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People need to be educated about Tigers

Zeenia Vakil gave up a cushy job as a lawyer to actively canvass support for the tiger, whose number is steadily dwindling.

entertainment Updated: Mar 03, 2010 15:38 IST

Two months ago, Zeenia Vakil quit her job to do something more meaningful with her life. “There are too many people already doing what I was doing,” says the lawyer, who was working with Wadia Gandhi and Co before she decided to dedicate herself to saving the tiger. “I would rather help take forward a cause that doesn’t have the support of a majority; something that would help in the long run.”

A week ago, Vakil went to the Kanha Tiger Sanctuary to learn both sides of the story. “The people at the grassroot level need to be educated and made aware of how to live with the tigers and not fear them,” she points out.

She went to Kanha with the in tention of learning what the government was doing. Also, she wanted to hear the villagers’ side of the story to be able to educate them appropriately. “When we want to kill a tiger, do we ever stop to think why it turned into a man-eater?” The newly converted activist asks. “Taking land away from the villagers and giving it to the tiger for space is not the solution either.”

Acknowledging Aircel’s effort, she asserts, “What, ‘Stripey, The Cub’ on Facebook is doing, is brilliant. Flashing the number of tigers left has helped build awareness indeed.”

But ignorance is still widespread at the grassroot and Vakil will be touring villages to stop people from killing the national animal and selling their skin for as little as Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000, that later fetch lakhs. She urges concerned citizens to quit blogging and actively make a noise to save the tiger