1 million people extend their support to NDTV-Aircel ?Save Our Tigers? signature drive

NEW DELHI: The third season of Aircel-NDTV ?Save Our Tigers? campaign successfully culminated with unanimous support from state governments, school children, youth and concerned citizens. Over a million people from various walks of life came together and partnered NDTV and Aircel in their mission to save our tigers.

Taking the country?s largest and the most comprehensive media campaign on tiger conservation a step ahead, The Signature Drive 2014 was launched in April this year with the Tiger Agenda 2014 focusing on 1) Involve Local Communities in Conservation; 2) Strengthen and modernize the forest department to step up protection; 3) Improve Man-Animal Conflict Mitigation Measures; 4) Increase protection of buffer zones and corridors; 5) Zero tolerance approach to poaching and 6) To make political parties accountable for loss of bio-diversity.

The finale addressed some key concerns during a panel discussion hosted by Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV Group. The panelists included Brinda Malhotra, Head-CSR, Aircel; Dr. K Ramesh, Wildlife Scientist, Wildlife Institute of India; Anish Andheria, President, Wildlife Conservation Trust and Bittu Sahgal, Founding Editor, Sanctuary Asia who shared their valuable insights into the conservation of tiger and the sustainability of the ecosystem.

Speaking on the occasion, Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV said, ?This is a proud moment for both Aircel and NDTV. We have come a long way during the 3 seasons of the campaign. This time we focused on involving the youth and school children along with the state governments and concerned citizens to extend their support and we are glad that it has been a huge success. At NDTV, we have always been committed to protect and save our ecosystem through various initiatives and we hope this initiative has been able to make a substantial contribution to the cause.?

The eminent panelist opined that while the increase in the number of tigers from 1411 to the current 1706 has been a positive outcome, however, the increase has also resulted in some threats that the tigers may face. The panel discussion raised some key concerns such as Poaching, Man-Animal Conflict, De-forestation, lack of security for Buffer Zones and Corridors and Political Will to take action that could be affect the safeguard of these animals.

Emphasizing the need for immediate implementation of measures to safeguard these animals, Brinda Malhotra, Head-CSR, Aircel said, ?Aircel and NDTV together, for the third time, committed themselves to gain public support towards six immediate action points of Tiger Agenda 2014. From creating awareness on the plight of our national animal when we started, to mobilizing mass support, participation and contribution today, we have come a long way. We are overwhelmed by the response we have received this time. It is now imperative for all stakeholders to implement the measures that are needed to conserve and protect the present and the future of the tigers and the ecosystem.?

The Signature Drive 2014 also initiated World Tiger Day Art Competition for Children to raise awareness across 6 cities (World Tiger Day hubs across the metros) to collect signatures. Chief Ministers of Key Tiger States of Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Rajasthan supported the Tiger Agenda under this initiative.

The special show capturing the discussion on the occasion of the closing finale of the Aircel-NDTV ?Save Our Tigers? campaign will be telecast on September 20, 2014, Saturday at 11:30AM on NDTV 24X7.

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