Plea on social media for support to douse Bandipur fire

Plea on social media for support to douse Bandipur fire

A screenshot of an invitation for volunteers to fight fire and to save nature in Bandipur.

People, including the member of the erstwhile royal family, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, are appealing for support to fight fire and to save Bandipur, to back the Forest personnel, striving to douse a forest fire in Bandipur. Messages have been posted and shared on social media.

It has to be noted that forest fire has reduced the flora and fauna to ashes on thousands of hectares of forests, up to Tamil Nadu and Kerala border on one side, and up to Nagarahole forests on the other side, since Friday.

Wadiyar’s message on Facebook reads: “Friends, The news of Forest Fires raging across Bandipur Tiger Reserve has been extremely painful to bear. According to estimates, some 20,000 acres of forest have been affected, with immense loss of flora and fauna. Such devastation of our ecological heritage is saddening, and indeed, drains the spirit.”

It reads: “The Forest department has requested for volunteers and help from the public in this hard time. You could send water bottles, glucose, medicine, (especially burn medicine), other firefighting requirements, food, and other supplies to the check post at the entrance of Bandipur. Please spread this news and let’s aid the Forest department to protect our forests”. (Sic)

The message goes with #bandipurforestfire, #preventforestfire, and #savebandipur. Wadiyar’s message evoked 984 reactions and 53 comments, and was shared by 1,162 persons, till 7.10 pm on Monday.

Shivashankar, an eco-activist, of ‘Lets Do It’, and others have been spreading a message with #forestfire, #Savebandipur, #Savebandipurfromforestfire.

It reads: “Request each of my friends to send an email to following IDs, and force the govt to act;,,,,,,,,,,”.

The draft of the letter reads: “Respected Madam and Sir, This is the need of the hour to involve our best of resources to put down the fire which is burning down Bandipur National Park over 24 hrs. Niligiris Biosphere is older than Himalayan range and home to numerous endangered species. Fire is now spreading towards the core tiger habitat, this will further fuel the existing conflict.”

It reads: “Please Save Bandipur! It has taken thousands of years to shape this beautiful forest and will never be the same again. Its heart-wrenching to see fire engulfing our beloved forest. Our Airforce is equipped with the best of technologies to tackle this calamity. Indian Air Force has MI-17 V5 Helicopters, which are equipped with firefighting equipment known as the ‘Bambi Bucket’, which can hold up to 3,500 litres of water! Kindly help our mother nature!.” (Sic)

A Facebook post by Priyadarshan Raje Urs, which is also shared by a few persons, reads: “I request Indian govt to bring firefighting aircraft and station them near Mysore airport so that they can respond to forest fires. As Mysore is surrounded by 3 national parks Bandipur, Nagarhole and Biligiri tiger reserve and one more park coming up in Madeshwara hills it’s very important to have such aircraft here.” (Sic)

Invitations are being circulated by various organisations and volunteers for volunteers to fight the fire and to save nature in Bandipur. Volunteers have been circulating their numbers to provide guidance, who wish to join them. Abhishek, a volunteer who is helping the Forest department at Maddur range in Gundlupet taluk, since Saturday, said, over 150 volunteers have already joined them. “Food and accommodation are being provided by the Forest department. More volunteers are needed to fight the massive fire,” he said.