A High Power Committee (HPC) appointed by the Supreme Court suggested moving additional elephants and other animals from the northeast region to the Radha Krishna Temple Elephant Trust in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
The HPC, led by retired judge Deepak Verma, recommended transferring more animals to the trust, which is backed by Reliance Industries Limited.
The report further claimed that the Radha Krishna Temple Elephant Trust facilities, infrastructure and area are unparalleled in India and even in the world. So it would make sense to transfer more elephants and animals in need of rescue, care and treatment to the trust. The trust has a large area that can comfortably accommodate more animals requiring assistance.
The Tripura High Court formed the HPC, headed by retired High Court Justice Deepak Verma, on November 7 last year, while hearing a statement related to the transport of elephants from the northeast to Gujarat.
Radhe Krishna Temple Elephant Welfare Trust
The Radhe Krishna Temple Elephant Welfare Trust (RKTEWT) is a charitable trust registered under the Gujarat Charitable Trust Act 1950.
Its primary aim is to provide state-of-the-art facilities to animals that have been rescued, injured, abandoned or are victims of conflicts or abuses between humans and animals. The trust has received many elephants from various sources, including circuses, temples, and individuals unable to care for them.
In addition to caring for the elephants, the trust also aims to improve the lives of the mahouts and their families who accompany the elephants. The transfer of elephants to the trust within or between states requires the donor to comply with the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
The Chief Wildlife Warden of the donor elephant state is responsible for obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the CWLW in Gujarat for each transfer. Once the NOC is received, the donor can transport the elephant with the permission of the CWLW of the respective state.
The trust is not directly involved in obtaining permission from the Forestry Department but provides transport support where necessary.
The trust’s scientific approach to elephant welfare has been recognized and commended by the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka, and its work is one of the few of its kind in India.
Facilities and care povided for Elephants
The trust has developed a miyawaki jungle on over 500 acres of land. There are special tracks for the elephants to walk and graze. There are facilities like fans, fountains and accommodation for elephants. The place for accommodation is covered with rubber flooring.
There are 10 small ponds and 9 hydrotherapy pools on 100 acres of land. Hydrotherapy pools are useful for older elephants and elephants suffering from arthritis.
There are many full time and part time veterinarians who work at the trust. The elephants are also treated with Ayurvedic treatments. There are more than 300 mahawat. Padma Shri Kushal Konwar Sharma, a renowned veterinarian also known as the ‘Elephant Man of India’ visits this place every month.
There is a hospital for elephants with facilities of endoscopy machines, surgery, CT scan, hydraulic crane etc.
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