The application is a part of Greenpeace’s ongoing 'Junglistan' campaign. The campaign is based on a recent Greenpeace India study that has determined that coal mining in just 13 coalfields in Central India threatens over 1.1 million hectares of forest- that’s almost twice the area of India's top five metros combined! There are over 40 coalfields in Central India and more coal blocks are being lined up for auction, so the area of forest that stands to be destroyed is phenomenal. The endangered tiger, other wildlife and lakhs of forest dwellers stand threatened by the mining. The campaign began in July with a petition asking the Prime Minister to put an end to the coal mining in forests. Over 9,00,000 people have signed the petition till date. However, the PMO has repeatedly declined meeting the Greenpeace representatives, and acknowledge the plea of the people who have signed the petition. Greenpeace campaigner Brikesh Singh’s efforts to meet the Prime Minister at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad did not meet any success as he was denied access.
Understandably, the current central government is running on a live-by-the-day strategy. It is sandwiched between pleasing the allies and pulling through strategic policy decisions (read FDI) to dodge the opposition’s questions on latest unearthed scams. Greenpeace’s Junglistan campaign not only focuses on saving the green cover but also is a pointer to Coalgate and the dangerous consequences due to unabated coal mining.
In this context an attempt to create a viral on social media seems to be the only way to add more support and gather momentum around the campaign. In an interview with this citizen journalist, published separately on merinews, social media officer of Greenpeace, Akshey Kalra, had revealed that the international NGO has recently strengthened its Digital media team in India. The ten-member team in its Bangalore office now has a mammoth task of generating attention in numbers enough to wake up our prime minister.
When asked about how they will measure the success of the application, the Greenpeace team couldn’t put a definitive number of 'shares' or 'like' they are targeting on their Facebook application. But given that our honorable prime minister does not speak much and the government is too busy to listen, it is understandable why Akshey’s team is, at the moment, clueless about the numbers they will need to get the authorities' attention. “The goal for the application is to reach out to more people with the message that the forests need us to stand by them and rescue them from inefficient mining practices. We will be able to track the response and the number of people it reaches through the next 2 months,” adds Ignatius Joseph, online media officer at Greenpeace India. We recommend that you to try the application and become a 'Jungle Hero', share it with your friends and add onto the number. It will be interesting to see exactly at what number our roar will be loud enough for the government to realize that they need to act.
Go to the Greenpeace India facebook page to access the "Forest Hero" application.