From around 40,000 at the turn of the last century, there are very few tigers left in India today. The current tiger population of India constitutes over 50% of the world’s tiger population. The coming years will be extremely crucial for the long term survival of the tiger.

NDTV-Aircel Save Our Tigers campaign is a social campaign to create awareness about the alarming state of the tiger in the Country at the moment, encourage tiger conservation and save tigers from extinction. The campaign is supported by India’s Superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Sanctuary Asia, India’s premier wildlife magazine and the Wildlife Conservation Trust, an organisation deeply involved in conserving tiger habitats across the country.

The campaign provided a platform to tiger conservationists for issues to be raised, engaged key stakeholders in discussions and provided concerned citizens an opportunity to voice their opinions and contribute to the cause. Our campaign to save our tigers ignited people across the country. There were marches, cycle rallies and signature campaigns demanding that the government act before it's too late.

A series of special tiger programmes were telecast to highlight the situation and challenges facing our national animal. The campaign in its first year itself, helped bring forth a common agenda for tiger conservation which was presented to Chief Ministers of key tiger states, who committed their support to take affirmative action on-ground.

The first year of the NDTV-Aircel Save Our Tigers campaign culminated with a 12-hour live telethon. During the telethon, the best minds on tiger conservation appealed to political leaders and the general public to do whatever they could to help safeguard the most charismatic of big cats on Earth. As a welcome result of the campaign, several prominent political leaders, artists, singers, students, conservationists and celebrities came on air and pledged to protect the tiger.

The Telethon was an overwhelming success and almost 5 Crore rupees was raised through donations. Hemendra Kothari, Chairman, DSP Blackrock Investment Managers Pvt. Ltd. and Chairman, Wildlife Conservation Trust pledged to match viewer donation rupee to rupee.

During the first year, the funds collected were used to provide over 35 Rapid Response Units [RRU] to Tiger Reserves across the country. Each Rapid Response Unit had over 30 types of different equipment specially tailored for tiger protection including a customized Mahindra Bolero Camper Vehicle and Hero Motorbikes.

The Second Year was launched with a Car Rally organized by Aircel and the Constitution Club of India. Parliamentarians and Celebrities raced through the streets of the capital to raise awareness for the campaign.

Programming in the 2nd year looked to widen the range of features. NDTV tested out the first of the Rapid Response Units to get an idea as to how this unit would soon become a key part of wildlife protection. Investigative stories and specials were broadcast from tiger reserves across the country, trying to seek out answers to the diminishing plight of our national animal. NDTV’s leading team of environmental correspondents like Vikram Chandra, Swati Thiyagarajan, Gargi Rawat, Rubina Khan Shapoo, Ketki Angre and Anjilee Istwal travelled to remote locations to bring us exclusives, impact stories and special original features.

Special promos and promotional hoardings were created to promote the date of the second live 12 hour Save Our Tigers telethon. On July 15th 2012, Amitabh Bachchan returned to host the only telethon to be broadcast from an outdoor location. He went that extra mile by speaking to the villagers living on the periphery of Ranthambore National Park to understand their problems.

The biggest names in conservation joined us on one stage to educate the audience and to endorse our cause. In Year-II, the campaign aimed to create the "Tiger Defence Unit" in major tiger reserves across the country. We raised almost Rs 6 Cr in pledges thanks to viewers, corporates and celebrities from across the country. The funds raised are being utilized for:
  • Monitoring the RRUs
  • Intensive Training of RRU teams
  • Strengthening the guard outposts with Anti-Poaching Camps
  • Supporting NGOs
  • Additional RRUs

5,81,00,000

The donations have closed now. WCT is in the process of sending receipts for all donors.

Celeb chat

You asked, Amitabh Bachchan answered your Qs

Highlights

12 hours of photos, videos and updates from the Save our Tigers Campaign.

From among the many photos sent to us by our surfers, Amitabh Bachchan picked the best for the Tiger Wall of Fame at Ranthambore.

If you have any videos or photos to share, send them to us here.

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