In comparison with the previous year, donations increased more than 124 percent in just six months of this year.
Bengaluru: In just 6 months after Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) launched the ‘One Day Feeding’ and ‘Mrugalayakke Shramadhana’ schemes, donations to the park went up drastically from Rs.55 lakhs to Rs. 2.3 crores.
‘One Day Feeding’ and ‘Mrugalayakke Shramadhana’ give donators an opportunity to bear one day feeding cost of animals and to donate for the welfare of the park which has helped the park to mitigate the loss because of low entry ticket sales. With only two months of savings left, BBP adopted some creative ways to become sustainable and manage their biodiversity during lockdown. In this process, they ended up saving a lot.
The number of animal adopters increased from 299 to 1500 this year which helped BBP feed their zoo animals. Dr. K.S. Uma Shekhar, Veterinarian said, expenditure related to tiger is approximately 5 lakhs a year; however the adopter bears 1 lakh. This led to savings of 3 to 4 crore rupees.
Vanashree Vipin, Executive Director of BBP says that their motive was to spend less and save more for which they didn’t practice any new developmental works in the park with bare minimum maintenance cost spend, rationalization of feeding chart of animals and plants works by utilizing existing staff.
During the lockdown, most of the workers were involved in various harvesting activities within the biological park which helped them sail through the pandemic financially. Dinesh, Range Forest Officer of BBP says, “All animal keepers were involved in fodder harvesting in six months. Workers were divided into group of six to ten workers to carry harvesting of grass, fish etc., and weed control in the park. Total 3, 93,000 kilograms were harvested and a total savings of Rs. 36,50,000 was done.”
In addition to the donations the park authorities came up with several cash saving schemes to help maintain their status as a self-sustained park. ‘One Day Feeding’ option collected approximately more than Rs. 10 lakhs in donations in 6 months helped BBP to feed their animals.
According to the Executive Director, the BBP is planning to reach out government schools across Karnataka with the help of NGOs and media to educate students regarding animals’ welfare. This will be done through quizzes and other competitions after 10 to 15 days. The aim is to create awareness amongst the parents of these students.