Pune and Mumbai region were a host to close to a dozen Elephants used for begging and entertainment. We realized that despite having highest protection under the law, the elephants were being blatantly abused. We insisted on registration of FIR and their seizure. However we found that the Elephants were released back to the owners by the courts due to lack of understanding. We fought a long and tiring battle to prove that the elephants were being tortured and needed medical attention. Manoj  took help of experts from Karnataka and Kerala to conduct inspection, got a lawyer with PhD in wildlife to argue the matter. When one of the  elephant was critical, he flew in a Dr Sarma (later awared with  Padmashri) from Assam to treat the elephant. He personally argued in several courts to get the elephant released to a rescue centre in Uttar Pradesh. It took 7 long years to get an elephant rehabilitated and one elephant died during pendency of the cases. At two occasions the owner of the elephant abandoned the elephant Poornima, Manoj, at great risk to his own life, took charge of the elephant caring for her and also personally bearing all the expenses. He also inspired several NGOs in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai to initiate similar action and ended the practice of begging elephants

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.