Veteran actress, Jaya Bhattacharya, regards the recent killing of tigress Avni as a wakeup call to all Indians. “If we don’t stop raping our environment (wildlife is an essential part of our fragile ecosystem), we are asking for big trouble. Climate change has already started. Have we not learnt from the floods in Chennai and Uttarakhand?”
“Coming to the Avni case, she was not encroaching on human space, but humans violated her space (the jungle). Wild animals require open spaces to roam and hunt. Also, what was tragic was that the whopping 12 crore that was spent in killing her could have been effectively used to fence forests,” said Jaya last night, at the march against Avni’s killing in Central Mumbai, which saw at least 7000 people turn up.
“It is really sad that most people on social media are so unaware of how Mother Nature functions. Some silly folks ask why bother about big cats which prey on smaller animals. The long and short of it is that this is how our ecosystem flourishes.”
Here, she refused to comment on the counter-question of animal food industry vs animal conservation. “I am not equipped to answer, but I would request you to kindly separate the two issues, for right now, we are facing a very serious crisis of life and death.”
“Hope the Avni slaying awareness prevents the destruction of the Aarey green cover, lest Mumbai becomes another gas chamber like Delhi. Already, a large number of citizens suffer from sinus and other pollution-related heath disorders.”
“Rather than depending on any government which seems to be more interested in Ram vs Rahim, we citizens need to stand up and be counted. We need to start small by growing trees and taking care of them. But sadly, rather than saving the environment, we seem to stand with its looters. Didn’t many ensure that the Supreme Court cracker order came unstuck?”
In closing, Jaya lamented the absence of both film and TV celebs from the Avni march. “Guess these people don’t care, for their children are aboard. But we do, for this is our country and we love it.”