Tag Archives: maharashtra

ARTICLE: A REQUIEM FOR TIGRESS AVNI

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    One of the notable events of 2018 highlighted by the Press on New Year’s eve was the death of the five year old tigress, Avni, in Maharastra. Animal-lovers and activists, among them a Union Minister, alleged that is was a deliberate act of killing, of a fine specimen of an endangered species. The feeling of loss was heightened by the fact that Avni is survived by two two-month old cubs.

    It looked as if the newspapers revelled in the controversy that erupted after the tragic end of Avni. From November 3 to December 10, day after day, sparks flew and the Press carried reports of allegations by the activists and defensive statements by the alleged perpetrators of the crime, namely, the State Government at the ministerial level and the sharp-shooters, father and son. The Union Minister wanted nothing less than the State Forest Minister’s scalp, to wit, his dismissal or resignation. The latter retorted that those who held animal life more precious than human life should show the way.

    According to one report, the big cat had killed at least 7 out of the 13 who had died during May 2016 and August 2017, in the Loni village Relegaon tehsil, Yavatmal District in the Vidharbha region of Maharastra. In August 2017, Avni made short work of at least three persons. The Forest Department then decided to do away with the animal but the activists in protest took the matter  to the High Court, and later to the Supreme Court. Both the courts nodded their assent for killing the animal. After prolonged but futile efforts at capturing Avni, the State Government engaged two sharp-shooters, Shafath Ali Khan and his son Asghar Ali from Hyderabad, and they accomplished the job on November 2.

    Meanwhile, the activists were up in arms. They maintained that the animal should have been captured rather than killed. They alleged that the land was cleared of wildlife to help a private party to set up a factory. Some experts held that several Acts were violated in the diabolic process. Asghar Ali claimed that the animal was shot dead in self-defence. The Hyderabad Forensic Laboratory, on December 10, 2018, confirmed the attempt at tranquilising the animal.

    It would appear that so much vehemence in the protest against the killing  and the excessive publicity given to the controversy were disproportionate to the intrinsic importance  of the event itself. The tiger, no doubt a marvel of creation, is not ecologically very important. The Project Tiger, which was launched in 1973, to preserve wildlife, set out with the aim in moderate terms viz. ‘to maintain a viable population of tigers in India for scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural and ecological values.’ It must be said to the credit of the Government that, unlike other Asian countries such as Japan and Korea where the species is extinct, the wildlife conservation measures have paid up in India. From 2500 in 1972, the tiger population increased to 3642 in 2001-2002; the number of ‘Tiger Reserves’ rose from 9, covering an area of 14,000 sq km in 1973 to 27, covering an area of 37,761 sq. km, spread over 17 states.

TIGER IN LITERATURE

    ‘Magnificent’ is the word that comes to my mind when one thinks of this gorgeously striped (in yellow and black) creature. It has inspired poets, novelists and animal lovers no end. William Blake (1757-1827) in a popular poem, gave expression to his wonder:

    ‘What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?’

    He poised the following question for which we have no answer to this day. ‘Did He who made the lamb make thee?’

    The tiger as an object of worship, as Valmik Thapar points out in his informative book ‘The Cult of the Tiger’ (Penguin 2002), had been prevalent from Siberia to South-East Asia; perhaps, it continues here and there.

    In India, Shiva of the Trinity of Gods, wears the tiger skin vyaagrasina ambara-dhara, as Sri Shankara says in his Shivaashtakam. Even as the Sabarimala Temple of Kerala is in the news, one remembers that the deity brought a tiger home when the Queen of Pandalam wanted Ayyappa to fetch tiger’s milk from the forest. The Supreme Goddess Durga has for her vehicle the tiger.

    The literature on the tiger is vast; about 55 books are listed  as of Indian origin in Valmik Thapar’s book.

    While sympathising with the two surviving cubs, let us have a Requeim for Avni.

RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND CONSERVATION

    India in the 21st century has over one billion people and also boasts of half of the world’s tiger population, half of the world’s Asiatic elephant population and along with these charismatic species, an array of other living organisms. Could any of this have been possible without a core belief in nature? Could the Asiatic elephant have been safe without a belief in Ganesha, the elephant God? Could the tiger have survived had it not been the vehicle of Durga? And would the snake, the turtle, the peacock, the cranes and some of our trees have survived without a bank of beliefs in them?  –Valmik Thapar.

(This article was written by V.S.R.K. and published in Bhavan’s journal in recent months)

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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SHORT STORY: Lata Bhagvan Kare … the marathon runner

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    This is a real life story of a sixty-five year old lady, Lata Bhagvan Kare, a resident of a small village in Buldhama district, in Maharashra. She was leading a simple life with her husband. They both worked as farm labour and barely made enough to make ends meet. They had a small house near the farmland where they used to live.

    The small savings that they had accumulated all throughout their lives was spent on getting their three daughters married off. Apart from their daughters they also had a son. After the daughters were settled their responsibilities were practically over. They enjoyed the simple pleasures of life and of course each other’s company. They were inseparable and understood each other comprehensively. Their relationship was a proof of the principle that you did not need luxury to be happy.

    One day after returning from the farm, her husband told her that he was not feeling well. First she tried all sorts of herbal medicines to help him, but he wouldn’t get better. The local government hospital, diagnosed him of some serious infection. They recommended he be taken to a bigger hospital that had better facilities for further tests. This bewildered Lata. They barely had enough money for the fare to reach the hospital, let alone the expensive tests prescribed by the doctors. With tearful eyes, she told her husband the news and felt helpless. But then how could she let her husband die without treatment.

    She dropped her ego and pulled together all her courage to beg her neighbours and relatives for donations to go to a bigger hospital in order to save her husband’s life. With the donations she had received they finally got to bigger hospital. This was not the sort of place that they were used to, being in. They felt very uncomfortable and out of place. Nevertheless, Lata gathered courage, to ask for a doctor. The official at the reception desk collected an initial fee. With that they had exhausted almost a major chunk of money that Lata was carrying. They were asked to wait outside the doctor’s cabin until they were called.

    When their turn came, her husband was called in. after examination, the doctor handed her a list for further tests, some medicines and the recommendation for hospitalization. With these developments Lata went into a tizzy. She had no money and nowhere to go. How do I save my husband she thought? With tears flowing down her cheeks, she and her husband slowly walked out of the hospital.

    She couldn’t have afforded the expensive hospital canteen, so they stopped by a samosa stall at the bus stand. They bought two samosas for the journey back to their village. Lata thought this could perhaps be her husband’s last meal. The samosa-wallah wrapped the samosa and handed it to her with a smile. As she ate her samosa and chutney from the newspaper wrapper, she saw the headline: ‘Baramati Marathon: Attractive Prize Money.’ Her heart missed a beat. The next moment she was preparing to run the race.

    The next day as everyone lined up at the start of the race, in their running gear, Lata Kare stood there, in her red-checked Maharashtrian-style sari. Barefoot, with tears in her eyes. She argued with the organisers, to allow her to run in the marathon, but they refused. She was sixty five. In trying to save her husband, they did not want her to die. After about an hour of begging and pleading, they finally agreed to let her run, and pinned a number on her clothes. As she began running, people turned to look at her and laughed.

    It was a sight for sore eyes. Teenagers and young adults who had been practicing for months, for this race, lined up, next to an old lady who had hitched her sari above her ankles. She had never run a race in her life, what to say of a marathon. Little did her competitors know that they were about to get schooled by someone who was old enough to be their grandmother. Lata could not think of anything else, but for the love she had for her husband. This race was a matter of life and death for her. What were a few pebbles and rocks to stop her progress?

    Lata, finally ran and ran like the wind with just one focus—the finish line. Her feet began to bleed, her sari became soaked in sweat, but she kept running and running. It would have been an achievement had she even finished the race. But she had aimed much higher. The people who witnessed this spectacle cheered her all along the way. They were touched by her reason for running.

    It would be a pointless story if she did not win. For there was no award for mere participation, yet she had done it! The organizers of the race could not believe that Lata Kare a sixty-five-year-old Maharashtrian woman from a small village, had won the race. The crowds on the streets of Baramati clapped for her and celebrated her victory. She was now the local hero, but she did not care for the attention.

    She collected her winnings, marched into the hospital and got her husband the best treatment. At the same time she even got a few bandages done on her feet. She had achieved her mission and that was to save her husband. As they say, the most powerful force in the world is love. Lata went on to win for the next two years consecutively.

Moral of the story: If you have determination and confidence nothing is impossible.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****