Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
World Wildlife Day was observed as a reminder and wake up call to protect our wildlife from being exploited and save them from a life of needless cruelty and suffering. A series of public awareness activities were organised during the “Rang Rajasthan” event at Jaipur in support of “No Pride In Elephant Ride” campaign seeking public support to end elephant rides in Amer Fort, Jaipur.
As part of this awareness drive “Rang Rajasthan” a Rajasthani theatre & folk festival organized by “Rang Mastaaney Sanstha”, concluded its eighth edition of the cultural festival in collaboration with World Animal Protection, state government departments, corporates, academic institutions and communities culminating ahead of World Wildlife Day with an objective to change people behaviour towards elephants used for rides and raise awareness about elephant cruelty and suffering.
This year’s festival began with a ‘Walk Theatre’ showcasing the plight and pain of captive elephants forced into commodification in partnership with World Animal Protection, India; compelling its audience to think and ponder on “Why there is No Pride In Elephant Ride“.
This 16-kilometer theatre walk across the city of Jaipur drew attention to break myths and beliefs on elephants which are seen as domestic animal and can be used for commercial benefit. The message to see these elephants as sentient beings with their right to live a life worth living was spread through this theatre walk in Jaipur.
The festival held from Feb 19 to Feb 28 with many other activities later witnessed street plays, demonstrations by World Animal Protection Volunteers educating people on the real lifelong suffering of captive elephants for short-lived thrill and entertainment. A large participation and support were observed by visitors and people during the festival who joined this movement calling to end and phase out rides with appropriate solutions for all, through the petition addressed to the government of Rajasthan.
“We urge the government of Rajasthan to initiate the process to phase out elephant rides at Amer Fort Jaipur. Elephants deserve a life worth living in a natural environment. World Animal Protection is keen to work with Government and other stakeholders to find sustainable solutions for elephants and alternative livelihood support for Mahouts,” said Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection, India.
Alongside multiple activities ahead of the World Wildlife Day, World Animal Protection written to MPs and MLAs of Jaipur to seek their support to phase out elephant rides and build sustainable solution for the betterment of Elephants and Mahouts, which will also help Rajasthan to become a model state promoting wildlife tourism.
“Rang Rajasthan heartily supports this campaign No Pride In Elephant Ride. I believe animal cruelty not only shows the harsh behavior towards animals but as well reflects the cruel greedy heart of humans. I am grateful as a supporter to World Animal Protection which is working tirelessly for the welfare of animals. With my team I am making efforts and aspire to make this a people movement. A movement urging people to think before they act which can lead to unknowing cruelty towards animals and wildlife,” said Abhishek Mudgal, Founder Rang Mastaaney and Organiser of Rang Rajasthan Festival.
On the occasion of World Wildlife Day, individuals from a variety of backgrounds gauged their attitudes on animals in entertainment and obtained their respective pledges to not ride an elephant in future.
“Wildlife has the right to a wild life, we believe animals should be free from any form of cruel exploitation, commodification and thrive within their natural habitat that is humanely protected. We aspire to demonstrate more humane, sustainable alternative solutions to protect wild animals and their habitats and by working with the government and authorities to help work on solutions viable for captive elephants their habitats and dependents who are well taken care of,” added Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection India.
This series of activities and events is to strengthen our voice with more support for the campaign #NoPrideInElephantRide. Help/support to break this chain of demand and supply to enable relocation and rehabilitation of these captive elephants who deserve a worthy life. Help us gift them a deserving and happy life.