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  • Writer's pictureSwati Bhat

PM Shri Narendra Modi meets the pair from 'The Elephant Whisperers' Bellie & Bomman

April 9, Mudumalai (Tamil Nadu), India: The Bomman and Bellie duo, who starred in the Oscar-winning documentary "The Elephant Whisperers," were introduced to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.

Swati Bhat

He established the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA) in Karnataka with the intention of reducing poaching and illegal wildlife trading. The "Commemoration of 50 Years of Project Tiger" was also launched by PM Modi. He published "Amrit Kaal Ka Vision for Tiger Conservation," a study summarising the fifth cycle of Management And Assessment of Tiger Reserves, during the programme. He also made available an All India Tiger Estimate summary report (5th cycle). On the occasion of Project Tiger's 50th anniversary, PM Modi also unveiled a commemorative coin.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Modi visited Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka where he interacted with frontline field staff and self-help groups involved in conservation efforts, as part of programmes to mark 50 years of 'Project Tiger'. PM Modi also visited the Theppakadu Elephant camp in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve on Sunday where he interacted with mahouts and kavadis.

Talking about the Bomman and Bellie featured in 'The Elephant Whisperers', which recently won the Best Documentary Short winner at the 95th Academy Awards. Helmed by debutant Kartiki Gonsalves, the 41-minute short documentary movie explores the tentative yet precious bond between Raghu, an orphaned baby elephant, and his caretakers - a mahout couple named Bomman and Bellie - who devote their lives to protect him from poachers and raise him. The project, which is backed by Guneet's banner Sikhya Entertainment, beat four other contenders to clinch the statuette in the Best Documentary Short Category, making it the first Indian documentary and one of only two Indian productions to win an Oscar (the other one being 'RRR').

'The Elephant Whisperers' was nominated against 'Haul Out,' 'How Do You Measure A Year?', 'The Martha Mitchell Effect,' and 'Stranger At The Gate'. This is the second Oscar win for Guneet. She had previously served as an executive producer on 'Period. End of Sentence', which won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film.

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