Thursday, April 25, 2013
Villagers hope Amitabh Bachchan to come forward to rescue Gir Lions.
Ahmedabad: Villagers in Sasan are hoping that brand ambassador of state’s tourism, Amitabh Bachchan, will come to the rescue of Gir Lions. They want the superstar to take up the cause of translocation of lions.
“We will urge Amitabh Bachchan to take part in our movement to prevent translocation of lions to Madhya Pradesh,” said Laxman Dhokiya, Sarpanch of Sasan.
“We will urge him to use social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook to take up the cause. He will be able to reach many more people to sensitise them about why lions shouldn’t be moved.”
Five villages of Sasan, meanwhile, observed a bandh on Thursday to protest the translocation of lions. Groups of concerned citizens gathered at several places to submit a written memorandum to the mamlatdar.
The bandh was supported by Gypsy Association, Forest Guides Association and Gir Hotels Association. Head of the hotels association, Mukesh Mehta, said that they are with the villagers in the protest. “But we couldn’t close the hotels, as bookings were done well in advance. Concerns about translocation of the lions are genuine,” said Mehta, adding that they are trying to sensitise tourists about the issue. “We have had small stickers and posters on vehicles, so that tourists can also know of the issue.”
Though business in the five villages – Bhatched, Haripur, Sasan, Chitrod and Bhojde – was affected, tourists continued to visit the sanctuary.
Reports, meanwhile, suggest that locals are keen to be party to the review petition that the government will file challenging the apex court’s order. “Translocation is Supreme Court’s decision and as such, we can’t go against it. But the government can definitely challenge the order and present its case in a much better way,” said Bhikhubhai Jethva, Khambha Nature Club.