Charles, Prince of Wales, is trying to raise funds for an elephant corridor in India.
As part of this campaign, a fleet of 40 aesthetically designed autorickshaws will be racing through Madhya Pradesh in November this year for this purpose. Elephant Family, a charity set up by the late Mark Shand, writer, elephant lover and brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is organizing this rally as part of the fundraiser ‘Travels to my Elephant’. It has already seen 20 remodelled and painted autorickshaws going under the hammer in London recently at a wildlife auction by Charles and Camilla, raising 7,00,000 pounds.
The charity is targeting a total of 1m pounds to secure a safe passage for the endangered pachyderm in Assam. Headed jointly by Charles and Camilla, the Elephant Family aims to secure 100 corridors for elephants in India, including Jharkhand and Odisha, in the next 10 years along with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).
The Tirunelli-Kudrakote corridor in Kerala has already been secured by them and in Assam they are looking at securing the Kalapahar-Daigurung corridor linking Kalahapar USF (Nambor west block) of East Karbi Anglong division with Daigurung and Nambor Wildlife Sanctuary (Nambor north block in Golaghat district).
Sandeep Tiwari, deputy director and head, Wild Lands, Wildlife Trust of India, is securing the corridor for Elephant Family with the help of Project Elephant, ministry of environment, forests and climate change and the state government. This will necessitate the shifting of the villages of Ram Terang and Tokolangso. Tiwari said that they will try to secure the legal protection of these corridors and ensure they are not encroached upon thereby leading to further encounters and casualties.
Awareness programmes will be taken up by WTI and the Elephant Family to sensitize villagers on such conflicts and corridors in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape.
Charles described the corridor campaign at the London auction as an “enormously important cause because of its human-animal dimension”. The 500km rally at Madhya Pradesh ending at Kipling Camp, a private wildlife camp near Kanha will have participants from London with each team pledging to raise around 10,000 pounds.