Stories of elephants have always fascinated Adarsh Vinod, a 13-year-old school boy hailing from Payambra.

His grandmother’s stories on elephants sparked a deep interest in the boy. Since his early childhood, he has been collecting news items on elephants appearing in national and vernacular dailies and magazines.

His passion now has turned him into a proud collector of an exclusive stack of over 750 news clippings, all featuring elephants in their different living environment.

Adarsh displayed nearly 250 selected clippings of his on the Civil Station premises on Friday as part of the World Elephant Day observance. The initiative came from the boy following a request from the Staff Recreation Club at the Collectorate.

For Adarsh, the exhibition is not just to entertain viewers with some curious and informative clippings. His aim is to reaffirm the need to protect the animal from exploitations and allow it to live in its safe habitat. Hunting of wild elephant is an issue shown in the collections, which the boy says must be stopped with government’s intervention.

“So far, I have conducted eight exhibitions in various schools, clubs, and libraries to communicate the need to offer better protection to the jumbos,” says Adarsh. The Forest Department has extended the required support for the initiatives.

Using his news-clipping collection, the Forest Department has brought out a book titled “Aanaye Ariyan” (To know Elephant) for a quick reference. Most of the important clippings from the collection have been included in the book, prepared a few months ago.

Adarsh, who longs to be a campaigner for the cause of wild elephants and their protection, also wants a solution to the struggle on the night traffic ban on Mysore-Bangalore route.

He points out that some of the north Indian States have resolved such issues by constructing separate flyovers on the route. Adarsh’s father Vinod also gives strong support to the hobby of his son.

“I have taken him to various locations to show him herds of elephants. It was something from our part to encourage his passion in the field,” he adds.

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