The Save Our Tigers campaign was born out of a partnership between WCT, NDTV, Aircel and Sanctuary Asia. WCT’s role in the campaign was that of a conceptualiser and implementer. Now in its fourth season, the campaign has reached over 100 million people worldwide and generated INR 95 million in funding for tiger conservation. Support has poured in from all corners – the Chief Ministers of various states and celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have appeared on television to voice their support for the campaign. Lakhs of children have participated in rallies, calling for the protection of India’s national animal. The Save Our Tigers campaign has been an unprecedented success, bringing tiger conservation to the forefront of India’s consciousness.
In the first year, a major public awareness campaign was held using hoardings and a 12-hour telethon on December 12, 2010. Donations were collected from the public with an end goal of creating Tiger Defence Units (TDU) in important tiger reserves across the country. A TDU would comprise:
During Phase I of the campaign, 19.9 million INR was raised through public donations and Hemendra Kothari, Chairman, WCT contributed 25 million INR as well. The money (a total of 45 million INR) was used to develop conflict-mitigation units called Rapid Response Units.
A Rapid Response Unit (RRU) is a conflict-mitigation unit designed and deployed by WCT in parks across India.An RRU comprises:
During season 1, 43 RRUs were donated to 30 tiger reserves.
WCT designed Rapid Response Units that have been donated to forest departments across India
In 2012, a second 12-hour telethon was broadcasted on NDTV, reaching over 100 million in 74 countries. A total of 50.1 million INR was raised and the money channelled towards equipping Anti-poaching Camps and strengthening local NGOs as part of Phase II of creating TDUs in various parks.
Guards live, year-round, in remote huts called Anti-poaching Camps (APCs). These huts are placed so that guards can patrol the area around them but they lack even the most basic necessities such as electricity and a facility for clean water. Our guards needed our support and WCT responded.
We worked with forest departments to put together a list of the items needed in an APC. Using funds collected from the Save Our Tigers campaign, we equipped 731 APCs in 11 critical forests.
Wildlife Protection Society of India
Funds were provided to the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), an NGO focussed on tackling the illegal wildlife trade, to conduct the following activities:
Wildlife First was roped in to provide field training to frontline forest staff on:
They also committed to:
The Satpuda Foundation, an NGO working in the Central Indian highlands, joined the campaign with a commitment to:
Tiger Research and Conservation
The Tiger Research and Conservation Trust (TRACT), an NGO working in the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve was brought in to:
In Season 3, the focus turned to policy. We created a Tiger Agenda and the people of India rallied for it to be passed. Over 1.1 million people signed the petition and their support resulted in the Chief Ministers of five states accepting the agenda.
Here's what we asked for:
The current season of Save Our Tigers is all about spreading awareness and drawing attention to the critical issues facing our national animal.
We’re also highlighting some incredible wildlife defenders. These brave individuals were felicitated on Global Tiger Day 2015: