Politicians, celebrities, artists and designers came together on Monday at Gateway of India here, where, in a stunning display, 101 artistic elephants have been assembled to celebrate the launch of the first Elephant Parade India.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated the parade along with Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, and Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and Parade Ambassador Poonam Mahajan.
"Having worked as an environmentalist and animal lover for so long, I was thrilled to be approached by the Elephant Family to support the same cause which we have been working on with People for Animals for Asiatic Elephants. It's important to us as over the past 100 years we've lost 90 per cent of Asian Elephants, and now as nature, the environment and human beings all co-exist together, awareness is now coming, and it is time for action.
"By showcasing these beautifully painted 101 elephants by renowned artists and designers all across the city of Mumbai we are bringing everyone together to increase that awareness. Through this initiative we'd like to raise significant funds to help India's 101 corridors for elephants, and build the crucial rescue centres around the forests that are so needed. This wonderful art exhibition we have launched is the first step and the exhibition is open to all Mumbaikars," Mahajan said in a statement.
Created as part of the UK India Year of Culture, Elephant Parade India is organised by Elephant Family, an international NGO dedicated to protecting the Asian elephant from extinction in the wild.
The elephants will be paraded across the city in a series of public art exhibitions and simultaneously be sold at an online auction on Paddle8, going live on Wednesday.
The sales generated through the online auction will raise funds to secure 101 crucial Indian elephant corridors, the pathways that elephants depend upon to get from one forest feeding ground to the next.
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