news Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | March 28, 2015 | 09:36 am IST

London: A colourful autorickshaw race will be held in November this year in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to raise awareness for elephant conservation.

On November 3, around 30 colourfully decorated autorickshaws will race 500 km from Khajuraho to Kipling Camp in Kanha, Madhya Pradesh, to be the first to reach an elephant called Tara and raise one million pounds for the purpose of arresting the decrease in population of elephants.

The fund-raising adventure was announced by Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, at a reception at their London residence Clarence House on Thursday in the presence of Indian High Commissioner Ranjan Mathai and his wife Gita.

Ninety percent of the world's Asian elephants have been wiped out in the last 100 years.

Charles and Camilla are joint presidents of the Elephant Family charity, which was established by the latter's late brother Mark Shand, a conservationist who rescued Tara in India and wrote a bestselling book about it called "Travels on My Elephant".

Autorickshaw London

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, on an autorickshaw in London.

Elephant Family was founded by Shand in 2002 to save the Asian elephant, especially those in India, from extinction. Among the charity's patrons are Simon Reuben, who was ranked eighth in the recently published Global India Rich List, Cyrus and Priya Vandrevala and Gaurav Burman.

Shand had an unusual attachment for Tara. After his death, Camilla touchingly wrote in Britain's Times: "They say elephants never forget. Tara never forgot him and neither will we."

An Elephant Family booklet said: "The race will not merely be a test of speed, but of agility, wit and character."

The rickshaws will speed past the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho and through the Bandhavgarh National Park before arriving at Kipling Camp. There will be a team of two in each rickshaw.

The money raised from the autorickshaw race will go to the Elephant Family.


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