions and Music from Junk.
A rally to spread awareness on tiger conservation was held in Chikmagalur on February 11, 2012. It was well-attended by children from schools in the area and D.S. Gaonkar, Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Bhadra Tiger Reserve and award-winning journalist S. Girijashanker. The gathering walked from the taluk office via M. Road to the district grounds where a memorandum to save Bhadra was presented to Sri D.K. Rangaswamy, Deputy Commissioner, Chikmagalur. The rally was a huge success and went a long way in sensitising the people of Chikmagalur to the importance of the Bhadra Tiger Reserve.
The City of Joy saw 3 Kids for Tigers rallies being held in 2011-2012 where children from schools across the city came together in support of the tiger. Over 200 kids from Saifee Hall School participated in a Save Our Tigers rally on December 22, 2011. The kids walked from their school to Allen Point where they separated into four groups and stood at busy intersections with posters talking about conservation. More than 200 students from Lee Memorial School participated in a rally on January 25, 2012. The principal of the school, Mrs. Swarupa Mondal lead the rally that covered the famous Wellington area located in the central part of Kolkata. On February 8, 2012 500 children from the M.P. Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School attended the 'Save Our Tigers' rally along with their teachers and walked through busy roads talking to people about conservation and the need to protect tigers and other wildlife.
On January 24, 2012, over 700 students from 20 schools in Mumbai, attended the Kids for Tigers’ Fest held at the Maharashtra Nature Park. The Fest saw the children participating in a variety of fun activities ranging from quiz competitions to a puppet show and fancy dress competition. Several NGOS including Reefwatch, Greenpeace and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) put up stalls and spoke to the kids about the work they were doing. Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Asia and Dr, Vijaya Mehta, renowned theatre director and actor, gave inspiring speeches on the power of children to usher in change.
More than 700 students from 29 schools attended the Kids for Tigers’ Tiger Fest held on February 3, 2012 at the Jawahar Balbhavan, Cubbon Park. The Fest was inaugurated with the lighting of a lamp by Chief Guest Gerry Martin, Sanctuary Wildlife Service 2011 Award winner and well known reptile specialist and conservationist, after an invocation by students of the AV Education society school. Gerry Martin spoke to the audience about the importance of every individual doing their bit for conservation. The Regional Tiger Ambassadors were also felicitated for the good work they had been doing during the year. Some participants even put up a stall on solar energy which caught the attention of the judges.
Over 400 students from nine schools in Guwahati attended the Kids for Tigers’ Tiger Fest held at the Sarla Birla Gyan Jyoti School on February 9, 2012. The Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Tarun Gogoi attended the Fest and spent two hours with the children hearing their views on conservation and watching the plays they put up! He was delighted with their work and encouraged them to continue fighting for wildlife conservation. Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Asia, Bikram Grewal, author and publisher, Parbati Baruah, the first and most famous female mahout in India attended the Fest.
Kids for Tigers and the Corbett Foundation organised a Tiger Fest for children in Ramnagar on February 2, 2012. The participants were delighted to meet J. S. Hiyanki, District Education Officer, Nainital; R.K. Mishra, Field Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve; C.K. Kavidayal, Deputy Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve; P.S. Shrivastava, District Forest Officer.
On January 27, 2012, nearly 600 kids from six schools participated in the ‘Save Our Tigers’ rally in Bhopal. The rally included edutainment activities like street plays, fancy dress, placard design and slogan writing competitions. H.S. Pabla, the Chief Wildlife Warden of Madhya Pradesh, attended the event and was delighted with the work the kids were doing to protect tigers.
Over 700 children from seven different schools in Nagpur participated in a ‘Save Our Tigers’ rally held on January 18, 2012. Holding placards and banners, the kids walked along the roads interacting with interested passersby about tiger conservation. Anil Kumar Saxena, Additional Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Pradip Behare, Retired Wing Commander, Girish Vasitha, Assistant Conservator of Forests (Pench) and S.S Notey, Assistant Conservator of Forests, attended the event along with conservationists Raju Deshpande and Sanjay Deshpande. During Wildlife Week, almost 6,000 children in Nagpur had written postcards to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra about tiger conservation and these were handed over to Anil Saxena.
The Kids for Tigers Mumbai camp took place from January 16 to 18, 2012 in the Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary. Shardul Bajikar, Deputy Director, Science, Natural History, and Photography, Sanctuary Asia and Zubin Narielwala, Mumbai Coordinator, Kids for Tigers led the camp attended by six Tiger Ambassadors from the city and their teachers. Shardul Bajikar took them through the role forests play in ensuring India’s food and water security and spoke about the different conservation issues facing the park. They had the opportunity to interact with S.K. Reddy, Conservator of Forests, Nagzira and Ramesh Saraf, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Nagzira who spoke to them about protecting the park and its wild animals and the challenges the Department faced while doing so.
15 Kids for Tigers’ Regional Ambassadors and 11 teachers from Bangalore and Chennai attended a camp at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve from January 27 to 29, 2012. They were accompanied by Kids for Tigers’ Coordinators Usha Ramaiah, Smita Pandit, Dr. Arivazhagan Chelliah and Dr. Anish Andheria, Director, Science, Natural History and Photography, Sanctuary Asia and Director, Wildlife Conservation Trust. They were welcomed to the reserve by Hosmath B.J., Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director, Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserves, Karnataka. He spoke to the kids about the forest and the need to conserve them.
The Kids for Tigers’ Kolkata Regional Camp was held from January 30 to February 1, 2012 in the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve. Seven students and their teachers attended the camp. On the first day, the group visited Bali Island for some birdwatching and had a chance to interact with the local community. In the evening, they were treated to a special performance of Bonobibi Paala staged by local artists. The next day began with an early morning visit to the Sajnekhali Mangrove Interpretation Centre where the kids learnt about the ecology of the delta. They spent some time sailing through the reserve’s numerous creeks and channels and visited the Dobanki camp where they embarked on a fascinating canopy trail! The kids were particularly thrilled that they had seen three crocodiles!
Two children and their teachers from the Kaziranga National Academy and GBN Academy participated in a camp at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary from February 1 to 3, 2012. They were accompanied by Param Chetia, Kids for Tigers Coordinator, Guwahati. Mukul Tamuli, a forest ranger welcomed them to the park and took them on their very first safari through the jungle. They spent some time on the banks of the Brahmaputra, where Mr. Tamuli spoke to them about the sanctuary, the species it harboured and the issues it faced. They were delighted to learn about the different migratory birds that visited the forest all the way from Tibet and Siberia! Over the course of the camp, the kids had a chance to meet the Chief Conservator of Forests for Karbi Anglong, Abhijeet Rava.
Nine Regional Ambassadors from Delhi and Gurgaon along with their teachers attended the Delhi Regional Camp at the Sariska Tiger Reserve from February 3 to 5, 2012. They were accompanied by Sharmishta Mitra, Kids for Tigers’ Coordinator, Delhi, Dr. Anish Andheria, Director, Science, Natural History and Photography, Sanctuary Asia and Director, Wildlife Conservation Trust.
The kids participated in a jungle safari where Dr. Andheria briefed them about the park and also showed them pugmarks and taught them about indirect signs of animal presence. The group also participated in a session with Raghuvir Singh Shekhawat (CCF), Field Director, Sariska Tiger Reserve about the history of the park, the challenges it faced and how important it was that they all contribute to tiger protection. The group then visited a conservation event being held at the local school in a village in Alwar where they watched school kids perform skits and sing songs. They participated in the event with a skit of their own that spoke about the need to recycle and reuse and why jungles and tigers need to be saved. Their day ended with a session with Brijendra Singh, Honorary Wildlife Warden, Corbett Tiger Reserve.
A one day regional camp was organised by Kids for Tigers along with The Corbett Foundation on February 10, 2012 for students from schools around the Corbett Tiger Reserve. The kids went on a jungle safari along the Bijrani Range of the reserve where they learnt a great deal about the biodiversity of the park.
The annual Kids for Tigers National Camp was held in Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh from March 22-24, 2012. The National Tiger Ambassadors from six different cities along with their teachers and coordinators attended the camp. The camp activities consisted of various jungle safaris and several discussions on the need for forest conservation, population estimation techniques and how people could help protect wilderness led by Dr. Anish Andheria, Director, Wildlife Conservation Trust and Director, Sanctuary Asia and Shardul Bajikar, Deputy Director, Sanctuary Asia. The participants were also paid a surprise visit by the Field Director of Pench, Akhilesh Kumar who took the time to answer questions and was delighted to meet such a well-informed group of students. The camp culminated with a skit performed by the participants for the Field Director based on their learning’s in the camp and they left determined to spread the message of conservation in their respective cities.
Updates from 2011
Around 650 school kids gathered at Marine Drive in Mumbai for “Save Our Tigers” parade. The purpose of the parade was to sensitize the general public about the ramifications of biodiversity loss and to motivate them to speak up to help save the Tiger. The message was communicated through street plays, creative posters, placards and various wildlife displays.
The Bangalore inter-school Kids for Tigers festival was held on January 28, 2011 at the Jawahar Balbhavan. Approximately 367 students from 19 schools attended the fest with 32 teachers. The fest began with an inaugural speech by the Chief Guest, Shekar Dattatri who is a renowned wildlife filmmaker. In his talk, Dattatri spoke about the importance of saving tigers and forests and the impact the same had on national development and climate change. He also discussed his film, Truth About Tigers and the role students could play in protecting India’s national animal.
There were many activities planned for the day including a song and skit competition, a poster-making session and a face-painting workshop. The judges were extremely impressed by the stalls the kids had put up to display their various projects. The children had a lot of fun participating in the contests and had put a lot of effort into their displays and stalls.
Over 300 participants from eco-development committees, forest protection groups, local clubs and schools, attended the rally. Kids for Tigers, in association with the Bengal Tiger Bachaao campaign, organised a cycle rally from Gosaba bazar to Pakhiralaya to show support for the tiger and the Sundarbans Forest Department on January 30, 2011.
About 13 schools participated in this event with about 350 kids along with 50 teachers. There were stalls for each school where the students displayed their models on solution-based concepts for conserving nature and tackling climate change. Apart from this, the fest also had competitions like face-painting, elocution and street plays. The day ended with a prize distribution ceremony. The chief guests for the event were M. Srinivas Reddy, DFO Akola Wildlife division, Vijay Godbole, DFO Akola wildlife division and Dr. Ramprakash Verma (PhD. in Hindi).