After traveling around the world and making a splash in Jaipur and Delhi, the global exhibition-cum-conservation initiative Elephant Parade arrived in Mumbai on Sunday. The exhibition was opened at the Gateway of India in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, who is the founder of People for Animals, and MP Poonam Mahajan, who is the Parade ambassador.
Comprising 101 sculptures of elephants, each designed by an artist, designer or a prominent personality, the Elephant Parade will be on display in the city for three weeks. Founded in 2006, the initiative seeks to build awareness about elephant conservation and raise money for the cause.
The Elephant Parade India’s goal is to draw attention to the dwindling population of the Asian Elephant and, in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India, to secure 101 elephant corridors across India. These corridors are vital connections between forested areas that allow elephants and other wild animals to move freely.
The money for the cause will be raised through the sale of elephant sculptures. “We would be happy if we managed to raise about half a million pounds. But what we are really hoping for is that companies will buy these as part of their CSR initiative, and that will be the beginning of a long-term relationship. Hopefully, we can convince them to add elephant conservation to their CSR programmes,” said Ruth Ganesh, the trustee of the Elephant Family, a UK-based charity that has joined hands with the Elephant Parade initiative.
Around the world, the Elephant Parade has collaborated with prominent people such as Richard Branson, Katy Perry, Tommy Hilfiger, Elizabeth Hurley and Bryan Adams. The Elephant Parade India has some well-known Indian artists and celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Manish Arora, Rekha Rodwittiya, Manish Malhotra and Brinda Miller. Over the course of the next three weeks, groups of the elephant sculptures will be on public display around the city, beginning with south Mumbai locations such as the Gateway of India, Priyadarshini Park, Palladium Mall, Siddhivinayak and the Mantralaya.
From March 8-11, the display will move to the central suburbs, in R City Mall, Ghatkopar, Phoenix Marketcity Kurla and the Grand Hyatt in Kalina, with a display at Reliance Jio Gardens in the Bandra-Kurla Complex from March 9 to 11.
From March 14-18, the Elephant Parade will be in the western suburbs —- Carter Road Beach and Amphitheatre, Bandra Fort, Infiniti Malls in Andheri and Malad, Taj Land’s End in Bandra and the Bombay Arts Society in Bandra.
“We have chosen to make them accessible to the public so that people can feel free to touch them and take photographs. We want this to be for everyone,” said Ganesh.