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Saving elephants and the importance of a responsible pilgrimage

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Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Mar 04: At the end of every pilgrimage season, we used to spot seven to eight elephants lying dead in the forest, after consuming sugar-laced plastic material. However, no such incidents have been reported for the last five-six years." This was a statement given by an official of the Department of Forest at the evaluation meeting on Punyam Poonkavanam project held in last January.

Saving elephants and the importance of a responsible pilgrimage

This project was launched in 2011 with the objective of imparting the message of conscious and responsible pilgrimage among those coming to Sabarimala.

This project was conceived at the critical juncture when not just the irresponsible behaviour of pilgrims who were in search of divinity within themselves, but also that of officials posted there on duty was polluting Sabarimala and accelerating the deterioration of quality of highly fragile and sensitive ecosystem at the reserved forest in which temple is situated.

It was a routine sight for surgeons to extract kilograms of plastic waste from intestines of animals lured by sweet eateries left behind by pilgrims and were killed subsequently after consuming them. The first step of the project was to convince the pilgrims that such pilgrimage was leading them not to deliverance but pushing them further into sinful existence.

Looking back at the illustrious journey that the project has made in more than 10 years, we realise the magnitude of the message that it presented before the entire world. It told the entire humanity that one sure way of salvation for mankind is to convert all places of worship as propagation centres for conservation of Nature and place to preserve air, water and earth for generations to come. That is the insight filling up the minds on this World Wildlife Day today.

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