Aircel and Sanctuary Asia organize a panel discussion to raise awareness on tiger conservation
Mumbai, October 25, 2013: Building on its commitment to the cause of tiger conservation in India, Aircel in association with Sanctuary Asia organized a panel discussion on ‘Tiger as the Metaphor for all of Nature’. The eminent panel which included people like Bittu Sehgal, Editor, Sanctuary Asia; Dr. Anish Andheria, Director-Wildlife Conservation Trust; Poonam Dhanwatey, Founder Trustee, Tiger Research And Conservation Trust (TRACT) and Dia Mirza, renowned actress, discussed the importance of Tiger for the ecological balance of the environment.
Brinda Malhotra, Head- Corporate Social Responsibility, Aircel said, “The role of tiger as a key enabler for ensuring ecological balance has remained largely undermined till date. Being at the top of the food chain, a tiger has the ability to directly impact our water and food security, which in turn affects our economic growth and sustainability. Aircel took up this cause in 2008 and continues to remain committed to ‘Save Our Tigers’. The panel discussion organized today is another step that we have taken in this direction and we are thankful to all the panelists for coming together in support of the cause that Aircel is so passionate about. We are confident that we will continue to do more such work in support of our national animal.”
Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Asia, came out strongly in support of preserving the natural habitat of the tiger. He said, “Expanding the Protected Area Network and providing the necessary space and isolation for tigers and other wildlife and beefing up our protective mechanisms to care for forests, rivers, coasts, wetlands and grasslands is the shrewdest possible financial investment for India. This is because the ecosystem services that our amalgam of wild habitats offers includes more power generation, more irrigation, fewer floods and droughts and that all-important service- climate moderation. Ecosystem services are notoriously difficult to express in economic terms, but the array of natural wealth we are blessed with should hardly need economic justification. Mountains, seas and forests have shaped our very destiny. Protecting this heritage should be the very purpose of our lives. The best tiger habitat is the human heart. If we create space for tigers here, everything else will follow.”
Sharing her views on wildlife tourism, Poonam Dhanwatey, Founder Trustee, Tiger Research And Conservation Trust (TRACT) said, “The way forward is to usher in the concept of Community Reserves where tigers and other wild species of plants and animals become a source of income and not a cause for the depletion of people’s wealth. By shifting to ‘ecosystem farming’ where the ‘produce’ is ‘the tourism experience’ marginal farmers could become the owner-beneficiaries of lucrative wildlife tourism ventures in the shape of home stays, bolstered by the biodiversity that is sure to spill over from dense, biodiverse parks onto their own resurrected lands. It’s a win-win for all players. The visitor experience will dramatically improve, biodiversity will return, and the living standards and respect of local communities will rise, even as human-animal conflicts drop.”
Dr. Anish Andheria, President, Wildlife Conservation Trust also shared similar views regarding ecotourism during the discussion. He said, “There are several examples from around the world endorsing how forest conservation and livelihoods of local communities can be united in purpose. The model could work in the Indian context if the raison d’etre of communities becomes wildlife and nature conservation. Sensible ecotourism, where real benefits, rather than menial jobs flow to local communities is a step in the right direction. It reduces their dependence on the forest, while winning their support to keep forests intact. All that the tiger and other wildlife ask from us is to reduce disturbances in their forest homes and allow them safe passage through ours. An aware and self-sufficient community is the cornerstone of future conservation models. Unless the natural resources of a country are not safeguarded, the country will not prosper.”
Actor Dia Mirza, who has been working towards the cause of tiger conservation with Sanctuary Asia through Leave Me Alone campaign, added “Tigers are as important as any of our loved ones and protecting the Tiger should be our top priority.”
‘Save Our Tigers’ is an initiative by Aircel aimed towards environment and tiger conservation. Tigers may be one of the most revered animals but they are also vulnerable to extinction. Aircel has been working with several organizations across all tiger reserves in the country extending infrastructure and capacity support. Aircel has associated with various tiger conservationists like Mike Pandey, Shekar Dattatri, Valmik Thapar, Bittu Sahgal and others across the country to spread the message of ‘Save our Tigers’.
About Aircel Limited
Aircel is one of India’s leading pan India operators. It won 3G spectrum in 13 circles and BWA spectrum in 8 circles and has successfully launched 3G services which is the fastest 3G roll out ever in the Indian Telecom Space. Aircel has been constantly innovating products and services and is credited with making 3G affordable to masses by launching Pocket Internet Smart which offers best value 3G packs. Aircel Pocket Internet Smart gave a boost to 3G adoption in the country as it is a true value for money product that allows consumers to access unlimited 3G data at extremely affordable prices. Aircel has positioned itself as a data led telecom player and has addressed the multi-functionality of a mobile phone in many innovative ways which are Industry firsts, be it the Aircel Pocket Internet, Pocket Internet Games and Facebook Voice Updates on Aircel. Aircel is also a preferred telecom network to launch Apple iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. Recently, the company has become the proud recipient of coveted awards such as Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) 2012 South Asia by Enterprise Asia, ‘Excellence Award for Security in Telecom 2012’ by Data Security Council of India (DSCI) an institution setup by NASSCOM® and ‘Best in class Learning and Development Awards’ for ‘Innovation in Learning’ and ‘Best Training Venue’ by World HRD Congress 2013. For more information, please log on to www.aircel.com. and follow us on Twitter @AircelNews
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