Much has been spoken about the Delhi zoo accident already. I think it’s unfair on the part of the media to call the animal a ‘killer’ tiger. He did what the nature has programmed him to do when he feels threatened. The victim is said to be mentally unstable, so its unfair on the so called animal lovers’ part to put the blame on him too. Those who were around were also blamed, but I think that is also unfair because you can’t expect a common man to have learned about the animal behavior and acted accordingly.
But the zoo authorities should have done something. To have somebody trained to handle such situations if something like this tragic situation happened. It seems that there was a trainer for this tiger who knew the animal inside out but he also couldn’t get to him through the crowd (I wonder there is no other entrance for the trainer to approach the tiger than through the crowd). The tiger seems to have waited for about 10 minutes I hear and that’s plenty of time to get his attention away.
On a larger perspective, its time to think about the very concept of zoo or bringing in the wild animals to common places (elephants included).
Every generation blaming their next has become a general practice. Complaining that they lack the morals or compassion and are self-centered. It’s the same story that you would have heard from your elders and it’s the same thing you would tell about your younger ones. And I think it is utter stupidity and I believe that every generation has had their good and bad.
A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor who is a student, came to me asking for help to raise funds for Naishana, a little girl who is an excellent student in her school but deaf and mute. A famous ENT surgeon had told her parents that he could help her gain the sight and sound but the surgery would cost seven lakh rupees. Naishana’s family didn’t have that much money since they were poor and her father is a cardiac patient. The Kerala chief minister had ‘referred’ her case to be taken care of under a government health scheme, but the department refused to treat her because the scheme is not available for children more than 5 years old (no comments on this – long live politicians and bureaucracy). But people around them – friends and neighbors – didn’t give up and they formed a committee to help raise funds for this child.
So this young man, my neighbor, came to know about this girl through the newspaper. He was touched by the story and the situation of this little girl. He called up her family, using the phone number that was published in the newspaper, and he was even more sad when he talked to her father. Then he decided to raise funds for Naishana on his own. He started pooling in money from his family, his brother, friends and neighbors. He took the newspaper clipping with him everywhere he went. When he went to college, he would ask his friends. When he went for a family function, he would ask his cousins. And so on.
He said he didn’t want to post it in Facebook, because he believed that it would end up in a few likes and shares and there was no assurance that the actual money would come through. He shared an experience when he asked some people for help and they told him “I will make a bank transfer straight to their account” before he didn’t even mention the bank account number to make the transfer. So when he asked, “so wouldn’t you need the bank account number?” they would casually ask for it as if they missed that part. His brother chipped in to help too and himself went down to see the family once. And finally, today I got a message from his brother saying that together they could collect Rs. 30000 and they made the cash transfer today.
Naishana is no friend of the Raphael brothers. She wasn’t from the neighborhood, no cousin and neither was she from the same religion. Yet, these young men, the younger one who told me the story is a student, took her story to heart and together they made a change. Ciril Raphael and Sunil Raphael, I’m proud of you my young friends. I think the others around our neighborhood or anywhere else has something to learn from you guys. More power to you.