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Be a Jungle Hero: Join the Junglisthan Campaign with Greenpeace
When the entire world is struggling to cope with global warming and every Indian state has been given a mandate to work on climate-related issues, Greenpeace's 'save the jungle' call holds much relevance. But apparently our Prime Minister has turned a deaf ear to the signature campaign put up by 9,00,000 people in the country. This is exactly why you need to turn into a 'jungle hero'.

THE OTHERWISE offline campaigners of Greenpeace are now taking the online route to convey their message. What seems like a last resort to draw attention to the trend of vanishing forests from India, Greenpeace India is launching a unique Facebook application today – Jungle Hero. In an exclusive demo session over Google hangout, Facebook volunteer Rachita Taneja runs this citizen journalist through the Facebook application made by Greenpeace to involve more people to the campaign.

“It’s the first time such an app is made in India,” says Rachita. The application is basically like any video that you see on your Facebook wall, this one particularly talking about a jungle hero who everybody is saluting to. The interesting part in the application comes where you can upload your photo or call in your Facebook profile picture, integrate it within the application and make yourself appear as a 'jungle hero' within the video storyline. While we have similar photo-based applications on Facebook, a video-based application is indeed new. However, whether the wow factor that comes across due to the novelty of the concept is also able to pass on the nobility of the message - is debatable.

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.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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