Big B’s plea to help Bijlee evokes response

Mumbai, June 18 (IANS) Big B’s heart beats for a gentle, female elephant called Bijlee, who is ailing and needs urgent help to survive.

After an appeal by mega-star Amitabh Bachchan on the plight of Bijlee, Mumbaikars, NGOs and even political parties have rushed to her aid.

The 58-year-old Bijlee, owned by a family of priests, was found lying injured and seriously ill on the busy Mulund-Bhandup Link Road, northeast Mumbai last week.

She had collapsed after developing a high viral fever following a large, maggot-infected wound on her hind leg.

As news of her plight started trickling in in local media, efforts were made to get her medical aid and even provide shelter as the city has been facing heavy rains since the past ten days.

NGO Animals Matter To Me (AMTM) activist Ganesh Nayak said that after Bachchan’s appeal on his blog and Twitter, offers of help have started coming.

Moved by her condition in the middle of the road, with no help from civic or zoo authorities, AMTM activists decided to take her charge.

They hired a crane to lift her and take her to an open ground in Mulund where a temporary shed was erected to protect her from the rains. The city Congress and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leaders have also volunteered to help her.

An elephant-specialist veterinarian is expected to arrive from Assam Wednesday to treat Bijlee, a local Congress activist said.

Meanwhile, Bijlee has been examined by local general veterinarians and she is responding to treatment. She is given a balanced diet supplemented with medicines and nutrients.

AMTM has appealed to Mumbaikars to help in the form of food, medicines, money and time as her daily upkeep is an expensive affair.

According to some reports, Bijlee has worked non-stop for the past over four decades, hired out to attend special functions, inaugurations, weddings, and other events in and around Mumbai.

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