The festival, which will be flagged off on Sunday, is being organised by the Wildlife Trust of India, a wildlife conservation NGO, at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Arts, New Delhi, in association with the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare and United Nations Environment.
In August last year, Prabhu had launched the Gaj Yatra in Mumbai from the boundaries of the Siddhivinayak temple in the presence of state government officials, Bollywood celebs, and natives.
Ahead of the launch of the four-day festival, Prabhu said the event is being perceived as an important initiative to preserve various species of elephants.
“The population of these majestic elephants is critically threatened by the increasing man-animal conflicts. There is a need to align infrastructure and development efforts with wildlife conservation efforts to create an ideal balance where both can thrive without negatively impacting the other. The Gaj Mahotsav is an important step in creating awareness for the same and I look forward to supporting the initiative and the efforts to conserve our National Heritage Animal,” he noted.
India has a little over 27,000 wild Asian elephants. Yet, these animals face an uncertain future in the country. The resources required by India’s human population has led to the destruction of the species’ habitat, thereby hampering the land earmarked for elephants.
The festival’s main aim is to enhance awareness regarding the efforts necessary to protect and preserve India’s national heritage animal across the country.
Artists from all over the country have created 101 life-sized elephant art pieces representing the 101 elephant corridors of India, which will be showcased at the festival.
The festival will witness active participation from policymakers, influencers from the world of entertainment, sports, culture and the people from Delhi- NCR. There will be dance and music performances by distinguished artists, films and talks by filmmakers, and an exhibition of elephant-themed art and photographs.
There will also be various workshops for children on storytelling and painting, shadow puppets and cartooning