ELEPHANTS OF INDIA… UNCHAINED!

The elephants of India need your help!  And, guess what, you can have a whole lot of fun saving them. You are invited to a not-to-be-missed festival filled with concerts, films, auctions, celebrities, including legendary primatologist Jane Goodall, and surprise guests! 

Festival:  November 7th & 8th 

Kickoff at:  10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern. This is a 2-day VIRTUAL Weekend Festival!  

CLICK here to get your tickets now:  https://bit.ly/2F1iuPl

The auction is already underway. You can start your bidding NOW: https://www.32auctions.com/vfaes

So, how does all this help the elephants? Odisha lies along the south-eastern coastal region of India. With a population of over 44 million people (that’s equivalent to the entire population of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah combined) Odisha is one of the largest states in India. Odisha’s economy is on the rise primarily driven by agriculture as one of the largest producers of rice in India. The increase in agricultural production has created a demand for more land and access to a limited number of natural resources.  Resources that are shared with wildlife… including elephants.

The Plight of Odisha’s Elephant

Odisha is also home to one of the largest population of elephants in India, ranking #5 among the 12-top elephant-population states. Close to 2,000 pachyderms inhabit the forest regions.  This has created a dire situation for the elephants of Odisha whose access to the natural habitat they need to survive is being restricted through brutal measures. Many are being killed by electrocution and other equally cruel means.

Elephant rescuers plead with tourists: don’t ride elephants. These animals are broken. They are torn from their families.

Gentle and intelligent creatures, elephants, like humans, experience a full range of emotions: love, longing, anger and stress.  But today, the elephants of Odisha are currently under a high state of stress as they fight for their very survival. However, a solution has been set forth to allow for fair cohabitation of wildlife and humans.

Voice for Asian Elephants Society

Voice for Asian Elephants Society (VFAES) is a non-profit organization created by founder Sangita Iyer. The organization’s mission is  to protect endangered Asian elephants and their habitats in India through cultivating an environment of peaceful coexistence with forest fringe inhabitants. This is achieved by ensuring that everyone has fair access to the resources needed to survive. Here’s JaneUnChained’s interview with Sangita.

Gods in Shackles

Sangita is also the  creator of the acclaimed documentary “Gods in Shackles” which explains the challenges faced by Asian elephants. The documentary highlights the tragic life of Asian elephants as they are subjected to abuse and torture. Ripped from their families in the wild, these sensitive beings are systematically broken and shackled for religious rituals and the tourist trade. Sangita urges visitors to avoid perpetuating this cruelty by simply refusing to ride elephants. Of course, COVID is making travel abroad an off-into-the-future event. But, sending a message that the world does not condone such vile practices is important if we are to put an end to the abuse. 

Sangita Iyer's documentary Gods in Chains delves into the hardships and challenges faced by India's elephants.

Sangita Iyer’s organization Voice for Asian Elephants Society is raising money to help improve the living conditions for elephants in India.

Despite the unprecedented challenges, Odisha still offers perhaps the best chance of securing a future for Asian elephants in Eastern India. Helping these gentle creatures is within the reach of every one of us by being a part of VFAES and supporting the fundraiser that  seeks to raise $10,000 for the following projects.

Save 2,000 wild elephants, by hiring the people of Odisha to implement the following strategies.

 

  1. Prevent electrocution by wire traps and electrified fences
  2. Monitor eight important corridors, out of the 14 identified
  3. Monitor and address multiple threats to elephants in key habitats in 4. Dhenkanal, Angul & Keonjhar districts
  4. Fodder planting in the Taal–Kholagarh Elephant Corridor
  5. Protect elephant habitat from forest fires
  6. Awareness and education for school children and key stakeholders
  7. Engage local communities

 Learn more about VFAES’s current projects HERE.