On a bright sunny morning on February 3 2012 in Bangalore, amidst green surroundings, children corners and an unusual sense of solitude in the middle of a bustling city, more than 650 children assembled at Bal Bhavan in Cubbon Park for a day of celebration and fun – Celebrating the tiger.
Kids for Tigers together with Sanctuary Asia and Aircel held the
annual Tiger Fest of the year; over 30 schools and hundreds of eager children looking forward to a fun-filled day away from classrooms and school routine – To spread the message of tiger conservation and saving the national animal. Cubbon Park famously known as one of the few ‘lungs’ of a bustling metropolitan city, where despite climbing pollution levels and an expanding population is one of the quick green getaways.
The event was in the entertainment area surrounded by joyrides, lots of trees and shrubs and endearing statues of wild animals giving an aimless stroller a double take just to make sure. Walking around my childhood memories suddenly came rushing back of all the birthday parties, Sunday outings and endless amounts of bhutta (corn on a cob), cotton candy and popcorn we used to gorge on.
The enthusiasm of school children displaying their work was wonderful. From small skits on stage including colourful costumes of tigers/poachers/hunters, to face painting on the lawns and stalls filled with dazzling wildlife art, posters, games etc, it was a fantastic day. The knowledge and resource coming from schools was impressive, the kids had taken a lot of effort to showcase their work in the best way possible.
Each school put up scroll hangings which displayed mother nature’s fury against the apathy of man, the woes of the tiger and educational snippets. All material displayed was used from recycled material, no thermocol and plastic allowed. Music from junk where plastic bottles, shoe boxes, extra wood parts were magically turned into guitars, drum sets, even the sound of crunching paper explained as music by a student was remarkable. Faces were painted not only to mimic tigers, but peacocks, butterflies, the birds and the bee’s were not left out either!
The purpose of the event was to showcase each person’s support and fight against poaching the big cat, how the tiger is responsible for maintaining the ecosystem and most of all the strength of children in showing their support for the cause.