Saturday, March 22, 2008

Trust seeks funds to cap Gir wells


Trust seeks funds to cap Gir wells

Times Of India Ahmedabad Edition

Junagadh: Wildlife Conservation Trust of Rajkot has made a fresh appeal to corporates to help them fund their effort to construct parapet walls around open wells in the Gir area so that lions don’t fall into them. The trust has said that while a number of the wells have been made safe, more needs to be done.

According to the executive director of the trust, Kishore Kotecha, “While some corporates have already helped in the endeavor, others too should come forward for this cause,” he said. “We will give full technical support to such corporates so that they can do it independently.”

He also appealed to the state government to bring legislation which compels well owners to construct parapets at the time of digging the well itself.

A number of organizations, from Saurashtra and NRIs, like Rajendra Thakrar from London who offered Rs 1.25 lakh for building the parapets, have stepped in to support this initiative. Kotecha said they have so far built walls around 781 wells. Of these, donors helped in 108 wells.

Both NGOs like World Wildlife Fund, and corporates like Tata Chemicals, Reliance and the Ambuja group have contributed to the effort.

The trust has surveyed ten places including Kotda, Paniya, Chanchai, Dalkhania, Kangsa, Sukhpur, Matanmala, Sodapara, Ambagala and Chavna. Looking at the excellent work being done by the Wild Life Conservation Trust, Steve Mendal of USA, who had visited Gir, has established an unit in USA called Lions of Gir Foundation, to save the Gir lions.

The state government had then proposed an action plan to build parapets around the wells. Top corporate bosses attended a high-level meeting in May 2007 in which they were roped in to build these parapet walls. SOURCE: SANDESH

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