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Save your Bijlee Mumbai!

Even Amitabh Bachchan sympathizes with the beleaguered elephant lying in Mulund in great misery.

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In the lively suburbs of Mumbai, an elephant named Bijlee has been the centre of concern for many over the last week. On 12th of June the miserably weak, 58-year-old elephant had collapsed. Animal activist Akshay Sakharkar noticed this mishap and informed NGO AMTM (Animals Matter To Me) of which he happens to be a member. The organisation contacted a veterinary specialist who informed that the elephant had fallen in a creek and injured her hind legs and has been having issues since then.

The animal is owned by a couple who has been using her and other elephants in marriages and events to earn money. AMTM claims that "the owners have given their consent in writing to us. We shall from now on take care of Bijlee's treatment, food, recovery and care for the next 4 months. The owners have agreed to not take Bijlee out on the road or use her for any commercial activity for the same period". However, a volunteer added "the couple is refusing to disclose the whereabouts of other elephants that they own. We are pressurising them, but we need support".


Exactly a day after the elephant was under the doctor's surveillance and care, Ganesh Nayak from AMTM reported that "watching Bijlee gulp down some bananas fed to her... was a far cry as compared to yesterday, where she was struggling to even stand up! What Bijlee needs right now is lots of rest (as she cant walk around much) and a healthy diet."



Social media has been pushing AMTM's cause with people from all over lending their support in forms of cash, kind or manual help for the elephant's care. The organisation is updating its social networking pages every now and then to keep people informed. Interestingly, people are also constantly questioning the absence of organisations wellknown for animal welfare like PETA.  

Amitabh Bachchan has also been actively appealing his followers to come forward and extend help. "I am not in the habit of putting appeals on the social media, for reasons that concern me contractually. But I do believe in this unfortunate incident, and believe that if something can be done for this beleaguered elephant lying on the road in great misery, she will survive and flourish" he wrote on his blog.

AMTM is providing Bijlee with 15 dozens of bananas, 15 kg of wheat flour (for rotis) and 100 kg of sugarcane per day, apart from medication and a visit by a vet twice a week.

"Starting 19th morning, the construction of the shed will begin for which permission from the land owner has already been obtained" added Nayak.



Jason Menezes, a volunteer with AMTM and a resident of Borivali, who has cancelled all his commitments for the cause said that "my love for elephants took me to the site as soon as I heard of the elephant's condition". The media professional added that "we are few volunteers out here, helping out with everything. We need as much help possible".

"Currently, we are waiting for Dr Kushal Sarma, a veterinary specialist for elephants to arrive from Assam. He will suggest the future course of action. In the meantime, Dr Yeduraj who is with Wildlife SOS, Agra, and also treats elephants is coordinating with the vet Dr Prakash Khangal on site," said Menezes.

It is the duty of the Animal Welfare Board of India to provide steps as the Board may think fit for amelioration of animals by encouraging or providing for, the construction of sheds, water-troughs and the like and by providing for veterinary assistance to animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.  However, we have not seen them in action in any case.


 
AMTM is still looking for volunteers so please contact them at ganesh@amtmindia.org or #savebijlee on twitter. 

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