Save Our Tigers


Aircel Limited

 
Over the course of eight years, partnering with various organizations on the ground, Aircel planned and executed many initiatives with the aim of aiding in the seemingly impossible task of tiger conservation.

INTRODUCTION

Over the years, tiger numbers in India have decreased sharply. They fell from close to 40,000 in the year 1900 to 3,500 in the year 2000 to 1,411 in 2008. This was a tragic state of affairs for a number of reasons. Aircel felt it apt to pursue the cause of tiger conservation as part of its CSR when the government census revealed that numbers had dwindled to 1,411.

Over the course of eight years, partnering with various organizations on the ground, Aircel planned and executed many initiatives with the aim of aiding in the seemingly impossible task of tiger conservation. However, in 2014, a new census revealed the increase in tiger numbers to 2,226. Aircel is proud to be a part of a select group of organizations that had lead the charge that made such an outcome possible. Aircel intends to continue the journey and its efforts towards conservation.

In 2008 that the tiger population in India was 1,411 and there was a very real possibility that the tiger would be extinct well within our lifetime. The situation was so dire, with poaching and encroachment issues, action needed to be taken or it would most certainly be too late for the tigers in India. India, given that it has the highest number of tigers worldwide, is also the most important front when it comes to the preservation of tigers. It is a common misconception that India can get rich first and then work on environmental degradation. A stable economy can exist with a healthy environment. Within this context, the tiger, in known as an umbrella species in academia where the health of the tiger population is indicative of the health of the forest.

FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGY

Aircel follows two broad approaches, ‘Mass Awareness’ and ‘Capacity Building’ to ensure successful implementation and execution of the projects undertaken. Several measures were taken to improve the situation including engaging and involving the community, protecting buffer zones, modernizing the Forest Department, advocating and getting political parties more involved and accountable towards the campaign.

ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACT

Increase in Tiger numbers from 1,411 (2008) to 2,226 (2014).
  • WWF- Better Mobility & equipment for Anti-Poaching activities & Prevention of human-Animal conflict
  • WTI- 9 Primary Response teams created; awareness meetings & workshops for forest guards; 28 villages and a population of 70,000 reached & 18,000 children across 18 schools educated on the importance of conservation
  • Sanctuary Asia- Sensitised over 3 million children across 225 schools in India; Government outreach; Collected over 10 million signatures as part of Signature Drive & via KFT Express; reached out to 95 villages (20,000 people) in Ranthambore in a year
  • NDTV- training frontline forest guards; Deployed 41 Rapid Response units in 35 tiger reserves; revamped over 1167 anti-poaching camps across tiger reserves; collected over 10 Cr in public donations; Formation of 6 point agenda for tiger conservation; 1.1 million signatures for tiger petition ; Garnering political will & setting the state Government agenda

FUTURE DIRECTION

Aircel will focus on the issue of habitat conservation and illegal wildlife trade for 2016-17. The company has already begun conducting panel discussions and knowledge seminars across the length and breadth of the country to derive a long-term mechanism that will help mitigate the key conservation issues at hand.

The CSR framework at Aircel called the ‘3Es Framework’ covers the most pressing issues – Employability, Education and Environment. This along with the company’s triple bottom-line approach – Social (education & water sanitation), Economic (employability & skill development) and environmental (conservation), serves as a guiding force for any of the CSR initiatives undertaken at Aircel.
Aircel is India’s fifth largest and fastest growing GSM mobile service provider with a subscriber base of 65.1 million. Aircel is a pan India operator with a presence across 23 circles. The company offers voice & data services ranging from postpaid and prepaid plans, 2G and 3G services, Broadband Wireless Access (BWA), Long Term Evolution (LTE) to Value-Added-Services (VAS).