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Puducherry Artist Carves Elephant Figures On Chalk to Raise Awareness on Dwindling Jumbo Numbers

Mohana, a miniature artist and a private school teacher in Puducherry, carves elephant figures on pieces of chalk. (Image: ANI/Twitter)

Mohana, a miniature artist and a private school teacher in Puducherry, carves elephant figures on pieces of chalk. (Image: ANI/Twitter)

Mohana, who is an artist and also works as a private school teacher in Puducherry carves out elephant figures on chalk sticks to spread awareness about their declining numbers.

The human-elephant conflict in India has been a long standing problem and every year hundreds of these gentle giants perish due to coming in contact with humans or due to human-related activities. Some are run over by trains or even killed in retaliation for crop damage or property loss. A report by CNN says that every year at least a 100 elephants are killed in India and as many as 500 people lose their lives in these conflicts. To highlight these issues, a miniature artist from Puducherry has found a unique way. Mohana, who is an artist and also works as a private school teacher in Puducherry carves out elephant figures on chalk sticks as a way to create awareness about the dangerously lowering numbers of elephants in the country.

Mohana spoke to news agency ANI about the burning urgency of looking after the elephants in the country who face a serious threat of extinction and with them a major part of the diverse fauna in the sub-continent.

Mohana elaborates how hunting and accidents on roads between forests have acted as catalysts to reduce the numbers of elephants in India.

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“We teach children that the lion is the king of the forest but do not talk much about elephants. We have narrowed the path in forests that elephants and other animals use to roam around freely, “she said.

India is home to the world’s biggest population of Asian elephants, who have been listed under IUCN’s Endangered list since 1986 as their numbers have dwindled by at least half over a span of last three elephant generations. The Asiatic jumbos are found across 13 countries and a lot of their habitats in the jungle has been cut short due to agriculture and infrastructure building. Even though India has over 100 national parks and around 30 elephant reserves, but of these animals live outside of these protected areas, thereby leading them to be vulnerable.

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first published:August 11, 2021, 14:18 IST