Country-wide rally To save Endangered Species

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New Delhi, Mar 7 (UNI) It's not too late to save our National animal from extinction. NDTV and Sanctuary Asia Magazine have joined hands to launch tomorrow a mass movement -- 'SAVE THE TIGER' -- to stop the alarming decline in the number of tigers in India.

Through this initiative, NDTV is seeking to collect one million signatures to represent the voice of the masses. These signatures will be presented to the Centre and the State governments demanding them to take stringent steps towards saving this endangered species.

The campaign urges the Prime Minister to hold an emergency meeting of the National Board for Wildlife to consider the threat to the tiger; Chief ministers of every state to establish a protection force for tigers; upgradation of forest guards to the level of police with better compensation; and setting up of an improved intelligence network that is critical to crack poaching.

NDTV kicked off this signature campaign by putting up banners and notebooks at various schools across the nation. The channel is also conducting SMS polls and online petitions to reach out to as many people as possible.

Commenting on the enthusiastic response from across the country, Swati Thyagaragan, NDTV's environment and wildlife correspondent who is spearheading the campaign, said, ''Today, there are approximately only 1400 tigers left in Indian forests. It is extremely critical to create enough public support and awareness to be able to turn this campaign into a powerful movement. I am confident that our campaign will gain enough momentum to force the government to take greater responsibility to save the tiger from the brink of extinction.'' Apart from nationwide public support, the campaign is also being backed by celebrities, well-known environmentalists and NGOs.

Bollywood stars Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham, Kareena Kapoor, Preity Zinta and Farhan Akhtar, sporstsmen Rahul Dravid, Rajyavardhan Rathore, environmentalists and conservationists like Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Magazine and the Kids for Tiger Group have come out to support this movement.

Tomorrow, the campaign has planned a highly visible event - 'INDIA SIGNS ON TO SAVE THE TIGER'. People from all walks of life will gather at famous landmarks in their cities across the country and sign a petition to save the tiger. Citizens can also log onto www.ndtv.com to contribute to this cause by signing an online petition.

UNI SKS PY KN1929

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