While other celebrities are doing their bit for the environment, talking about global warming or posing as caged animals, Shahrukh Khan will be doing his bit telling the country about the hardships faced by the forest guard to protect country's wildlife.
"He is our nation's unsung national hero-the India forest Guard. He is a real life hero because he does this to save the jungle, and the animals that live there. Day in and day out he is matching with and battling powerful enemies-wildlife poachers and timber smugglers, and he is willing to lay down his life for this." Shahrukh Khan who has been roped in by an NGO will tell his fans.
But why the forest guard? Aneeta (Tykee) Malhotra of Sanskara Trust and Asian Conservation Awareness Programme (ACAP), the NGO which has launched this awareness campaign explains. "Forest guards because they are the ones who put themselves in danger to protect the wildlife and the forest, they deal with poachers, they are the ones reporting the troubles in the jungle. Moreover, forest guards in India are working without proper facilities," she says.
One might question the contribution of an awareness campaign on forest guards in sensitising the public towards their environment. Here is the catch, while Shahrukh speaks about the forest guard, the campaign asks people to help the forest guards by shunning wildlife products.
Aneeta says, "The general public is the consumer of those products which are manufactured from the depleting resources. There is a demand for ivory products, tiger products putting at risk many endangered species. Less of demand for such products will mean less of poaching, which would aid the forest guards."
The ad awareness campaign shall soon be seen on leading TV channels. Apart from these, the Airport Authority of India and the Ministry of Civil Aviation have also come forward to support the campaign which also will be shown at the domestic and international airports to reach to domestic and foreign tourists.
The message shall later also be flashed on billboards, hoardings etc to get across to all. The idea is to build awareness about trade in wildlife products and to influence the buying decisions of the public to protect endangered wildlife.
The wildlife conservation organisation has done similar campaigns in the past with celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah, Sachin Tendulakar addressing issues like trade in ivory products and tiger trade.