BENGALURU: Heavy rain and Deepavali celebrations didn’t stop corporate communication professional, Danielle S, to attend an event organised by Friends of Elephants, an informal group dedicated to promote wildlife diversity. “I have attended previous events of this group. I was out of town and came back soon to attend it. These are good knowledge-sharing platforms,” she said, adding that she and her friends believe in celebrating festivals in meaningful ways like this.
Friends of Elephants conducts panel discussions and art and cultural activities on every fourth Sunday. Titled Elephants, Tigers and Lions (conservation and conflict), their last event on October 27 included movie screenings like Shanti Samsara by Ricky Kej, talks by Manoj Kumar, chief conservator of forests, Kodagu Circle, and Ravi Chellam, wildlife expert, and panel discussion with speakers and villagers from Bandipur. The forest officers shared their experiences of tackling wild animal attacks in estates and their translocation, while villagers shared how difficult their day-to-day life is because of animal attacks.
Surendra Varma, a scientist at Indian Institution of Science, said he was happy to see the turnout during the festive season. “We had organised one event during an IPL match in the city. There was no drop in the number of participants,” he added.Prabha Ramakrishnan, a resident of Indiranagar, said she always tries to attend the events. “We are a small group of women who are interested in nature and wildlife. We go for trekking, visit wildlife sanctuaries and attend events. Why should one miss such events in the name of festival?,” she asked.