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Elephant Parade in India!

Elephant Parade recently concluded at the Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur as a follow-up event to Travels to My Elephant race. It is an initiative to save elephants by donating proceeds from collections to The Elephants Family, UK-based NGO. Travels to My Elephant race involves journey through Indian roads in painted auto rickshaws, vintage jeeps and RE bikes. While I have not seen this rally, but I had privilege to witness another one. Rickshaw Run! Rickshaw Run too is UK-based. Looks like Travels to My Elephant is inspired by the Rickshaw Run.

This is what Elephant Parade is as per their website:

Elephant Parade is a social enterprise and runs the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues. Created by artists and celebrities, each Elephant Parade statue is a unique art piece. The life-size, baby elephant statues are exhibited in international cities and raise awareness for the need of elephant conservation. Limited edition, handcrafted replicas and a select range of products are created from the exhibition elephants. 20% of Elephant Parade net profits are donated to elephant welfare and conservation projects.

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Elephant Parade at Albert Hall museum, Jaipur
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Elephant Parade at Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur

Baby size elephants made of polyester resins were hand painted by select artists and displayed as a pop up exhibition at Albert Hall museum in Jaipur.

If you haven’t heard or seen Albert Hall museum, here are two picture of Albert Hall museum, Jaipur. Albert Hall is incredibly beautiful building built in Indo-Sarascenic architectural style incorporating Mughal, Rajput and Gothic influences. Of all the things on display, Albert Hall Museum is famous for 2300 year old Egyptian mummy. It is one of the six Indian museums with Egyptian mummy.

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Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur.

 

Featured artists includes Dilip Sharma, Seema Kohli, Hanif Qureshi, Kalyan Joshi and famous fashion designer Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.

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Mosaic elephant designed by famous designers from India – Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla

 

Out of 101 elephants created for Elephant Parade, 22 elephants were on display at Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur. British Council and Prince Charles is also associated with Elephant Parade. After temporary exhibition in Jaipur elephants were  showcased in a similar manner in Delhi and Mumbai. Prince Charles unveiled Elephant Parade in New Delhi.

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Each of these baby elephants is unique and has some story behind its design.

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Here is a creation by artist Dilip Sharma which is inspired by Indian floral motifs used extensively in carpets and fabrics.

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This elephant has influence of Thanjore style of painting from Tamil Nadu, India.

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Tribal art by Lado Bai on one the elephants. Lado Bai is a Bhil artist from Madhya Pradesh, India.

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Some tourists were curious as to what this was all about since Elephant Parade was at the front lawn of Albert Hall museum. Albert hall museum is very popular tourist attraction among the domestic tourists.

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Some tourists found these elephants perfect for their social media profile pictures.

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On a personal note, such events are unnecessary to save elephants. Impression one gets is that this rally is about driving and experiencing a tuk-tuk in an “exotic” land. It is promoted as the adventure event, driven by a strong marketing as well as page 3 events! It’s not about saving elephants. Organization proudly proclaims that 20% of profit is contributed towards saving Asian elephants! What about 80% profits? Why a minuscule percentage is donated when the organization took birth for saving elephants? Sounds like smart business acumen to make quick money. Making money is easier when you attach a social cause! No one minds paying! I am doubtful if at all something conclusive is being done to save animals.

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Elephant Parade India showcased beautiful art on elephants created by popular & famous Indian artists and designers. Indian motifs and art styles transformed resin elephants into beautiful art pieces. What do you think?

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Elephant Parade India art on elephants Jaipur Jaipurthrumylens

 

This post appears as a part of weekly photo challenge temporary.

 

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52 thoughts on “Elephant Parade in India!

  1. This is a great initiative and what a shame, if I might add, that its a foreign entity that is bringing awareness to this grave issue, rather than an Indian one. But the initiative must be applauded just the same. Each of these elephant pics are so cute… I love the yellow Elephant. Even my daughter approves. Great post, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t want to feature this post but a fellow blogger prompted me to. I generally avoid posting negative sounding write ups or on issues that I don’t subscribe to. Because these elephants are beautiful, I thought let me share these pictures.

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      1. Pradita, this problem is everywhere now, not just in India. Thailand, Burma… I think such issues are really complicated these days. Yes, you are right. Things need to initiate right in our system.

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    1. Lalitha, I think some organisations make more noise than what they actually do. And some are good at marketing themselves. I guess we need to separate wheat from the chaff. I’m sure there are better ways of working for this cause. It reminds me ….every year women club in Jaipur organises car rally for raising environment conservation. I wish they would actually contribute rather than polluting with gasoline fumes! A walk would suffice… Such events are only for page 3!

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure… the perfect muse for a beautiful event. I agree with you completely. It seems a ridiculously small amount to donate as a token ‘action step’ to save the very animals they are celebrating…I don’t think people realize how close we are to only having fake replicas left to parade around in the streets or prop up at museums. All this to say, I admire what you are doing tremendously and glad I get to experience glimpses of your efforts here. I had a similar mission when I went to the DRC to work at a chimpanzee sanctuary for 6 months. Probably a very different experience, but if you are interested, I wrote about some of the adventure here (not meant to be a shameless plug, but it seems we have similar interests and spirits) : https://nataliebreazeale.wordpress.com/category/life-in-the-congo/

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    1. Natalie, I think human race is most dangerous race on this planet. Causing extinction of several species. Efforts like these are merely an eyewash aimed at improving public image. I would like to appreciate whatever you have done at DMC. I have read few of your stories. Looks like you were in a troubled country. Are you still involved in similar volunterring work?

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    1. Mick! I was not thinking of posting this one for some reasons… but then I went by your suggestion! Thanks to you…

      Frankly, their website talks so much about saving elephants and then when you come to know that only one fifth goes towards the elephant projects, it’s a real downer… and you realise that it’s just a money making enterprise donning a different robe. What surprised me was that even British Royal family is in a way associated with such organisation. I guess connections work! Probably you are a better judge in this!

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      1. Well, I went and looked at the website after reading your post, wondering whether the wording might have been a little unclear, perhaps. But no, it is exactly as you say. I am surprised, because the movement was begun by Mark Shand, who was really keen on elephant conservation.

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      2. I think there is a big lesson here about human psychology, Mick. I’m not sure if you are aware of this. People act on emotions and then justify with logic. Where as it should have been other way around! So people want to experience adventure (emotion) and they justify their action with social cause (logic). People who know this will use methods to make money!

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  3. Hi Arv, a few years ago here in California, we had an installation of the same kind of elephants over looking the ocean. Beautiful pieces of art. If that helps to resolve the issue with elephants to bring more awareness to it, I’m not sure. Anyways thank you for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, Cornelia. Great art work. I’m sure this will only spread information. That’s it. It can never help settle the problem because it doesn’t impact where the problem is. Appreciate sharing of your opinion, Cornelia.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am glad you posted these artistic pictures…it must be giving a boost to the artists in developing their talent and I hope they are earning something out of it. Isn’t it a good way of keeping the local art alive?
    I wonder why this Museum is still called ‘Albert Hall Museum!’

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    1. Absolutely, these are beautiful creations. I’m not sure if they are getting money or working for free to support cause but I’m sure they get good publicity which is important too! This building is called Albert hall because Prince Edward of UK visited Jaipur in late 1800’s and to commemorate his visit this building was built and later converted into museum

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  5. Great post. Elephants may be my favorite animal. It is sad so little of the proceeds go to elephant conservation causes. It does appear, however, that a portion of Elephant Family funds are used for lobbying, awareness campaigns, etc. which may not be counted in the dollars for conservation programs. I would hope so.

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    1. Marie, May be! I’m not sure..but apparently, if they were doing so they would have mentioned it as well. They clearly mention that they are driven by money making which is not bad. But I feel they are trying to convey that their focus is on saving elephants whereas in reality primary motive if profit generation, saving elephant seems to be secondary going by the proceeds they are donating! I can be wrong here of course, but that is one understands from their communication.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for you personal note on the true nature of corporate greed! As we discussed on your previous post, organizations with profit in mind do little to help save the elephants nor do they save starving people. However, I like the art work on the elephant statues. Some have almost a human expression on their faces. Thank you again, Arv!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have shared this post because the art work is worth sharing. Corporate greed is hard to escape these days. Companies first amass huge wealth by fleecing people and then they donate some money for social cause just for clean records. Just look at company like apple which sell their phone at three times the cost it cost to make and sell, And then they donate some part of profit as CSR activity. I think this will continue to be a trend for some years to come.

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    1. I have same opinion, Mike. You’ll find lots of colour in India – in clothing, jewelry….. In day to day life too! Most people who are visiting India often notice colours as most prominent thing in this country.

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  7. I agree with you about the business and glamour of social initiatives. Nonetheless, this event looks splendid. They may not save elephants, but they’ll hopefully promote artists. There are some very beautiful statues there. And Albert Hall looks amazing. We’ve kept Jaipur out of our travel plans because we’ve visited the main sightseeing places (my hubby especially is super bored now, having made multiple visits recently) but I think Albert Hall may help me convince him to travel to Jaipur!

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    1. I think we have to accept that people will find ways to make money. The very reason for sharing these images is because this art is worth sharing.
      I know it gets boring with multiple visits. But you might club it with some near by places and some resort located out of town. In which city do you reside?

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  8. I had forgotten what a capable photographer you are. The pictures are simply stunning. I wish I could have been there to see them in ” real life”. Its a great idea and rather novel. I love it and thank you for letting (me) know about it

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    1. Thank you! I’m sure you will be able to catch a glimpse in your country itself since it has British roots! But in Indian setting? well for that you got to fly here! Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

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  9. Thanks for sharing these brilliant shots of colourfully painted elephants. I never knew such a thing existed. I’m looking at them as pieces of art, and they really stand out as very striking and eye-catching against the Albert Hall Museum. Each elephant has been painted in a unique style. Not sure how well they serve the purpose of conservation but they do contribute as pieces of art for sure.

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    1. Exactly Esha. I also feel that these are excellent art pieces which gave me a reason to post it here. Even I was clueless about this organisation before this exhibition. Thanks for sharing your thoughts,Esha 😃

      Liked by 1 person

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