Conservationist Ananda Kumar, who created an SMS warning system to help workers live safely among elephants wins global recognition.
“It’s very difficult to make out elephants in the dark. It’s a huge animal and looks like a rock and will be standing very still when they notice people.” On the Valparai, high in India’s Western Ghats, tea and coffee companies have flattened 221 sq km
of prime rainforest for their plantations. The cleared land is now home to 70,000 workers, who live surrounded on all sides by the rugged, deeply forested Anamalai (Tamil for ‘elephant hills’).
“Elephants are strongly related to their ranges, this is scientifically established. It’s a part of their home, which is lost to plantations because of historical exploitation,” said Kumar, who has spent a decade working on a system of text messages, television
alerts and warning lights that keep track of elephants. The programme won the Whitley award for its novel and pragmatic approach to the elephant-human conflict, which kills 400 people and more than 100 elephants across India every year.
(courtesy report in The Hindu)
Watch a short film on the innovation made by Dr.Ananda Kumar