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Elephants have been part of Kerala’s culture, to the extent that they’ve been in the past three decades. Many elephant owners and brokers have commercialized this cultural icon, leasing them out for money, as if they are commodities. Our daunting task is to remind the religious authorities that no religion promotes the exploitation of elephants in cultural and religious festivities. VFAES is launching workshops to sensitize key temples, train elephant handlers with positive reinforcement strategies, and empower the stakeholders with knowledge and tools to improve the welfare conditions as a first step to alleviating the suffering of elephants. VFAES’s ultimate goal is to create shackle free lives for elephants, while honoring and revering cultural traditions.