Elephants will no longer be part of the Republic Day parades.
This welcome decision will be a shot in the arm for those who would like to
see the abuse of our heritage animal stopped. The first step was when the
Ministry of Environment & Forests under Mr Jairam Ramesh declared
“heritage status” for the elephant.
While there is little doubt that many, many concerned people and organisations
contributed to getting the decision to stop the use of elephants in the Republic
Day parades into place, a huge debt is owed to those like Mr. Venkatachalam of
Heritage Elephant Trust; Mrs. Suparna Ganguly of WRRC / CUPA and
Dr Nanditha Krishna of C P R Environmental Education Centre who have
campaigned relentlessly against the gross abuse of these magnificent animals.
That the majority of the approximately 3,500 elephants in private “ownership”:
are illegally held with dubious “ownership” certificates is beyond any doubt.
We must now redouble our efforts to ensure that all abuse of elephants –
especially by temples and greedy individuals – must end.
S. Chinny Krishna
Chairman Emeritus – Blue Cross of India