About Save our Tigers Campaign (2010-11)
There are about 3200 wild tigers Panthera tigris left in the world. Over 50 per cent of these, approximately 1700, live in India. The next five years are extremely crucial for the long term survival of the tiger.
NDTV, supported by Aircel, decided to run a national, conservation awareness campaign called "Save our Tigers" to change the general notion of the public and the politicians that tigers are safe in India. To improve the effectiveness of the programme, they partnered with Sanctuary Magazine, India’s premier wildlife magazine and the Wildlife Conservation Trust, an organisation deeply involved in conserving tiger habitats across the country.
The initial step of the campaign involved spreading awareness about the fate of wild tigers using highly effective public service advertisements on hoardings and bus-stops across several Indian cities and towns. This was followed by a strong media campaign on NDTV 24/7. These campaigns culminated into a 12-hour Save Our Tigers telethon on NDTV 24/7 on December 12, 2010.
The telethon was an overwhelming success as thousands of people across India and several hundred people from overseas pledged their support for the tiger over the telephone, internet and television. During the telethon, the best minds on tiger conservation appealed to political leaders and the general public to do whatever they could to help safeguard the most charismatic cat on Earth.
As a welcome result of the campaign, several prominent political leaders came on air and pledged to protect the forests of their respective states.
A sum of 19.9 million rupees was raised through donations and Hemendra Kothari, Chairman, DSP Blackrock Investment Managers Pvt. Ltd. and Chairman, Wildlife Conservation Trust, donated 25 million rupees to raise the overall donation amount to approximately 45 million rupees.
It was subsequently decided by the Wildlife Conservation Trust to put together a Rapid Response Units (RRU), which would be utilised by Forest Departments during emergency situations – man-animal conflict, anti-poaching patrolling, fire-fighting among others.
Objectives of the campaign:
- To gather public support for conservation of tiger
- Involve people in conservation of tiger and its habitat
- To spread awareness on issue related to tiger conservation
- Protection of Tiger Habitats
- Training and capacity building of forest ground staff
- Motivation of forest personnel