India's Last Dancing Bear - Raju Is Finally Set Free With Out Any Legal Action Against Offenders, Why? - Abhishek Kadyan
18 December 2009, Bangalore, India – The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and the state forest departments, Delhi headquartered non-profit Wildlife SOS, with its US and UK arms, and a coalition of international conservation and animal rescue groups, Free the Bears Fund (FTB) from Australia, International Animal Rescue (IAR) from the UK and One Voice Association France, is about to make animal welfare history by taking the last dancing bears off the streets of India - bringing an end to a centuries-old tradition that inflicted terrible cruelty on thousands of highly endangered sloth bears.
Today, at Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre near Bangalore, one of the last dancing bears in India was surrendered to Wildlife SOS by his owner. The rope that kept Raju the bear captive as a ‘dancing bear’ for nearly three years was removed, and he started on his way to a new life. Likewise, his owner Raje Saab was given a rehabilitation package which will allow him to earn a better living for his family, and will ensure that his children are educated.
Till now over 600 bears have been rescued and given a permanent home and lifetime care in Wildlife SOS rehabilitation centres throughout India. This is simultaneous to providing a rehabilitation package for the bear handlers, known as kalandars, so that they can learn new trades and continue supporting their families after surrendering their bears. For the first time Kalandar children are able to attend school and receive an education sponsored by the Kalandar Rehabilitation Project.
Dancing Bears in India -- Final Curtain
MINISTRY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EMPOWERMENT
New Delhi, the 14th October, 1998
G.S.R. 619(E).— Whereas the High Court of Delhi in C.W.P No. 890/91 by its order dated 21st August, 1997 directed that "the Central Government may take up the notification dated 2-3-1991 for consideration afresh" and "take into consideration such material as may be available with it or it may choose to collect through any of the authentic agencies or such other agency or committee of experts as it may choose to appoint";
Whereas in pursuance of the order of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, the Central Government constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Additional Inspector General of Forests (Wildlife) to have a fresh tool at the notification G S P No.252 dated 2-3-1991 in the light of the additional material available with any authenticated agencies such other agency persons;
Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, 1960 (59 of 1960), and in supersession of the Notification of the Government of India in the erstwhile Ministry of Environment and Forests G.S.R. No. 252 dated 2-3-1991 and G.S.R. No. 485 dated 7-8-1991, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Central Government hereby specifies that the following animals shall not be exhibited on trained as a performing animals, with effect from the date of publication of this notification, namely