Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan on Thursday announced that he will lend his face and voice to save the majestic tiger from becoming extinct.
As ambassador of “Save our Tigers” campaign initiated by NDTV and Aircel, Mr. Bachchan will use his charisma and popularity to drive home the message to save the tiger.
Mr. Bachchan said the tiger is symbolic of our country's wildlife wealth and is in danger because of rampant poaching and ineffectiveness of our systems to stop its killing. “Collective action is the need of the hour. It is for the government, wildlife experts, the media and the public to come together and effect a change. It is our responsibility to not only initiate a public movement but also to ensure that it gains momentum across the nation.”
The campaign will enable all stakeholders to take affirmative action for tiger conservation in each State based on the common agenda.
When Mr. Bachchan received a call from Dr. Prannoy Roy about the campaign to save the tiger from getting extinct, he immediately agreed as the cause concerned “our nature and environment”. “If my face and voice can be used to impress people about a national cause then I am all for it. I liked the fact that the electronic media has started this campaign as its penetration is more. It was important that awareness to save this beautiful animal was propagated across our country,” added the senior actor at a press conference in the Capital.
Pointing out that tiger is our national entity, Mr. Bachchan said: “We should leave the tiger alone so that it doesn't feel entrenched. In the coming months if I can convince even one person about the need to follow this righteous path then I will be extremely happy. As artistes our faces are used to endorse products that attract consumers and if they can be converted into a national cause then I will be the extremely gratified.”
Mr. Bachchan, who had flown in from Mumbai to spearhead this campaign, said he had gone to NDTV studio to shoot for successive campaigns that will hopefully be in the market soon.
Dr. Roy said when he explained what the campaign was all about, Mr. Bachchan didn't take a second to give his nod. He is inundated with so many such requests but he took out a great deal of his time for the tiger campaign. “Two years ago we were the first ones to draw the attention of citizens and the government to the rapid decline of tiger population in India. Our signature campaign ‘Save the Tiger' led to the formation of Special Tiger Protection Force by the Prime Minister.”
WWF India secretary general and CEO Ravi Singh said the campaign was centred round creating awareness about the present status of tigers in India. As a principal issue, the tiger needs all the help that can be focused at this juncture.
A special show anchored by Vikram Chandra will engage all key stakeholders and tiger experts to voice their opinion on what needs to be done to protect the tigers. Hard hitting stories and documentaries on the threats and issues concerning the survival of tigers will be aired. There will also be a live non-stop programming for a day disseminating facts about tigers with the aim to create public outcry and help raise funds to protect the tigers from disappearing from their traditional homeland.