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Kids for Tigers
The Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris) can breathe a little easy. Over a million kids are rooting for it now, thanks to the Kids for Tigers initiative of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (intach), in collaboration with Sanctuary magazine and Britannia Industries. The massive scheme aims to educate 1.5 million children around the country on the need to save the tiger and its natural habitat.
Kids for Tigers regularly conducts innovative events such as 'Tiger Melas' and 'Wildlife Week' festivals. Children throng these galas to have a great time even while learning about the tiger and its wild lifestyle. Edutainment is the preferred communication strategy; through workshops, nature walks, slide shows and tiger information kits. The curriculum includes painting and essay writing competitions to hone the creative skills of the young participants.
The programme already boasts of a world's record: The world's largest 'Save the Tiger' scroll, as certified by the Limca Book of Records and containing 1 million signatures. The scheme is also supported by Project Tiger, state forest departments and several non-governmental organisations.
In 2002-03, four regional Save the Tiger petition campaigns will be conducted through the year with 700 schools involved from around the country. Signatures will handed over to the respective chief ministers and other elected leaders in various states. Hopefully the campaign will teach Indians of all ages to balance development with conservation.