Cerebral Shangrila

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bear Rescue centre -- Agra

I just have to rewind my life by two years. In September 2003, I was travelling on a weekend from Delhi to Agra with friends. We did a fast paced tour of Vrindavan,Mathura,Agra & Bharatpur (Bird Sanctuary) and were returning to Delhi when we witnessed this heinous act all along the highway.

This is what I wrote about it then in my Blog : " The sad thing that you will notice on the way to Fatehpur Sikri is the Cruel domestication of Bears to entertain the Tourists & for Spiritual Practices.. The bears are chained and expected to perform tricks & dance to amuse the tourists. Please desist from encouraging such despicable acts & I sincerely hope the Wildlife Organizations & the Govt of India puts a full stop to this heinous crime" .

I was scanning through the "India Today" magazine when the article about an NGO which rescues bears in agra , caught my attention. Here is some excerpt (Courtesy : India Today) :

Kartick Satyanarayanan, the 30-year-old chairperson of the NGO Wildlife S.O.S., has set up a Bear Rescue Centre in Agra in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department. There are 78 sloth bears- young and old, some blind and a few just rescued from poachers and cowering at the sight of human beings.

That happens in 17 hectares of forest land in the midst of Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. It is den and workplace for Satyanarayanan's team. Wearing "I love bear" tees, they go about their agenda-rescuing bears from poachers and kalandars who make them dance on the streets, tending to the wounds, feeding them and giving them a taste of freedom. They decided on a three-pronged approach: give the kalandars alternative employment, rehabilitate the bears and stop poaching. Help came from around the world: the state Wildlife Department, One Voice, France, and International Animal Rescue, UK. On 2002 Christmas Day, the centre got the first cub. One by one, the kalandars came up to surrender their bears for the Rs 50,000 on offer to start a new vocation. Now the resettled nomads instruct others that bear dancing is a crime while some are active in the anti-poaching cell, Wildlife Watch.

My heartfelt congrats to the NGO, Wildlife S.O.S. I always end up with a pang of guilt when I notice injustice or atrocities towards wildlife / humans but in most cases my approach is to either write to concerned authorities (which in most cases doesn't elicit a response ) or blog/write in online forums about it. I would love to start or join an NGO someday , but that day I know is very far away .

4 Comments:

  • Well, with a benevolent heart the head and actions will definitely follow

    By Blogger peace092677, at 6:44 PM  

  • YOU SWIRLED TORTOISE.. Great time and trip it was

    By Blogger ILA (a) இளா, at 8:05 PM  

  • I am glad that such organizations exist in India. I used to feel very sad for the animals in the circuses, parrots in cages, monkeys in chains etc.!

    By Blogger Narayanan Venkitu, at 1:33 PM  

  • I remember seeing these type of Bear tricks in the streets, during my childhood days in Madurai.. those times, I didn't really feel for them. Now, I can feel it.. Good work by NGOs

    By Blogger Ram C, at 4:50 PM  

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