The Enormous Elephant Run- Fundraiser 10km run took place earlier this morning at Clapham Common. `Elephants’ & Supporters started gathering from 10am onwards (organisers were there from much earlier..setting up!). The run started at about 10.35am… and consisted of 5Km, 10Km and 15Km runs (1 lap, 2 lap or 3 lap of the path that zig-zagged in the Band-stand area of Clapham Common, South London).
This is the 3rd annual such fundraising event, organised by `The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’ – which embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species .
Many Congratulations to my sister Vathani Navasothy for raising over £750+ .
The team she’s part of (Team Mama Afrika) raised over £3,000 (offline donations still being counted).
The `Enormous Elephant Run- London’ has raised over £50,000 of funds.
I was thrilled to have been there for the last 3 years in a row when my sister has been doing this charity Run. Vathani has raised £612 (in 2014), £444 (in 2015) and £750 (2016).. totalling £1,806+.
Am very proud indeed and will be putting together a video/photo montage of her 3 annual runs for this worthy cause that we both are passionate about. 🙂
I will be adding photos & videos of this event in due course in a blog very soon.
Elephants and rhinos are being poached to extinction. Join the march in London on Oct 4th along with 120 cities around the world to demand an end to the slaughter and the trade in ivory and rhino horn – FOREVER. Without our help elephants and rhinos will not survive – the countdown to their extinction has begun. It’s up to all of us to ensure this tragic scenario NEVER HAPPENS and they are given their last fighting chance to survive and recover their numbers. Please march to save them!
★★ DETAILS ABOUT THE MARCH in London:★★
Location: from Cavendish Square W1 to Parliament Square SW1P
Length of route: 1.7 miles
Meet at Cavendish Square at 1pm. The closest tube is Oxford Circus (Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines). There are several exits on Oxford Circus – you want to be on the north side of Oxford St, on the corner of John Lewis and Holles St; walk down Holles St and you’ll be in Cavendish Square (we’re meeting in the central area).
We will hear our first speaker, environmentalist (and Boris’s dad) Stanley Johnson, and then set off from Cavendish Square at 1.30.
The route is 1.7 miles and will take around 45-60 minutes to walk. For those who would rather not walk the whole route, or have small children, you can meet us in Trafalgar Square to walk the last bit, or join us at the end n Parliament Square (Westminster Tube – Circle, District, Jubilee lines).
At Parliament Square we’ll be hearing from our four speakers – Dominic Dyer from Care for the Wild, Simon Jones of Helping Rhinos, conservationist Ian Redmond, and journalist Nicky Campbell. We also expect some celebrities to attend, including John (‘Boycie’) Challis and Rula Lenska. .. and other surprise guests!
This route will take us through the heart of London and its main shopping and tourist streets on a busy Saturday. This means the march will have maximum visibility and be seen (and heard!) by huge numbers of people, which is fantastic. But it also means we‘ll be negotiating some narrow streets as well as very big and crowded ones, as well as busy traffic and many street crossings. So please take care as you march!
After writing my blog this morning on the birthday & mythology of the Hindu (elephant headed) God Ganesh, I went to attend a training course – on interview techniques. Nothing I don’t know already (must write about that!) but this is one I had to attend. It was in Wimbledon. So afterwards I tried going to the Ganesh temple. It was packed, and no parking space anywhere!
So I was driving back with disappointment, and memories of my own personal experiences came back to me – which I thought I’d share here, as part of the festive celebrations (in my own way). After all, a temple is where you make it, and Hindu Priests have been known in ancient times to build `inner temples’ meditatively – efforts that had taken them years. It is known that Hindu gods had favoured such inner temples. (another blog to write!)
Back to Elephants – one of the sacred animals in Hinduism – an eastern pagan religion.
The Ride on Elephant
My earliest memory of Elephants, like for most people, was at a Zoo, and it was back in Sri Lanka. I do recall one occasion where my parents paid for me to go for a ride on a Zoo Elephant. They are big creatures, and once you mount them, on one of those people-carrier basket things that can hold about 5-6 people at a time, it’s incredible – especially when the Elephant starts walking – away from any tall stands. It gentle wobbles of course and walks slowly. I don’t remember much more, but that is a precious experience to have had. These days people who visit 3rd world countries and nature reserves (africa?) can quite easily have one of these elephant rides. If you get a chance, do have a go. I mean, how often can one say he or she had a ride on the largest mammal on the planet? !
The Temple Elephant
My second Elephant experience was at a Temple – and it was with a Temple Elephant, back in Sri Lanka. It was a sacred special temple, one that my grandmother & family had to hire a coach and drive a day to get to – as part of a pilgrimage. I remember then getting to the booked accommodation (large room, where all of us slept ..with just sheets on the floor). The part that still stays in my mind is the bathing in the nearby river in the evening. It was expected, and there were no other facilities anyway. And straight afterwards, while still wet, we had to make our way up the mountain paths to the temple – for worship.
It was the temple in Kathirkama, where Priests do not speak. They have their mouths covered by a piece of cloth! There is a similar temple in Wales, UK that I have been to, where they do this.
Well, after the Pooja, I was guided to the area where the temple elephant resided. As was tradition, I was `blessed by the Elephant’ (on the nudge of the Keeper, the Elephant places its trunk in a blessing manner on my head!) I was a very young boy and what came next was even more previous now to remember. My relatives told me to circle around the Elephant and pray, and also walk under it. So I did – went in from one side, walked under the Elephant, came out the other side from it’s body!
I don’t think it ever occurred to me that if the beast had decided to move in haste or upset, or anything of the sort, I would have been splatted in a second! At the time, I was focused on it as a spiritual experience- and still do.