Kochi, April 3 : A man in Kochi has raised a huge collection of news and photographs of Indian elephants culled from various dailies or other published materials.
M.S.Manoj's collection includes photographs and news of accidents on railway tracks, temple festival, transportation of jumbos in vehicles and their plight, the famous Asiad Appu of India, and various other related issues ever happened in India.
He started collecting news and pictures related to elephants in 1990 after coming across a news of his village elephant that made headline in a local newspaper. He, later, developed interest in news items and photographs' collection.
"I am an ardent lover of jumbos (baby elephants), my friends told me that a news has more value when it is restored or gets old, which struck me and I started collecting," said M. S. Manoj, the collector.
"I am now planning to get my collection in the form of a website for which many have contacted me but did not materialize," he informed.
Manoj today posses thousands of pictures and news articles related to elephants, which had appeared in the newspapers since 1970.
In 1995, V. S Ravindarnath, a retired teacher in Manoj's village advised him retain and document all his all collected materials in an album. He complied and today takes pride in his 15 volumes of albums!
"He was very much interested in elephants especially suffering related stories. He collects the crucial photographs from newspapers. As his collection was scattered in the house, I told him that collecting photographs is good. But to keep it tidy in an album is very important," said V. S. Ravindarnath, the retired teacher.
Friends, neighbours and elephant lovers who know him and his fascination for elephants contribute to his collection. They bring different news articles from other places and also support Manoj in restoring the pieces in his albums.
Manoj plans to create a Internet website of his own to make it available for others to read and know about the various news articles on Indian elephants. By Juhan Samuel