Aindrita-Diganth donate mechanical elephant to Mysuru temple - Hindustan Times
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Aindrita-Diganth donate mechanical elephant to Mysuru temple

Apr 12, 2024 01:14 PM IST

Actor-couple Aindrita Ray and Diganth Manchale take this initiative to protect animal rights

Actors Aindrita Ray and Diganth Manchale, known for their proactive steps around environmentalism, recently donated a mechanical elephant to a temple in Mysuru. This is after actor Parvathy Thiruvothu also made headlines for gifting a mechanical elephant to the Irinjadappilly Sri Krishna Temple in Kerala last year. In a conversation with us, Ray shares the couple’s heartfelt motivation behind this move.

Aindrita Ray and Diganth Manchale are known for their activism towards animals and the environment
Aindrita Ray and Diganth Manchale are known for their activism towards animals and the environment

The elephant named Shiva, which was publicly revealed on Tuesday, the auspicious day of Ugadi, at the Jagadguru Sri Veerasimhasana Mahasamsthana Math, was placed as a replacement for real animals who often suffer a difficult fate in captivity.

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Shiva is three-metres-tall and weighs 800 kilograms
Shiva is three-metres-tall and weighs 800 kilograms

Drawing upon the motivation behind this move, Ray recalled the tragic story of the elephant Joymala, which had sent a ripple of concern around animal welfare in the county. The 38-year-old actor shares, “I was closely following the Joymala incident which occurred last year in Kerala. It inspired us (Ray and Manchale) to take this step. Animal care is something that both of us hold close to our hearts. We believe, animals belong in the wildlife and are not meant to be used for our purposes — it’s ideally not right.”

She adds, “We decided to donate a life-sized mechanical elephant to the Mysuru temple to inspire more temples to follow suit. The elephant is named Shiva, and he is three metres tall and weighs about 800kg. Instead of a real elephant — the mechanical one will now be used for festival celebrations, without any harm to humans.”

The couple, which took the initiative alongside People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), also feels that it will be cost-effective in the long run. The Garuda (2022) actor further elaborates, “It’s expensive to keep an actual elephant. One has to feed and maintain it, while also paying for a caretaker. But a mechanical one won’t take up such costs.”

Ask the actor if they plan to do similar initiatives in future and Ray shares, “We are always on the lookout for animal welfare campaigns. We would love to donate more such mechanical elephants to temples across the country.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Aayushi Parekh writes on entertainment, music, lifestyle, food, culture, art, fashion, beauty, trends, city, events etc. for the daily entertainment and lifestyle supplement, HT City Bengaluru

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