Amitabh Bachchan helps animal rights movement
Amitabh Bachchan is a busy man. There is no denying it, as the famous actor has been in countless films and made numerous public appearances, and he has also added charity to his resume. Many people send money to family and loved ones in India and other countries, and the story of Bachchan's charities can be inspirational.
No stranger to helping others, Bachchan usually believes in true, anonymous charity – but he occasionally breaks his silence and lets the public in on his giving. Bachchan donated 25 lakh for the Plan India charity, designed to help children. In his case, the donation was for a young girl.
"Normally do not announce charity, but this issue was important keeping recent happenings against women," Bachchan tweeted in February 2013, according to the Hindustan Times.
More recently, the actor also used his twitter account to do some more good. A call-to-action tweet for all animal-lovers was sent out near the end of June, when Indian working elephant Biljee collapsed on the streets of a Mumbai suburb. Only several charitable organizations, notably Animals Matter to Me and Wildlife SOS, and a few well-intentioned citizens responded to the elephant's needs. The slow public response didn't sit well with Bachchan, and he donated to the cause, and sent out a string of tweets, which helped launch a campaign to save the animal's life.
Biljee, and the Indian working elephant
There is a long history in India of the working elephant. Aside from animals found in the wild, India is home to a large population of domesticated elephants. The creature is revered in the country due to a cultural and religious significance, and many people have tailored the elephant's skills and appeal to other means.
Biljee was one of many begging elephants. Owners use their elephant's cultural and religious significance to raise money from the public, and begging elephants are a common sight in city streets.
The elephant Bachchan took an interest in was a 54-year-old female, and on June 12 she collapsed on the side of a street. Her condition worsened, and she died a few weeks later while in the care of several Wildlife SOS veterinarians, according to National Geographic. When the elephant first began experiencing health problems, it was Bachchan's tweet that drastically increased public awareness. He was later praised by the members of Wildlife SOS, for his help in the attempt to save Biljee's life. The charity credited the actor for providing the support needed to give extended care to the working elephant.
The two veterinarians sent to help Biljee, Dr. Yaduraj and Dr. Ajay, were attempting to save her for several weeks, but ultimately were not successful. Dr. Yaduraj was working with bears and elephants from a Wildlife SOS facility, according to Kartick Satyanarayan, the CEO of the charity. All those involved where extremely worried about the elephant's health, and blamed the conditions and previous treatment as major causes.
"Her condition remained critical and her prognosis was not good," said Yaduraj. "Long term and continuous neglect and abuse by her owner has had a profoundly negative impact on her health."
Wildlife SOS and Bachchan's support
Wildlife SOS was founded in 1995, and it is known for mostly ending the practice of street dancing bears, according to National Geographic. It also has a large Elephant Intensive Care facility, and it has treated many other working elephants in the past.
The charity received much support from Bachchan when it began working with Biljee. It is a great cause to look into for people who send money to loved ones. Wildlife SOS supports many causes related to India's animals, like tigers and bears, in addition to the elephant.
"Both captive and wild Asian elephants are in trouble, in fact they are endangered," said Satyanarayan. "Hundreds of working elephants succumb to abuse and neglect by private owners everyday."
Those abuses don't sit well with Bachchan, and he believes that they shouldn't with everyone else, either.