India CSR News Network
NEW DELHI: Aircel’s tag line to bring alive the cause, ‘Just 1411 left, Save Our Tigers’, hit a chord in the hearts and minds of millions of Indians and evolved into a brand unto itself. People began to rally for the cause and started lending their voices towards it.
“Our seriousness towards doing our bit to Save Our Tigers has led us to partner with several well-known organizations and individuals to create an impact on ground where it really matters. We work on several projects that encompass capacity building, conflict mitigation and awareness creation. This helps us address issues in 360 degrees and reach out to create maximum impact.”, Aircel said in its website.
Kids For Tigers
A nationwide wildlife conservation initiative implemented by Sanctuary Asia with the support of Aircel in 8 cities across 225 schools since 2010 till date. The objective of the program is to build strong relationship with schools and principals to win their help in involving a new generation of informed and empowered Indians in saving wild tigers. The mission of the program is to inform, educate and motivate 5 Lakh young students to become an active force and take charge of their own environmental destinies in the future. To create a core group of young ‘Tiger Ambassadors’ who feel passionately for the tiger and are ready to spearhead a massive effort to protect them. It emphasizes that the survival of the tiger is linked to the survival of all live forms including humans. It also draws connections between wildlife & forest conservation and Global climate issues.
Kids For Tigers Express
The Kids for Tigers Express was launched in April 2011 by Jairam Ramesh – then Minister of Environment. A one of a kind initiative; the KFT Express is a fully equipped van that traverses the villages around Ranthambhore National Park. Owing to the larger number displaced villages has led to mistrust towards the authorities and has both directly and indirectly put pressure on the Tiger population of the Reserve. The van aims to mitigate this conflict and works in direct contact with the villagers in the 70 odd villages surrounding the park. The van is equipped with a teacher, projector, sound system, library, conservation movies etc. The van visits schools during the day and village communities in the evenings, conducting movie shows, baithaks, opening up the library to enable book borrowing, nature trails and waste collection drives. The van is today slowly building up the trust of the villagers and is being recognized by the folks, besides being highly appreciated by the authorities. The project is entering into its second year and has been able to create a hype around it, besides showcasing Aircel’s on ground work to all visitors to the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve.
The “Bagh Bachaao” Project
Aircel has launched a program with Sanctuary Asia to propagate the Kids for Tigers mission and to take Aircel’s ‘Save Our Tigers’ message to the students of various schools in Sunderbans with professionally managed, educative programmes, events and campaigns involving children. Village communities and 30 schools have been selected from the villages on the periphery of the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve prone to Tiger straying and where Human-Tiger conflict is at its peak. There are 2 motor boats deployed in the area, which spread awareness amongst village communities and school children about the importance of tiger conservation, different aspects of man- animal conflict situations and mitigation and also work closely with the local forest department.
WILDLIFE TRUST OF INDIA (WTI)
Human-Animal Conflict Mitigation
In view of continuing our strong commitment to Tiger conservation, Aircel initiated the project “Conservation of tigers in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve “in January 2013 in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India – a credible NGO specializing in Wildlife conservation. The primary objective of the project is to implement an appropriate proactive strategy towards mitigating large carnivore human conflicts and therefor reduce the number of deaths of tigers and leopards. In the last two years the project has taken great steps towards developing a “proactive” conflict mitigation model that now helps the forest department to handle the conflict situation in a much more successful manner.
Mobile Veterinary Services Unit
Aircel supported WCT and Karnataka forest department to deploy a mobile veterinary unit (MVS) in Bandipur Tiger reserve to facilitate the rescue of wildlife and immediately respond to all wildlife emergencies reported from the region. The MVS will also attend to wildlife emergencies in other protected areas and will act as a training centre for forest staff to understand about rescue, rehabilitation and release of animals back to the wildlife.
Rapid Action Protection in Tamil Nadu
India has 3 of the world’s 32 bio diversity hotspots. The south Indian landscape is one of these. The reserve forests of Tamil Nadu are contiguous to the Nilgiri landscape and are important sanctuaries to various endangered species including the Tiger. In this landscape, Aircel extended support in the following three areas:
Snare-free forests for Tigers – ‘Anti-snare Walks’ for anti-poaching in Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary.
Re-Fabrication of Rapid Response Units in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, contiguous to Sathyamangalam.
Equipping forest staff in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, with anti-poaching kits.
Strokes for Stripes
Aircel invited sixteen of India’s leading artists, such as Sanjay Bhattacharya, Shivani Bharadwaj, Niladri Paul and others to paint for the cause. Their paintings were auctioned at an event in Delhi to raise funds and create awareness amongst the elite in Delhi. Funds generated have been utilized in capacity building in Sathyamangalam and Meghamalai Tiger reserves through our partner NGO – Wildlife Trust of India.
NDTV and WILDLIFE CONDERVATION TRUST (WCT)
Aircel along with NDTV, held the 1st and 2nd Save Our Tigers Telethon in 2010 and 2012. Besides the large awareness that it created, over Rs 10 Cr was donated by the public to work on Tiger conservation. Aircel partnered with the NGO – Wildlife Conservation Trust to implement high impact on ground projects with the funds so generously donated. The projects consisted of developing and deploying Rapid Response Unit vehicles, revamping anti- poaching camps and training of foresters. Airtel has been able to effectively place 41 Rapid Response Units in 35 tiger reserves, train frontline forest guards in various aspects of conservation and revamp over 1167 anti-poaching camps across most tiger reserves.
WORLD WILDLIFE FUND (WWF)
Aircel began active on ground support work in 2008 with WWF- India. Post a project- donor match, Aircel conceptualized and put to practice three projects, detailed below:
Support Initiative Fund
In this project, we worked across all the tiger reserves in the country, extending infrastructure and capacity support on a need basis.
Conservation of Tigers in Assam
The state of Assam has one of the highest densities of Tiger populations in the country, but also has very high human- animal conflict. We concentrated on capacity building here, carrying out extensive work on training of forest guards in anti-poaching measures, infrastructure buildup within the tiger reserves and in securing corridors.
Conflict mitigation in Sunderbans
The Sunderbans is known for one of the healthiest Tiger populations, but in the recent years has had an increase in incidents of Human- Animal conflicts due to Habitat destruction along with increase in population. In an attempt to negate this, Aircel along with WWF-India worked in a conflict mitigation project in the Sunderbans. We put into use several solar lamps and a unique technologically advanced trapping cage to capture Tigers that stray into human habitation and thereby prevent harm to them.
(Article is based on contents available in Aircel.com)