Armed with satire, school kids defend animal rights (Coimbatore, India)


Times of India

Date Published

To mark the World Forest Day, a group of students from the TVS Academy
in Hosur conducted ‘Elephants are Missing’, a skit, at the Corporation
Higher Secondary School at Siddhapudur on Saturday.

As many as 36 students from the school participated in the performance
organised by environmental NGO Osai. The children began with a chorus
on elephant population —”There were 10lakh of them 40years ago, but
now, only 36,000 remain.”

The students recalled the recent events of human animal conflict in
Coimbatore. They re-enacted a popular debate programme on a famous
Tamil television channel, but with a difference. It had animals
explaining the distress and difficulties they face because of human
intervention in forests. An ‘elephant’ said, “In Coimbatore alone,
nearly 95% of elephant paths for fodder have been destroyed for
development. What have come up there? Colleges!”

The ‘elephant’ went on to say, “What do you expect us to do? Go and
study in those colleges?” The elephant, portrayed by a lean girl,
added, “The lack of food has resulted in a bulky elephant like me
become a lean animal!”

Another character, who caught the attention of the audience, was that
of a popular Tamil rapper, who spoke for the animals.

The half-an-hour play demanded humans look at animals’ problems from
their point of view. The skit was accompanied by a choir of six,
including a boy playing mridangam.