A Mumbai-based couple has become a shining example for those who wish to do something to save wildlife but don’t have the resources to or are perhaps clueless about where to begin.
Dr Sarita Subramaniam and Dr PV Subramaniam, both dentists, have travelled far and wide across the length and breadth of India to stay connected to nature, and have found a novel solution to help save wildlife from dehydration this scorching summer.
At the recently held Chembur festival, the Mumbai couple decided to sell 20 canvas size eye-catching wildlife photographs from their collection of photographs over the last 25 years to raise money for a continuous supply of drinking water for wildlife at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
Their idea was successful, and how! The wildlife enthusiasts managed to raise an amount of Rs 1 lakh—the selected 20 pictures on canvas prints were sold within the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 21,000. This money will now be used to buy solar pumps for borewells to supply water for the animals in the reserve.
“We have been travelling across the country for the last 25 years but for the sale, we chose pictures from the last three to four years. These are pictures taken from Kanha National Park, Corbett National Park, Ranthambore National Park and even Ladakh,” Dr PV Subramaniam told the Indian Express.
During the course of their travels, the couple started to focus more and more on looking at issues on the ground, and this led to a paradigm shift in their thoughts and actions. They realised that they were no longer interested in being tourists basking in nature’s glory, but were concerned wildlife enthusiasts scrutinising the problems being faced by wildlife in the country.
Pushed by their own observations, they took it upon themselves to provide solar-powered pumps for existing borewells to fill water holes. Raising funds from family and friends on social media they have already bought one pump costing over Rs 3.16 lakhs.
“During our trips, we learnt that the Reserve needs pumps to bring in water to the watering holes. We volunteered to purchase them and began raising funds. We need to buy three more pumps, two costing Rs 3.16 lakhs and another costing Rs 4.2 lakhs. The third pump is more expensive as the borewell is deeper than the others,” Dr Sarita Subramaniam told the Indian Express.
This interest also led to the establishment of their NGO—Earth Brigade Foundation—which works for wildlife-related issues.
“Over the years we have been able to find out about the various issues that plague these areas. Especially of the communities who live near the forests,” Dr Subramaniam told Indian Express.
One of the most captivating pictures among the ones on sale also happens to be Dr Subramaniam’s personal favourite.
“We took a photograph of a tigress carrying a freshly killed deer fawn in its mouth across a rivulet. It was taking the kill to her three cubs. It was heartening to see that the mother did not even taste the kill and left it for the cubs to relish. While we felt sad for the fawn who lost its life we realised this was the law of nature,” he told the publication.
You can have a look at the album of pictures that the couple is still printing to raise money for wildlife on the NGO’s Facebook page, here.
We hope more couples are inspired to make the most of the trips they embark on and channelise their observations of complex issues they encounter on the ground and turn it into a wonderful cause like the Subramaniams. Kudos to them!