03 :: THE MARCH OF THE ELEPHANTS
The country’s National Heritage Animal is in a beleaguered state, its habitats being destroyed and fragmented and its ancient migratory paths impeded, forcing it into human-use areas and into conflict with people. In New Delhi on World Elephant Day we launched the Gaj Yatra, a campaign to highlight the plight of elephants and point to solutions that would afford them their unhindered right of passage through vital habitats. Described by WTI’s Executive Director & CEO Vivek Menon as “a march to reclaim the national consciousness”, the Gaj Yatra is backed by the technical depth of the Right of Passage publication, also released last year, which details the 101 corridors that elephants need to move between their habitats in India.
Work on our long-term Right of Passage project to secure these 101 corridors continued apace, meanwhile, with the Chilla-Motichur Corridor in Uttarakhand being declared free of human habitation, patta documents being given to relocated families in Ram Terang, and an additional area of 245 hectares being added to the Jadegindam Village Reserve Forest, providing more area for elephant movement through the Rewak-Emangre Corridor in Meghalaya. Just six of the 101 corridors have been secured thus far though; clearly, there’s need for an urgent march ahead.