Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mission "Save the Yak"

World’s first ever Yak conservation project launched

The Himalayan Explorers, in collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd’s Mahindra Adventure, will drive across the Himalayas for over 16,000kms for the first ever ‘Save the Yak’ expedition. The Himalayan Explorers are a group of motorsports enthusiasts from Nagpur and Mahindra has assisted them with the required SUV’s for the treacherous Himalayan routes. While on the road, the convoy will propagate the importance of the conservation Yaks amongst highlanders, while teaching them various scientific methods of Yak breeding and management.

Yaks are now on the verge of extinction and only 65,000 are left in India. They are found throughout the Himalayan region, the Tibetan Plateau, in Mongolia and Russia. Off late, an unknown epidemic has resulted in mass death of this animal. They are usually hunted for their meat and domesticated for their hair and milk. The convoy will dissuade the locals from killing Yak for meat and educate them to breed Yaks and economise on Yak hair products and Yak milk. They will distribute leaflets and other educational material from the National Research Centre on the yak. Dr Vinod Thakur, part of Tibetian Border Police, is part of this convoy. Mahindra has provided the Himalayan Explorers with one Scorpio and two Scorpio Getaways for their mission.

It is difficult to quantify the value of the Yak in Tibetan life. If you were to look at the dwelling place of a Tibetan nomad it would be hard to find something that did not come from a Yak directly or indirectly. Yaks provide the materials to make a nomad's tent, clothing, meat, butter, cheese, milk, and their dung is even used to make fires.
Buddhists say that there is no greater act of virtue than that of saving the life of another sentient being. The Yak you save will never have to face the fate of being hauled away on a truck to the butcher shop. Your Yak will be marked so everyone knows that it is not to be butchered. All the proceeds from saving the Yak will help support the education of a deserving student.

The state government has promised support to this 'Save the Yak' expedition. The trail will be well received by the local media and the Mahindra dealerships in area will provide them with any required assistance. Their team was flagged off from Mahindra’s automotive plant at Kandivali, Mumbai on May 4, 2011 and hope to cover the 16,000 km journey in 30 days. They will travel through Kibtu (Arunachal Pradesh), Ladakh via Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. Once complete, this unique mission will also be the first Trans-Himalayan expedition to be completed in one stretch by any motoring organisation.

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