Raipur, Chhattisgarh, January 8, 2018: Wild buffalo themed wall and table calendars for 2018, produced by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) as part of an ongoing campaign that aims to build conservation awareness about the State Animal of Chhattisgarh, were formally launched by the Hon’ble Forest Minister of Chhattisgarh Mr Mahesh Gagda on January 3.
The calendars feature ‘Shyamu-Radhe’, the official Wild Buffalo Mascot (‘Shyamu’ the wild buffalo and ‘Radhe’ the hill mynah) that WTI had commissioned artist Rohan Chakravarty to create, and which was unveiled by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr Raman Singh during a meeting of the State Wildlife Board on November 14 last year. It had been decided at the meeting that the mascot would become the graphical representation of the State Animal across official campaigns reaching out to various demographics, including campaigns by Chhattisgarh Tourism.
“We believe that our ongoing awareness campaign will help the wild buffalo get the attention it deserves at the national and state level”, says WTI’s Dr RP Mishra.
WTI had simultaneously launched an extensive awareness drive across the cities of Raipur and Mainpur (near Udanti Wildlife Sanctuary), with wall paintings being created by local artists to showcase the wild buffalo. The locations for these wall paintings were strategically chosen and include prominent government buildings such as the Correctional Headquarters (one of the most important junctions in Raipur, connecting the railway station with Raipur Bus Stand), the Naya Raipur Development Office (located on a junction that connects to the main market in the city), the State Guest House, IAS Officer’s Mess, Forest Minister’s House etc.
These wall paintings have attracted tremendous positive attention and twelve of them have now also been featured on the tabletop version of the 2018 calendar. The tabletop calendar is targeted at influencers at the state and national level and has been sent to important offices, schools, colleges and government establishments; the wall calendar is being widely distributed in rural areas around Udanti so that people come to recognise and appreciate the species and spread the word about it.
“We believe that our ongoing awareness campaign will help the wild buffalo get the attention it deserves at the national and state level, while helping develop a generation that cares about and protects its unique natural heritage”, said Dr RP Mishra, Project Head of WTI’s Central India Wild Buffalo Recovery Project.
The project, which aims to stabilise the critically low central Indian population of wild buffaloes through various direct and indirect interventions in Udanti and Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuaries, is being implemented in partnership with the Chattisgarh Forest Department and with support from Oracle. WTI and the forest department are also considering the translocation of a small number wild buffaloes from Manas National Park in Assam to Chhattisgarh’s Barnawapar Wildlife Sanctuary to augment the central Indian population.