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Artists join WWF for cause of planet

New Delhi: A group of 30 odd artists from India and Sri Lanka are joining hands to propagate the cause of endangered species that inhabit earth and promote a green message.

A nature themed exhibition titled `Conservation on Canvas`, organised by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) India in collaboration with Religare Art is attempting to promote a greener world.

Noted artist Satish Gujral`s painting on tigers, too is on display. "Conservationists dream a different world, a better world. And, these art work will help the conservationists at the periphery to dream back the dream," says Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India.

The focus programmes supported by this exhibition are threefold, namely, corridor protection of animals in landscapes, especially tigers, and conservation of freshwater riverine species chiefly the river dolphins, gharials, otters etc, and other engendered species like snow leopard, red panda, and the Asiatic Lion among others.

"In corridor protection we try to work with the local communities all the stakeholders involved, the government, the village local bodies like the panchayats, the tribals living in the forests, among others, so that we convey the message that we wish to."

Madhur Das, Director, Conservation Alliances, WWF-India says, "We try weaning off the tribals of their dependence on forest and instead offer them alternative livelihood opportunities like art and craft. In the Sunderbans, we seek sustainability by letting the local community depend on solar power so as to not deplete natural resources for energy."

For dolphin conservation the environmental body is currently working in the 169-km stretch from Garmukteshwar to Narora in Uttar Pradesh. "Again we involve all stakeholders including the sadhus who reside on the banks of the river. In fact, in Harike, near the confluence of Beas, Ravi and Indus river, we have found the Indus River Dolphin as well," says Madhur.

The corridor project is currently operational in five states, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Himachal Pradesh.

Feroze Gujral, model and daughter-in-law of artist Satish Gujral has been chosen as the brand ambassador for the conservation project. "She`s related to the glamour world but not many people know that she does a lot of humanitarian and philanthropy work. And, she`s very keen on being part of this work," points out Madhur.

The exhibition has officially been made open for public viewing from April 20 till May 11, at the Religare Art Gallery, in Saket in south Delhi. Earlier the exhibition was unveiled at the Taj Mahal Palace, here in the presence of some of the participating artists and select guests to coincide with the World Heritage Day.

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