In India, there is a large racket of beggars working at almost every traffic signal. While some of them are genuinely helpless, others view this as a much more convenient and easy way to make money. Over the years, they have developed new techniques to ask for or beg for money from you. It seems like people have now come up with new ways to extort money from others’ pockets. Here we have a video where two mahouts riding elephants can be seen blocking the path of motorists and asking for money.
The video has been shared by an Instagram page. The exact location where this is happening is not known. However, by listening to the audio, it appears to be somewhere in the eastern part of the country. In this video, we can see mahouts actually blocking the way using the elephants and asking for money from the motorists. It is not clear why they are doing this. They even blocked buses and asked for money from the drivers and passengers.
They were mainly targeting two-wheeler riders as they were easily intimidated by the huge size of the elephants. We can see some of them giving money as well. The elephants were not harming the vehicles as they were trained. For those who were not willing to give money, the mahouts were threatening to use the elephants. They made the elephants lift their front end and scare the motorists.
The elephants were also playing with the ORVMs and other body panels. Most of the two-wheeler riders seen in the video were not wearing riding helmets and had children with them. One of the bikers on a Suzuki Gixxer motorcycle can be seen confronting the mahouts. He was initially planning to give them money. But as seen in the video, there were two elephants, and it seems like both of them asked for money. In the same clip, we can see the elephants getting restless and acting strangely. The person on the bike was probably scared and asked them to move away, and he did not give them any money.
In many parts of the country, the elephant is considered a sacred animal, used in processions and festivals. This doesn’t seem to be the case in the video. The men riding the elephant are clearly abusing the animal for their own gain. We are not sure why the police were not called. While it appears that the elephants were tamed, it doesn’t mean they won’t harm people. There have been reports of tamed elephants attacking people and destroying property when they become agitated. We strongly believe that animal welfare associations should investigate this matter and take action against the mahouts. By using a wild animal like the elephant on a public road, the mahouts are not only abusing the animal but also posing a threat to other road users. We have come across incidents where domesticated cattle have caused issues on the road. This is likely the first time an elephant has been seen in this manner.