India welcomes 101 artistic elephant sculptures: Elephant Parade India 2018 to address human-animal conflicts
February 28, 2018
Arachika Kapoor, Media India Group

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As part of the UK-India Year of Culture, the Elephant Family is running Elephant Parade India, engaging leading Indian designers and tribal artists to transform 101 elephant sculptures into masterpieces to raise funds for Asian elephant corridor projects.

Amidst the crowd of hundreds, 101 elephant sculptures at the Gateway of India in Mumbai stand in hopes of making a change to the increasing wildlife concerns in India.

Transformed into masterpieces by various Indian tribal artists, designers and celebrities, including Amitabh Bachchan, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Masaba Gupta, Tarun Tahiliani, Anita Dongre, and Rahul Mishra, amongst others, these elephant sculptures will stay in Mumbai for three weeks for the Elephant Parade India 2018.

Following the official inauguration of the parade on February 25, the elephants are now displayed in herds at prominent locations in Mumbai – Worli Sea Face, Bandra and central malls – to be photographed and hugged by the public so that they personally feel the need to conserve their natural forest corridors.

As part of the UK-India Year of Culture, the parade is organised by Elephant Family in association with Good Earth, wherein each elephant sculpture is up for sale to raise funds for endangered wild animals, decreasing forest cover areas, Asian elephant corridors and projects to address human-elephant-conflict throughout India.

Elephant corridors are pathways used by elephants to move from one forest feeding ground to the other, allowing them and other animals to move freely. And, as the number of endangered Asian elephants fell by 90 pc in the last 100 years, Elephant Family is working in priority landscapes to secure 101 elephant corridors in the country, in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India.

“What we are really hoping for is that companies will buy these as part of their CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative, and that will be the beginning of a long-term relationship. Hopefully, we can convince them to add elephant conservation to their CSR programmes,” says Ruth Ganesh, trustee of the Elephant Family.

As the number of endangered and vulnerable species of animals and event their forest homes are on a steady rise, other Elephant parades have already been held about 24 times around the world, collaborating with prominent personalities inlcuding Richard Branson, Katy Perry, Tommy Hilfiger, Elizabeth Hurley and Bryan Adams, amongst many others.