India's Rohit Sharma
India's Rohit Sharma Image Credit: Gulf News

Guwahati: Ace Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma is going to help build awareness for the need to conserve the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros or the Indian Rhino.

The star batsman is launching Rohit4Rhinos campaign, in partnership with WWF India and Animal Planet, on World Rhino Day on September 22, where Rohit pledges to do his bit to save the "vulnerable" species from extinction.

It may be mentioned that of the estimated 3,500 Indian rhinos left in the world, 82 per cent are found in India.

Once found abundantly across the Indus, Ganges and the Brahmaputra river basins, the animal is now found only in select pockets in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The state animal of Assam, the Indian rhinoceros faces several threats, including poaching, habitat loss and mass mortality from in-breeding and disease.

Rohit Sharma joined WWF India as its Brand Ambassador for Rhino Conservation in 2018.

With leading wildlife channel Animal Planet, now joining the cause, the team has set out to create awareness and sensitize India about the species and the need for its conservation.

Animal Planet will run a series of path breaking programmes during 'Rhino Week' to sensitize people about these gentle giants.

A special page, http://www.rohit4rhinos.org is also being created to strengthen the campaign, through which viewers can pledge their support to the cause.

"It is our duty as co-inhabitants of this planet to try and protect other species that walk this planet, alongside us. The future is in our hands and we should do whatever we can to ensure that our children are able to enjoy the rich bio-diversity this world has to offer. I hope that this campaign will inspire others to come forward and join Animal Planet, WWF India and I in this endeavour to save the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros," Rohit said.

"WWF India would like to thank Rohit Sharma for being the voice of conservation and for his continuous support in raising awareness about the greater one-horned rhinos," said Dipankar Ghose, Director, Species and Landscapes, WWF India.