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Awareness programmes to be held across the country during Wildlife Week

NOIDA, October 1, 2013: Students across the country will be a part of the special series of awareness activities on the occasion of the annual wildlife week beginning tomorrow. The Animal Action Education programme with the theme ‘Elephants, Never Forget’ - retained in view of the upcoming International Elephant Congress and Ministerial Meet in New Delhi this November, will engage school children with issues on elephant conservation and welfare.

The IFAW-AAE is the biggest animal-centric educational programme, observed in 18 countries across the world. In India, IFAW-WTI has been conducting AAE since 2003. This year, as part of the AAE, activity packs providing information on elephants and activities for schools have been produced in English and Hindi, in addition to a few regional languages.

A painting submitted by a student for last year's competion on the theme 'Elephants, Never Forget'

“One of the ‘megadiverse’ countries of the world with over hundreds of thousands species of animals and plants, coexisting with over a billion people, the importance of awareness on bio-diversity conservation in India cannot be undermined,” says Sheren Shrestha, Head - Awareness for Conservation.

“Through AAE, we are trying to spread that awareness and catch them young by reaching out to as many schools as possible. In at least six sites, the AAE is being conducted jointly by the Forest Department and WTI staff. Additionally, many volunteers have joined us to help the cause,” he adds.

The theme for AAE for the last two years has been Elephants, Never Forget, which was kick-started by Leonardo DiCaprio on October 1, 2012. The theme was developed with the intent of introducing the learner to the fascinating world of this giant mammal and the perils faced by it, which includes poaching, habitat fragmentation and human-elephant conflict. The programme includes giving free activity packs and a documentary which in turn act as guidelines for teachers to conduct the activities on their own as well. Role play, creative writing, painting and other modes act as the main proponents in helping the engage the kids.

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