Friday, 13 January 2006

Kalachakra: Wildlife stall draws huge crowds at Buddhist religious meet in Amaravati

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Jan 12: Even as Dalai Lama preached about peace and non-violence, his followers set up a special stall outside the Kalachakra venue spreading the message of love towards animal and plant life.
The stall of the Wildlife Trust of India is drawing an enthusiastic response from Buddhist pilgrims. Tibetan Conservation Awareness Campaign project officer Passang Lamo Bhutia told this correspondent that the Dalai Lama initiated the Tibetan conservation awareness campaign last year and since then they had been spreading the message of love for animals and plants.
According to her, the main objective of the campaign is to create awareness among the Tibetans and people from Himalayan region about wildlife conservation especially to stop illegal wildlife poaching and trade in endangered species like tiger and leopard.
She said "Chiru", a Tibetan antelope, was being killed in large numbers for its wool used in the weaving of Shahtoosh shawls. “A weaver needs the wool of three chirus to make one shawl,” Passang said.
The Central government has long ago banned killing of chiru for wool. But the animal is still killed by poachers.
The Dalai Lama has been very vocal in his speeches and teachings during the Kalachakra to stop this trade and thus people are coming forward to pledge in not indulging or use any such wildlife trade, she pointed out.
Miss Passang Lamo Bhutia hails from Kalmpong, West Bengal and she is assisted by a young Tibetan Environmental Researcher Tsering Dorjay. The Project is co-sponsored by Dr Barbara Maas of Care For the Wild, UK. Dr Maas will be in Amaravathi for two days from January 14. She will deliver a talk on wildlife conservation on January 15.

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