Yogi – A School Mascot
Many years back, a friend had approached us for help. She was a part of a non-profit organisation that used to help animals in distress. She sought help for an orphaned elephant they had named Yogi.
Yogi was a couple of months old. And we were told that as babies, elephants are totally dependent on mother’s milk for full 2 years. So, Yogi was completely on Cerelac and Lactogen diet. And though he was a baby, he would consume 4 tins of Cerelac and of Lactogen everyday. Her organisation was going broke feeding Yogi.
We thought of a novel solution and approached our daughter’s school for help. School requested all children to contribute a tin each of Cerelac and Lactogen for Yogi. Over the next 2 days, we had 2000 tins each of these baby foods. The school also adopted Yogi as the school mascot.
Orphaned Elephants – Yogis in my life
That one incident sensitised me about orphan elephants. Soon after, I decided to make a trip to see Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka. Department of National Zoological Gardens, Sri Lanka, runs this facility. It supports close to hundred orphaned elephants today. I shot these images there.
The site filled me with admiration for the Sri Lankan government’s gesture. True, that today it has become a tourist attraction and these elephants are supported by funds generated from these tourists, but the Sri Lankan government’s gesture when they started the orphanage was laudable.
I believe till the time ordinary citizens like us, commonplace institutions like my daughter’s school and governments of countries continue to show care for other species that co-habit our earth, there is hope for life; and for peace.
In case you would like to read more about Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, click here.