We are OVERJOYED to share with you that just recently, our team met with the Forest Minister of West Bengal as seen in the photos above, and he has agreed to launch our EleSence project to help save elephants from getting killed by the speeding trains. He has been impressed by the significant progress we are making.
And of course, I will be at the inaugural cermony of the EleSense project, along with the forest minister and other members of the forest department, as well as the railway authorities, as I am traveling to India in January 2023. During this time I will be visiting all of our project sites in West Bengal, Odisha, Kerala and one more state that I will share with you when the timing is right (as dicussions have just begun).
Since the launch of multiple projects - Flashlights, EleSense, Elephant Friendly Fencing - all with your support - there hasn't been a single railway track deaths in West Bengal. And neither has there been any elephant or human deaths in the 3,000 Sq. Km. area where we're working with 50 villages and around 8,000 tribal people.
There's so much good happening in West Bengal that the forest department is now requesting us to expand our projects in other regions as well. And every step of the way we will continue to collaborate, not only with the government and grassroots organizations, but also with the indigenous people who are helping us design the device.
So what's next?
Well, we will continue to expand this project surrounding the elephant migration pathways that train tracks cut through, until we curb elephant deaths on the West Bengal train tracks.
BUT THIS IS POSSIBLE ONLY BECAUSE OF YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT!! So, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart on behalf of our Board of Directors and Trumpets of Gratitude from the elephants of West Bengal!
The progress we are making in West Bengal is truly inspiring.
We are thrilled to share with you some amazing news, and bring to you some images of our local team in West Bengal, and the railway authorities scanning the area that are most vulnerable to elephant deaths. I've also shared a link to our Facebook video that portrays the designing of the device. Our tema on the ground has constructed EleSense, a sensor alarm system that would alert the train pilots of elephant presence and prevent tragedies. While on our FB page, please be sure to "like" and follow us. We post regular updates on our social channels.
And this is the first time ever that the railway and forest ministries have cooperated with a nonprofit organization, as they're realizing all too well that one entity cannot resolve all the problems in a country poised to become the world's most populated country on the planet next year. This is only going to intensify human elephant (wildlife) conflict.
We’ve also received an official letter from the West Bengal Railway authorities confirming a partnership with VFAES, Nature Mates and SNAP, even as we continue to expand our pioneering EleSense project to Save Elephants from India’s Deadly Tracks. We will install the sensors towards the end of July/ Early August - weather permitting, given the torrential monsoons and floods in West Bengal.
Meanwhile, we’ve kicked off the second phase of EleSense, expanding it to other areas. We cannot do this without your support. Please continue to donate from your heart and share this campaign with your family and friends, so we can save these precious elephants. Let's join hands with us to fulfil this monumental goal.
Please click here to donate so we can prevent senseless deaths: https://bit.ly/3HGD4zV
There are only 40,000 Asian elephants around the world, with 27,000 plus in India. Human population, currently at 1.41 billion, is growing at an alarming rate. And human-elephant-conflict (HEC) is escalating. Elephants are facing multiple threats on numerous fronts, with the Indian train tracks proving to be especially treacherous.
VFAES has partnered with indigenous tech experts to ensure that elephants can traverse safely when crossing India’s deadly train tracks. EleSense is a modified version of an early warning system that has been effective in mitigating human-elephant conflict in villages near the forest fringes. You can now become part of the solution.
Please donate if you can https://bit.ly/3HGD4zV
Thank you so much for your unending support! We are deeply grateful to you.
We are thrilled to announce that the 1st phase of our groundbreaking project to save elephants from the deadly train tracks has kicked off in West Bengal, despite the fact that we're still short by $5,000. We felt this project is incredibly critical to saving elephants from the deadly train tracks.
A joint inspection was recently conducted along a 70 KM deadliest stretch of the West Bengal railway track where most accidents occur. Among those conducting the survey were railway officials, SNAP members who are designing the sensors, our grassroots partner Naturemates and Dr. Aritra Kshettry an elephant ecologist. They identified critical stretches in the area where elephant movement is frequent.
The next step is to install the EleSensor device along a 5 km stretch, in collaboration with the Railway Ministry, State Forest Department, and Tea-estate Associations in the region. EleSensors will detect elephant presence near the tracks and warn the train pilots, prompting them to slow down for the elephants, thus averting accidents.
One of the greatest things about this whole project is that it is COLLABORATIVE! This is so incredibly critical because the warnings emnated by the EleSensors will be detected by the forest authorites and they will then convey the presence of elephants to the railway authorities, who would then direct the loco pilots (train drivers) to slow down, allowing safe passage for elephants. Evidently, without collaboration there's little we can accomplish.
As we know the Indian railway tracks are deadly, killing 186 elephants in the past 10 years. Northern West Bengal in particular, is ground zero for railway deaths of people and elephants.
We can't thank you, our amazing donors for your immense generosity and kindness, for without your support we couldn't have come thus far. Although this is a major milestone, there's still a lot of work ahead over the next two years, for it would take us this long in order to assess the efficacy of our project.
Please consider making a small donation to help us cross the finish line. CLICK HERE TO DONATE whatever you can. Every penny matters and we are immeasurably grateful to you for your unbending support.
With Profound Gratitude and Humility,
PS: These images will hopefully bring a smile to your face, as you see the impact of your heartfelt contribution. I can't thank you enough times, really!!
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