Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 20 April 2024 8.05 AM IST

This corporate giant to protect wild animals in India; massive project launched


KOCHI: Corporate giant Reliance has announced a massive project to rehabilitate wild animals. Reliance Industries and Reliance Foundation launched the Vantara (Star of the Forest) project to focus on rescue treatment, care and rehabilitation of injured, abused and threatened animals in India as well as other countries.

By working with leading experts in animal care and welfare, Vantara has converted a sprawling 3000-acre space into a jungle-like environment that mimics the natural, enriching, lush and verdant habitat for the rescued species to thrive in.

The Vantara initiative, the first of its kind in India, has been conceptualized and birthed under the passionate leadership of Anant Ambani, Director on the boards of RIL and Reliance Foundation. Ambani is also spearheading Reliance's ambitious renewable energy business in Jamnagar, and, in that capacity, is responsible for leading Reliance's journey to become a Net Carbon Zero company by 2035.

Vantara is focused on creating best-in-class animal conservation and care practices including state-of-the-art healthcare, hospitals, research and academic centres. Within its programmes, Vantara also focuses on integrating advanced research and collaboration with reputed international universities and organisations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).

Over the last few years, the programme has rescued more than 200 elephants, and thousands of other animals, reptiles and birds from unsafe situations. It has undertaken initiatives in key species including rhino, leopard and crocodile rehabilitation.

Of late, Vantara has also taken part in foreign rescue missions in countries like Mexico, Venezuela etc. It recently brought in several big animals answering a call from Central American zoo authorities. All such rescue and rehabilitation missions are undertaken under strict legal and regulatory frameworks in India and internationally.

Speaking at the occasion, Anant Ambani said, "What started as a passion for me at a very young age has become a mission now with Vantara and our brilliant and committed team. We are focused on protecting critically endangered species native to India. We also want to restore vital habitats and address urgent threats to species and establish Vantara as a leading-edge conservation programme. We are delighted that our efforts have been recognised in India and internationally. Some of India's and the world's top zoological and medical experts have joined our mission and we have been blessed to receive active collaborations and guidance of government bodies, research and educational institutions. Vantara aims to partner with the Zoo Authority of India and other relevant government organisations in improving all the 150-plus zoos in India in terms of training, capacity building and animal care infrastructure. We hope Vantara becomes a beacon of hope globally and can showcase how a forward-thinking institution can help the global biodiversity conservation initiatives."

Explaining the philosophy that inspired him to establish Vantara, Ambani added, "Vantara is a combination of the age-old ethical value of compassion with the excellence of modern scientific and technological professionalism. I see Jeev Seva (animal care) as a seva towards the almighty as well as humanity."

Vantara has a centre for elephants and facilities for several other large and small species including lions and tigers, crocodiles, leopards, etc.

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