Mumbai: From the Sunderbans to Gir to Wayanad and over hundreds of other forests across the country, India’s rich flora and fauna continues to stay protected thanks to the unsung frontline soldiers. For most part of their lives, they go unnoticed – as they operate with grave danger every step of the way. To shed light on their lives and protect their families, Dia Mirza an actor, producer and climate changemaker, is looking at playing a more pronounced role in supporting these Guardians of the Wild. As part of the Icons For Change initiative by Tring, and as Brand Ambassador of Wildlife Trust of India, she will garner support from the public, to come forward and help these heroes.
To illustrate the grave dangers that a frontline staff faces every day in the forest, Dia shares a few startling facts. A recent survey (WTI data from 200+ ex-gratia cases) shows that there are close to 35 per cent annual deaths due to animal attacks, close to 30 per cent of deaths due to humans poaching, illegal trading or even road accidents. Further, 82 per cent have no access to medical aid or equipment. An average distance to a nearest medical centre is 30 kilometres. These are hair-raising statistics if you compare it to any job or even an industry. What’s even concerning is that many deaths still go unreported due to limited coverage in dense forest areas. Dia said, “It saddens me even more that everyday their family is uncertain if they will come back home. In most cases, they are the only bread winners for their family.”
The forest staff and the rangers are ones who protect and save the country’s wildlife by putting their own lives at risk, even facing death. They are the people who have made the conscious choice of selfless service and devotion to protect flora and fauna, of which we are proud and which we depend on. Then why is there no protection for them? How can people rally around to support them and their families?
Tring – India’s largest celebrity engagement platform has joined hands with Dia Mirza and Wildlife Trust of India, in the mission to jointly protect the frontline staff and their families. For 20 years, Wildlife Trust of India has been running India’s pioneering supplementary accident assurance scheme for frontline forest staff who suffer permanent disability or death on duty.
Here is how you could help the families. Get on to Dia Mirza’s profile on www.tring.co.in and choose a medium to donate. As gratitude towards your generous contribution, you will receive a live video call, personally recorded video message, or mention of your name on an Instagram post put up by Dia herself.
“I urge all of you watching or reading this to act now and together we will protect the wild as we should,” said Dia Mirza.
The Icons For Change initiative by Tring includes Taapsee Pannu, Tamannaah Bhatia and now Dia Mirza – pursuing their respective missions. The celebrities collaborate with Tring, a tech-based engagement platform, to raise awareness and mobilise funds for a cause close to their heart.
Join Dia’s initiative today to help raise funds for the forest staff and their families, as there is no better time than now to protect the guardians of the wild.