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World Elephant Day: A Child’s Passionate Appeal

Aug. 12, 2020, 7:56 p.m. by Dr Gayatri Mohapatra ( 541 views)

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Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow...
---Kahlil Gibran--

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Children from very young age upto twelve years,view nature as magical;they grow up to be the people who care for conservation of wildlife and nature. By removing nature from our children's lives ,we are depriving the environment of its champions for the future.

In the video clip above is Devansh Mohanty ( 5 yrs ) of Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. He loves animals. The day he first saw elephants in the Nandankanan zoo, he fell in love with these magnificent animals. He insisted that he be given an elephant stuffed toy whom he calls “ Airu’’-short for ‘Airavat”. The little boy was deeply troubled and agitated when he came across images on TV, newspapers etc of elephants either being poached or dying in train accidents. His mother says that he prays to Lord Ganesha everyday to keep the elephants safe.

World Elephant Day is an international annual event celebrated on August 12. It is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world's elephants.

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Elephants are mammals of the family Elephantidae and the largest existing land animals. Currently,three species are recognised: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant. They are highly intelligent with phenomenal memories and deep family bondings.They are capable of feeling a wide range of social emotions, from intense grief to joy as well as empathy and create complex, supportive societies much like human beings.

But this magnificent creature is exploited round the world, and the way we humans treat them, displays the worst side of mankind! From unbridled poaching to being used for tourism & other laborious work under humans, elephants regardless of their large size and special needs are usually not allowed to be on their very own.

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Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, better treatment for captive elephants and, when appropriate, reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.

In India, a cultural event Gaj Mahotsav was organised by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on this occasion of this day. It was aimed to sensitise people towards the urgent plight of elephants through different art forms including an exhibition of elephant themed paintings and installations.

Karuwaki Speaks appeals to all for doing their bit towards elephant conservation just like little Devansh here. And yes, its fitting that on World Elephant Day , we remember Roosevelt’s words : "Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children".

#Habitatdestruction # coexist# illegalwildlifetrade # worldelephantday

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