How Balarama's Story Came to Be.
A book of this nature can only see its light with wide-ranging support from diverse group of individuals and organizations. We have continually sought guidance from Dr. Kamala Bawa about the power of storytelling in conservation. We remember the late Manikandan Subbiah, Conservator of forests who moved this story forward with many conversations in the heart of the jungle.
This book is a result of the ongoing collaboration between CLIC Abroad foundation and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
D. K. Bhaskar
D. K. Bhaskar is a an education innovator, visual storyteller & cultural explorer. He is the co-producer of the the award winning documentary "Elephants in the Coffee" and author of the popular book "The Fragile Forest: inside Brazilian Amazonia". Bhaskar is an international fellow of the Explorer's Club, a Fulbright specialist, and a finalist for the US Presidential Leadership Fellowship. At present he is the Managing Partner for Choice Solar, LLC, a US Based Renewable Energy Company.
Based in Kansas City, Bhaskar is the founder of Clic Abroad Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and Augusta International Photo Festival. He is passionate about elephants and lifelong supporter of its conservation efforts.
Alladi Jayasri is a journalist and writer. She has worked with leading newspapers The Hindu, The Times of India and Indian Express, writing and reporting extensively on the environment. She has been a Media Fellow of the National Foundation for India (1999) writing a series on "Success Stories in Women's Empowerment in Karnataka" and she won the WISCOMP Scholar of Peach Media Fellowship in 2000, writing on "Empowerment of Women: Answers from Tibet".
Based in Virginia, Jayasri is currently chronicling the history of her family. She is passionate about the Ramayana, and deeply curious about the worlds within it, and all the ways in which it travels our world
Yathi Siddakatte is an internationally recognized visual storyteller and illustrator whose work spans diverse mediums. A Master's in Fine Art from Karanataka Chitrakala Parishat, one of India's leading art schools, he began his career as an illustrator/political cartoonist in the English daily Deccan Herald. Yatish has constantly pursued his passion for creating nature art contributing his work in print and digital formats. His work today is an expression of his belief in education through art and lends supports to campaigns, workshops, literature summits and social causes.
Based in Bangalore and working for a software company, Yatish's illustrations and cartoons have been exhibited in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Peru, Brazil, Iran and India.
Foreword by Sri Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, Maharaja of Mysore
The Elephant has long been the symbol of Royal Tradition in India. Indeed,
we can trace the history of our relationship with the elephant from our mythical times. Our scriptures, in particular the Rig-Veda, reference Airavata, the magnificent white elephant of Lord Indra, with his ten tusks and five trunks, symbolizing the grandeur of Indra and his magnanimity as a ruler.
The Elephant, has an inextricable link to the narrative of the subcontinent and, in many cases, has shaped the fortunes of our country. It was on the subcontinent that the Asian Elephant was first tamed for agricultural use and later for war. The rise and fall of many a dynasty in our recorded history was predicated on the elephant. One of the factors that dissuaded Alexander’s Army from making inroads into India, was the fact that the Nanda rulers would be able to muster an army with over 2000 elephants. Later, Chandragupta Maurya had a Elephantry with over 7000 elephants, which allowed him to be successful in his military campaigns and build the Mauryan Empire, perhaps one of the greatest empires the subcontinent has witnessed.
The icon of the Mysore Dasara, has always been that of the Maharajas of Yore, seated in the Golden Ambari, atop their magnificent elephants. This image is synonymous with the festival, and is central to our tradition and its vibrancy. The Maharaja seated in the Ambari, on his Elephant, or in modern times, the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari, which is placed in the Ambari, is the central attraction of the festivities and marks the victory of good over evil. The elephant is accorded the greatest of respect in its act of symbolizing the victory of good.
Balarama’s Story: An Elephant’s Journey, in essence looks to highlight, through its unique narration, the importance of the Elephant to the history of the subcontinent, and also in traditions, that are still prevalent. It also brings to the forefront important aspects of the tradition that may need revisiting. Tradition is meant to honor the past, but it is molded alongside the needs and aspirations of the present, so that it is built to sustain itself in the future, and we need to keep this concept in mind so as to look into how we can give back, to the Elephants, who have given us so much.
Human-elephant conflict is a major issue, and one that is becoming more and more acute with the shrinking of the Elephants habitats. The Elephant is facing a dire threat and it is the need of the hour to highlight their plight. Indeed, we must find a means to protect their natural home in the forests of India, but also realize their importance in the culture and tradition of our great country. This dilemma, of balancing an ancient tradition with the constraints of modern perspectives, speaks to the larger picture of the problems within Indian society in general, that of being the most ancient of civilizations, yet still catching up to modernity.
The challenge will be in ensuring we maintain a balance between modernity and our ancient heritage, and the way we view the Elephant, and its bond to our society will dictate their fortunes in the future narrative of India.
Elephants and Humans in Conflict
Elephants were once revered as the living god Ganesha. Now they are called the “elephant menace.”
Blame the growth of agriculture, particularly coffee.
'Elephants in the Coffee' shows how growth of coffee plantations
in Southern India led to deadly conflicts between humans and elephants.
Now those conflicts are forcing
the world’s largest land mammal into the world’s largest cages.
Shop Balarama's Story
Uniquely illustrated and collectible, set of Six illustrated Post Cards - 4" x 6" Postcards
Excellently illustrated six postcards ready for mailing. You can add any content in the backside and affix a stamp ready to mail it to anyone. It also encourages the art of postcard mailing to young students.
Elephants in the Coffee T-shirt
100% cotton T-shirt available in small / Medium / Large / XL sizes. All proceeds of this product will go towards charitable work of Clic Abroad Foundation.