The villagers of Chota Changru, Bara Changru, and Bantha Reladih in Jharkhand in Eastern India are farmers and use wells to irrigate their fields. Once their use is over, the wells are abandoned. With no fencing around them and the mouth almost hidden by tall weeds, these wells quickly turn into deathtraps for elephant herds crossing the area. In the past two years, five elephant calves have fallen into these wells. Of these, three were rescued in time, but two were not so lucky and drowned.
The village farmlands are very close to the forest and elephant herds frequently move into the fields to feed. The foliage around the edges of the wells hide them from view and herds crossing this area have on many occasions lost young calves to these wells. The calves unsuspectingly move too close to the wells' edge, lose their footing, and get helplessly trapped. The mother does all she can to rescue the calf, but eventually has to leave the calf in the pit to die a slow and painful death
There are many abandoned wells near the villages that have been classified as dangerous for wildlife, especially young elephant calves. This project seeks to raise the mouth of the wells using stone and mortar so that they are no longer a danger for elephant herds and other wildlife moving through the area. Rapid Action Projects has a tradition of sending help, where it is needed, in any form as may be necessary and feasible, as soon as possible, cutting through bureaucracy and red tapism.
Rapid Action Project (RAP)'s outreach mandate makes it a unique division of WTI and its interventions could involve rescue, animal care, veterinary, legal or biological skill. In the long term, RAP proponents form a strong network of committed wildlife conservationists working at ground level with the capacity to identify and effectively resolve wildlife crises. Involvement of locals in the implementation of an RAP ensures greater community participation.