MK Stalin felicitates The Elephant Whisperers caretakers - Hindustan Times
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TN CM MK Stalin praises The Elephant Whisperers caretakers on Oscar win, issues cash prizes

Mar 15, 2023 01:09 PM IST

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin felicitated caretaker couple Bomman and Bellie from the Oscar-winning documentary The Elephant Whisperers. The government also announced several cash prizes for all the caretakers and elephant camps in the state.

The Elephant Whisperers picked up the Oscar for Best Documentary Short on Monday at the 95th Academy Awards. On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin met the caretaker couple Bomman and Bellie who are also the focus of the documentary along with young elephants Raghu and Ammu. The Tamil Nadu government also announced several cash prizes for the all 91 caretakers at the elephant camps in the state, as well as new upgrades for the facility. (Also read: Shah Rukh Khan sends big hug to The Elephant Whisperers and RRR teams for Oscar wins: 'Truly inspirational')

Caretaker couple Bomman and Bellie from Tamil Nadu are featured in the Oscar-winning documentary The Elephant Whisperers.
Caretaker couple Bomman and Bellie from Tamil Nadu are featured in the Oscar-winning documentary The Elephant Whisperers.

MK Stalin met up with The Elephant Whisperers' Bomman and Bellie who have been taking care of orphaned elephant calves at the state's camp. The Chief Minister was seen in a series of photographs with the couple as he handed them shawls, trophies and cheques for their dedication with the elephants.

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A tweet from the news agency ANI also stated that cash prizes from the CM Relief Fund would be allotted for the all the other elephant caretakers and money would be set aside for new facilities. "TN Govt announces 1 lakh each from CM Relief Fund for all 91 elephant caretakers in the 2 camps in the state, as a token of appreciation. Also allots 9.1 cr to build homes for mahouts. 5 cr allotted to develop 'Elephant Camp' in Anamalai Tiger Reserve." Another tweet also revealed that a new elephant camp with basic facilities would be built at Coimbatore Chavadi at the cost of 8 crore.

The Elephant Whisperers was directed by Kartiki Gonsalves and produced by Guneet Monga of Sikhya Entertainment. Kartiki and Guneet went on stage to accept the award. The director also thanked Bomman and Bellie, who belong to the Kattunayakar tribe, in her speech.

In a statement, the first-time filmmaker Kartiki had shared, "The documentary allowed me to speak about the sacred bond between us and our natural world- for the respect of indigenous communities and the empathy towards other living beings we share our space with. And finally for co-existence. Thank you to the Academy for recognizing our film, highlighting indigenous people and animals, to Netflix for believing in the power of this film, to Bomman & Bellie for sharing their sacred wisdom and finally, to Guneet my Producer, Sikhya Entertainment, and my entire team.”

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