Do we really wish to save the tigers?

17th Feb., 2009

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? – William Blake

I am an Indian. And I am one among a billion+ people who instead have 2 billion issues… national, social, personal, professional …the list would barely end. But as an individual, as a citizen, as a social being, I am bruised time and again with two major issues amongst the entire lot in the Pandora’s box:

The Two T’s: Terroristsand Tigers.

While I would like to have a boon to be alive to see the former “T” get exterminated from this soil, but, under no circumstance, can even think of seeing the human race extinct without the latter, our Tigers, our National Animal.

Deeply traumatized with the dwindling figures of the Tiger Population in India, I ,with despair and angst, amid little yet a strong faith started a Community by the-then popular social networking site ‘Orkut’ in India à Save Our Tigers, dated way back in April, 2006.

Here goes the ‘Description’:

When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.
–George Bernard Shaw

In the 1970’s we came dangerously close to losing forever one of the world most magnificent creatures. Poaching, deforestation, and human expansion brought all species of tiger to the brink of extinction. Indeed, over the past century, 3 of the 8 sub-species that existed became extinct; the Caspian, Javan and Balinese tigers. Today, we are by no means out of the woods. All remaining sub-species of tiger are endangered, making the tiger species as a whole nearly extinct.
Friends lets take a vow to save our tigers for if they stay on earth, we stay on earth
Its always “THE POWER OF ONE…….”

Yet, the figures did not stop deteriorating. Then Sariska, now Ranthambore …soon we’ll have Tiger sanctuaries sans Tigers, just for the namesake. And the entire mishap just could not be averted even with all the Forest Officials, guards, wildlife funds and prohibited areas just in place!

From around 40,000 at the turn of the last century, Today, 1411 left! And we are shouting loud, simply roaring, for the ‘real roars’ have fallen apart, have subdued cuz we live in the world of technology and we make the best/worst use of it’s sophistications (machines/weapons)  against the Mightiest of the jungle to prove that he is mistaken. And now, we are yelling to save the 1411 just left. How ridiculous. I can even count them!

Needless to speak further on my agony, rather I elucidate sundry ways we can actually get the masses conscious and spread the word.

Hereis a small article from the NDTV signature campaign on the ways to save our national animal. Lest you failed to see the webpage, I would take pleasure in listing them down again.

  • Support environmental educational centers, wildlife sanctuaries and zoos in their mission to preserve and protect our treasured wildlife.
  • Illegal trade in tiger parts needs to be stopped. Avoid tiger bone handicrafts [ban the high fashion Tibet styles], medicines and other tiger products to save the tiger. [It is pretty sad that people are still driven with myths that by consuming dried Tiger Penishad magical cures to improve Male    Stamina like Viagra, and even lead to a Larger Penis.]
  • The more aware you are of the status of tiger, the more effective you will be in helping to save it. You can stay informed through magazines, internet, current journals and the media.
  • Take action and create awareness. Organize an event that educates the public about tigers.
  • Start petitions by telling people about the tiger and how they are an endangered species. Ask them if they are willing to sign a piece of paper giving their name and country as well. Remember the more people sign, the more impact a petition makes.
  • Join a letter-writing campaign in order create awareness about the tiger’s plight.
  • Collect or send your own donations to Tiger conservation organizations.
  • Start your own Tiger Club. Read books, share facts, hold an art competition, watch documentaries or organize a chat with wildlife experts.

There’s something I would like to add apart from the above, we would need to sensitize the villagers and the locals who stay real close by to the forests or the sanctuaries so that they aren’t really lured by the false lucre.

Last but not the least, posting this with a hope that it reaches the elite and the stinking rich who love to embellish themselves with the endangered species’, and also with a hope that it reaches the remotest village where the “kingpin” of the poachers would just catch this blog-post flashing on his laptop screen. At least, he gets a sense of realization that he should save some for his son/daughter to play with and not just show pictures of DADDY’s misplaced bravado!!!

Save a tiger. Be a Tiger!