Min performs 'namkaran' of 3 baby jumbos

| | Haridwar
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Min performs 'namkaran' of 3 baby jumbos

Thursday, 05 October 2017 | RADHIKA NAGRATH | Haridwar

They were born in the wilds, but now they  are enjoying sunshine as well as ‘lactogen’ in Rajaji Tiger Reserve under the unfaltering care of the forest guards. Their ‘namkaran’ ceremony (naming) was performed by Uttarakhand Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat amidst recitation of mantras by the priests on Wednesday. Emotionally overwhelmed, the Minister said that the joy he enjoyed this day while christening the babies of the wild was matchless the like of which he has never had though he has been a minister holding different portfolios for as many as 25 years.

It was like any other ‘namkaran’ ritual of a child, but the children here were black, hairy, four-legged with trunks, sans their original mothers. Clad in white with sun caps on, the three infants were garlanded and smeared with vermilion on their foreheads just like any human baby during the naming ceremony. The christening ceremony of the new entrants in Rajaji National Park and Tiger Reserve was held when the park officials were in the thick of  celebrating the wild life week. Rani, Juhi and Johnny are the trio ceremoniously christened on Wednesday. Rani was rescued from Shyampur Range of Haridwar Forest Division on May 31 2015 when she was just one year old. Juhi was brought to Chilla Range from Badkot Forest Range of Dehradun in February this year when she was a 20-day-old  toddler. Johnny was separated from the herd of elephants in Motichoor Range in May this year and brought to Chilla camp on May 14. He is being taken care of since by old female elephants Radha and Rangeeli.

He is growing up fast under their motherly care. 

“This is a rare joy for me to be present here today,” Harak Singh Rawat said. He showered praise on the director of the park and his entire team for devoting a day to the elephants during the wildlife week.

“Whenever a child is born and the family gathers for its naming ritual there is an atmosphere of joy in the house. The joy of the parents is unsurpassable when the little  ones start walking. The same joy is palpable today among the foresters who are taking all the pains to let the infants to grow gloriously into adulthood.  With priests, saints and others present on the occasion, the unique namkaran ceremony would remain etched in my mind for years to come,” said the Minister. 

The director of Rajaji National Park and Tiger Reserve Sanatan Sonkar said, “Every possible effort is being made to better things here.  October 4 every year is celebrated here as Hathi Diwas (elephant day) as part of wildlife week celebrations. The naming ceremony of three calves on this day sends a strong message to the people that  the animal babies need as much love and care  as the human ones. They must not be made to feel that they  would have to fend for themselves without their mothers.”

BJP legislator Swami Yateeshwaranand said that the naming ceremony is perfectly in tune with the Hindu tradition which lays utmost stress on  maintaining ecological balance in the nature. “Ganpati holds an exalted place in Hinduism and  thus the elephant babies are appropriately worshipped and named here,” he said.

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