THE ANIMAL SAVER https://theanimalsaver.com Every Story Inspires You Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:01:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6 We can see a change in the community only when the narrative around animal welfare changes – Sanjana Govindan – Story #4 https://theanimalsaver.com/inspiration/we-can-see-a-change-in-the-community-only-when-the-narrative-around-animal-welfare-changes-sanjana-govindan-story-4/ Wed, 02 Sep 2020 06:13:28 +0000 https://theanimalsaver.com/?p=192 An all-animal lover from the heart, holding a Masters degree from the university in Singapore, Manager at a venture philanthropic fund, the founder of the…

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An all-animal lover from the heart, holding a Masters degree from the university in Singapore, Manager at a venture philanthropic fund, the founder of the Water Bowl Project, co-founder of Bangalore Cats Squad, volunteer at shelters,wild-life groups like Avian and Reptile Rehab Center(ARRC) and CARE, Bangalore, Sanjana Govindan, from the city of Bangalore, India seems to have left no stone unturned to develop a better environment for animals in the city.

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Sanjana Govindan(In her words):

Start of her journey- When, why, and how?

“I have never not had a connection with animals, although the very first notion that I had was when I was 13 years old, and a little puppy that I looked after was run over and I called up my father crying, who had come home from work midday. We went to a vet, who had to put down the puppy to sleep. To experience euthanasia for the first time, see a loved one lose life because of someone reckless, and no proper infrastructure to save the life of that little being made me realize that I have to do more. Feeding the animals and playing with them was just not enough.

the animal saver sanjana govindan

My journey did start with rescuing stray dogs in Bombay, then evolved into cats during my graduation in Singapore where I found a small neonate and me and my roommates decided to save its life. I would sometimes carry it to class as well. Fast forward to a few months when I had to return to India for an internship. I brought him along to Bombay as I could not leave him anywhere. He is 13 years old now, my very first cat ever lives with my parents and this was one of the most interesting decisions of my life. As a consequence, many years later I have started Bangalore Cats Squad where we save thousands of cats annually, spay and neuter community cats, we take in severely traumatic and injured cats.

Urban wildlife is also one of my interests because I think cities have overtaken the environment of many other animals. I volunteer for the Avian and Reptile Rehab Center(ARRC), do birds and squirrel releases who are permanently homeless as a result of overgrowing constructions and expansion of urban cities close to wildlife areas.

the animal saver sanjana govindan

Apart from fostering, I try to put knowledge together in ways that other rescuers can understand as in India we do not have access to information on rescue unlike the west where an independent can easily look up online and learn how to bottle feed, how to seal a wound, how to give drips, etc.,”

Hurdles and small wins along the journey

“The earliest kind of opposition that I had faced was from my kindergarten teachers who had sent a note to my mother saying that -” Sanjana releases all the rabbits every day.” Caging birds or animals defied logic to me and ever since I would simply let them out of the cage. Over the years animal cruelty had exceeded to such severity wherein I found myself confronting the police, the legal system when there have been extreme acts of cruelty, and yet people have turned a blind eye. 

Talking to the hardest animals of all – “the human beings”, advocating and explaining to children and especially moms who call me with a lot of doubts like whether they had can have pets during pregnancy, that they have been advised by relatives not to have a cat as it could be bad for the lady and with a lot of other superstitions.  People also have doubts if their babies will be born deformed, or if someone can die by getting Toxoplasmosis, etc., Having patience and a non-judgemental conversation is what helps in such a scenario and this is also a major part of what I do. 

the animal saver sanjana govindan

I easily invest about 15-20 hours a week, but this profession did help me learn design skills, build websites, conduct fundraising which does take a significant amount of time. I feed about 9 to 30 dogs daily and if there are any full time fosters that do need 24/7 attention. For example for the last 4 months, I have been looking after a distempered dog with a drip system arranged, allopathic and homeopathic medicines are being administered.”

Conflict between personal life and social welfare activities

“Managing between personal life and animals does create conflict but it also creates tons of fatigue, especially when you lose animals under your care. It becomes difficult to forget and I have a permanent gravesite in my heart for every animal that I have lost. In terms of conflict, it’s more about the guilt of not being able to spend enough time with my daughter and family and the outcome of that is I have the least time for myself but I still try.”

Journey into Veganism

“This is a funny story, my husband was not a committed lover initially, his perception towards having a pet or interacting with them was different than mine. As I was familiar with animal rescue there was no barrier between me and stray. I did not mind stopping and playing with every animal whereas he was concerned about me not being careful and contracting rabies. Over the years, seeing the kind of animal cruelty cases I dealt with, his approach towards animals changed. He started the journey of Veganism with extreme discipline in the family even before I did as he no longer wanted to consume animal products. “

the animal saver sanjana govindan
Vegan Cake 🙂

“The coolest part being is raising a vegan child in the family. For example, today is my daughters and she turns 10 years old. We bought a vegan cake ahead of time and she was excited about it, so much so that she mentioned that there was no milk, no eggs, no animal products in her cake to her friends over a zoom party. In terms of nutrition, we substitute oat and almond milk, peanut- oat milk including rice-flour milk, paneer with tofu. Like any other child, she likes waffles, and I keep trying vegan recipes with nutritional yeast instead. I make sure that there are plenty of greens in her diet.

The race is very long

PANDEMIC is also an important time to pay attention to how housing communities treat owners of pets like cats and dogs as many people are using the pandemic as an opportunity to get rid of animals. Knowing your rights, knowing what rules prevail is very important. Secondly, do not rely on the security force or police as they are already overwhelmed rather few people can be reasonable if you explain it in ways that they understand. Having conflict and heading for confrontation would just mean that you are out-of-steam all the time. 

the animal saver sanjana govindan

As an animal rescue worker the race is very long and in the end, it is with yourself. You will have many battles to fight, so if you burn out each time with every battle you will not live to fight the next one. There will be ones you lose but you need to keep going. Don’t pick up the sword for every battle. Pace yourself. Know your rules and know your rights and don’t let anyone ride a rough shot on you.

Inspiration 

Without a doubt, I would say I have the deepest respect towards Menaka Gandha (founder of People for animals). Because she has fought a long, lonely battle and to be in that place takes a great deal of personal toll. To be constantly at odds with so many forces that do not understand and do not pay attention. I also have tremendous respect for all the unsung heroes who are actual workers in this sector. Not just the doctors or veterinarians but also the paramedical workers, people who are picking up the animals from the street, who help in burial. I think real India is in all these people who rose to the occasion every single time when I have bought an animal in distress without caring about gender, age, race, the religion that I came from. 

My real inspiration throughout my life has been these random strangers who work or maybe they don’t but take 5 min or 10 minutes to save a life and change my day. Help always came when in need from such people.

Sanjana’s ask

the animal saver sanjana govindan

My core asks from the viewers is, if you can make your message simple, relatable to every person you meet and you take away any negativity associated with animal welfare and make it a profession and a culture like we look at armed forces or the medical field which we can be proud off, I’d be really grateful. We can see a change in the community only when the narrative around animal welfare changes.  Do what you can to make animal welfare mainstream and this will have a huge impact on the life of every animal and person in the country. 

Contact Sanjana Govindan (Instagram Profile)

The Animal Saver (TAS) message

The Animal Saver concludes this story with a message – “The bigger picture is always forgotten. But individuals like Sanjana Govindan remind us of our responsibilities. The harmonious ways of life are forgotten and for this reason alone everyone suffers. Especially the animal kind. We need to take responsibility for animal welfare and ensure that we support the initiatives of the individuals and NGOs who are doing the noble work of saving the street animals, even though we are not directly involved in such activities. Educate the right knowledge about the importance of animal welfare to your children and also ensure that they are part of the healthy lifestyle of veganism. Thank you.”

Host: Lakshman Molleti

Interviewer / Writer: Gnaneswari JN

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Every living being fulfills its duty unto Nature, So should Human Beings – Shiva Kumar Varma – Story#3 https://theanimalsaver.com/inspiration/every-living-being-fulfills-its-duty-unto-nature-so-should-human-beings-shiva-kumar-varma-story3/ Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:44:24 +0000 https://theanimalsaver.com/?p=133 Country: INDIA Listen to Podcast Thorough understanding of the environment is his strength. Wildlife photography for conservation is his motto. Furthermore, animal rescue, recovery and…

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Country: INDIA

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Thorough understanding of the environment is his strength. Wildlife photography for conservation is his motto. Furthermore, animal rescue, recovery and release are his forte. An activist by setting an example. Fighting till the fight lasts is Shiva’s personality.

Naturally gifted, extremely passionate and highly productive. Shiva Kumar Varma is born with a connection to animals. An Engineer by qualification, Business Development Manager by designation. Shiva works for an organization focusing on renewable energy.

“Passion is the only qualification,” says Shiva. Uniquely Shiva’s journey is an insightful one. Well-equipped and experienced in sensitive rescues and rehabilitation. Likewise, his stories of release are an utter joy. Although he has much on his plate, he hasn’t had enough.

Truly, Shiva’s fire for conservation and welfare is well placed. Shiva is a Vegan, animal rescuer and welfare activist. Additionally, he’s a wildlife conservationist, photographer, and environmentalist.

shiva with his projectTogether with his modesty and passion, he acts with sincerity. Correspondingly, his achievements speak for him. As a college goer, his accomplishments are impressive. A Solar Amphibian Vehicle and a solar drone. Moreover, as an employee, he encourages compassion and care. Not only towards animals but also birds, insects and the like. Every living creature fulfills its duty unto nature, so should Humans.

In fact, let’s read about his insights. His exciting, joyous journey in his own words.

Shiva Kumar Varma (in his words):

INITIAL JOURNEY:

I was 2 years old. My grandmother brought fish to cook for us. I instinctively refused. I urged that it’s not meant for eating. Fishes swim in water. They are not food for humans. For the most part, my family agreed. Later my brother

shiva with a rescue dog
shiva with a rescue dog

and family turned vegetarian too. Consequently, I turned into a Vegan as well.

Watching the trees, plants and animals gives me contentment. The environment is extremely precious and needs protection. Certainly, it is not that difficult.

For example, if a person takes a few native plants. First, plant them and take simple care of it. They will grow into trees. Second, speak to your colony incharge, spread to just your colony. Third, speak to your electricity board and get PVC covering on the wires. Done. Imagine the impact. All you take care of is just your surroundings. It is as simple as that.

INNOVATION & EXPERIMENTATION:

In college, I wanted to create something sustainable. I designed a Solar Amphibian Vehicle. For one thing, it runs on solar energy. For the other, it runs both on land and water.

wild life photography

Later on, I wanted to build a Solar drone. It was a task. Firstly, weight and proportion needs precision. Secondly, solar panels are heavier. To find the right resource is difficult. It took some time. During my search, there was discouragement as well. But finally, I found a solution. In due time, help came from a manufacturer. I successfully built a solar drone. It flew for five minutes continuously. It felt really great!

Additionally, I developed an interest in wildlife conservation. I photograph rare species. Sometimes I associate with the Forest Department. The main aim is to conserve rare species. Bring awareness. Provide better habitats for them.

I recently clicked a picture. Two eagles fighting over a plastic bag. They thought it was food. It’s a devastating feeling, to click such images. On the positive side, WWF requested for it. World Wildlife Fund (Hyderabad). For the purpose of building awareness on plastic damage.

I started a website called ANIMAL BLOOD LINE, to find the blood for animals easily. For more information please visit the website here www.animalbloodline.org

WILDLIFE PASSION:

To begin with, I love nature and the environment. We only have one planet. All other beings are dutiful. For instance, a bee does its duty. We will become extinct without them. A simple dung beetle. It is such a huge contributor. They collect dung and conserve the soil. There is a bigger picture of every living being.

pug marks for tiger census
pug marks for tiger census

A tiger male, can cover more than 100 sq.kms. It protects the ecosystem in that area. Research says the ecological value of a tiger is 250 crores. That is its value, never underestimate it. A tiger will ensure a balance exists.

To demonstrate the big picture. A single tiger is a sign of a balanced ecosystem. Now, this balanced ecosystem a.k.a forest will absorb Carbon dioxide. Our carbon emissions get absorbed. Global warming goes down. As a result, rainfall, temperatures, and climate readjusts. More rainfall, more flow in rivers. More river water means no scarcity. And so on. For this reason, we should protect wildlife.

SWEET SUCCESS:

I have rescued a number of animals. My journey with animals is a very long one. My experience has always been a deeply satisfying one. In essence, animals and birds are very grateful. Instantly, they react and it’s a thankful reaction. To sum up, I can recollect a story or two.

shiva with a wild animal

I recently rescued a Black Kite. It looks like an eagle to a normal person. It sustained injuries. I treated it. Finally, it was ready for release. I released the bird into the air. In general, we think it’s going to just fly away. It did not and hovered over my head in circles. It lingered around for a quarter of an hour. Then left. I know that it was giving thanks. It’s the most compelling evidence of a connection. Few birds keep coming back and visit us too.

To put it in another way, I rescued an insect. It was orange and red in color. Extremely beautiful to look at. It was drowning in my water bowl meant for birds. I gently picked it up and removed it. Once on land, it was beautiful to watch. Truly relieved, the insect just flapped its wings. It was finally free from the struggle. It can’t hover over me. But it gives thanks through its body. The relief is clear to us. It’s the best part about rescues. I love doing it because it makes a difference to them.

SHIVA’S MESSAGE:

It is important to realize that help exists. The first thing to remember is to start. In this age and era help is in abundance. There are numerous NGOs. A number of people doing good work. Just begin and support will come automatically. Furthermore, do your duty unto nature. Our lifestyle is the biggest problem. All the consumption for just enjoyment. No action towards conservation. In time to come, it is the only way out. Lead a simple life in harmony with nature. That’s all I have to say.

TAS MESSAGE:

The bigger picture is always forgotten. But, individuals like Shiva Kumar remind us of our responsibility. The harmonious way of life is forgotten. And for this reason alone, everyone suffers. Especially the animal kind.

We pride ourselves on being on top of the food chain. Consequently forgotten, the responsibility chain. With this in mind, let’s stay inspired and change for the better. Thank you.

The Animal Saver – Visit our other projects by visiting our support page.

Host: Lakshman Molleti

Interviewer: Devi Srilekha S

Writer: raven by thoughts

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If there is a will and you want to help animals, there are thousand ways to help – Vivek Chevvakula – Story#2 https://theanimalsaver.com/inspiration/if-there-is-a-will-and-you-want-to-help-animals-there-are-thousand-ways-to-help-vivek-chevvakula-story2/ Sun, 17 Feb 2019 18:04:24 +0000 https://theanimalsaver.com/?p=88 Country: INDIA Listen to Podcast True Story A young mind set on a daunting target, to curb the conflict between man and animal, to set…

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Country: INDIA

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True Story

A young mind set on a daunting target, to curb the conflict between man and animal, to set right the cruel treatment directed towards animals, to finally fulfill the ignored responsibility, that has now turned into an obligation as he would like to call it, Vivek Chevvakula , currently pursuing Chartered Accountancy and a graduate of Commerce is amongst all things a truly compassionate , focused , practical , dedicated, all-round personality gunning for the right impact. Here is what he has to share with the world.

Vivek Chevvakula (in his words)

My journey began at a very young age , my father is a very compassionate man, who takes care of the safety and wellbeing of the street animals that live around us , this has been my inspiration, right from grade 7, when I finallythe animal rescuer - vivek chevvakula - animal rescuer realized that being a mute spectator to the cruel and ignorant behavior of human beings towards the street animals needed to change, it became my goal ever since, down the line, I want to set up a shelter for homeless street animals and also provide a platform for animal welfare awareness and reach out to as many people as possible with an aim to resolve this existential conflict between man and his surrounding beings.

It moves me, how pathetic the life of a street animal is, how people have forgotten their responsibility to look out for other living beings in their environment, the general lack of proper infrastructure, sanitary surroundings , reckless handling of animals at sterilization centres managed by the municipalities and panchayats, lack of strong birth control mechanisms, ignorance about the minimal care, attention required from people, so that there is a safe habitat for street animals, birds, poultry and sometimes even in the case of pet animals, it has now become an obligation and not a duty .

I have handled many cases wherein, the abandoned animal for rescue is in a terrible condition and needs immediate the animal saver - vivek chevvakula - animal rescuermedical attention, continuous monitoring, timely care, and a companion to look after. It’s not an easy job either, after doing the above, to finally find a home for them to live happily. The lack of interest in taking action among people, to adopt and look after the street animals is really a sad story to tell. But, it’s not only about the shortcomings, it really makes my heart fill with happiness when people come around and help us rescue animals, keep us informed and share some of the responsibility, I really wish the day is not far when we can completely provide a safe and healthy home for all the street animals, it is only a comprehensive, continuous, focused effort away.

It is deeply gratifying each time, when we rescue a distressed animal, when an injured animal finally recovers, when a homeless animal gets adopted into a great home, it really makes me forget the hardship and gives meaning to my life and keeps me going through all the inconveniences and troublesome situations. I also have to thank my family and friends who are always available to share the responsibility and take immediate action in the time of need, it is not only about me doing good work, it is about collective sharing of responsibilities and putting the animal the requires help above each of us and do the needful.

Finally, I want to stress that “the world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those the animal saver - vivek chevvakula - animal rescuerwho look and do nothing!” the cruelty that is committed with respect to animals is multifold than that which is being committed against humans, who turn a blind eye towards this issue , I ask all the animal lovers to take action, come forward and participate, it is difficult and you might find yourself alone but slowly and surely you will find the strength and support required to complete the task. It is really a life-changing experience to serve those who need our service. Thank you.

TAS Message

That is Vivek with his eye only for the solution to resolve the conflict between man and animal. To identify the problem equals half the solution. The Animal Saver (TAS) truly wishes success for all your endeavors. Active participation in rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of distressed animals has always been the primary issue of animal welfare, we urge all helping hands to come forward and spread the message “No help is small, no result without action and no tomorrow without today!”

If you like to support Vivek Chevvakula, please reach us by clicking here. Please extend your support, so that he can save more animals on the field and inspires people around.

Host: Lakshman Molleti

Interviewer:srilekha sannidhanam

Writer: raven by thoughts

 

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Being a Vegan is not enough, you also have to become a Vegan activist – Astha Gupta – Story#1 https://theanimalsaver.com/inspiration/being-a-vegan-is-not-enough-you-also-have-to-become-a-vegan-activist-astha-gupta-story1/ Sun, 17 Feb 2019 09:55:36 +0000 https://theanimalsaver.com/?p=52 Country: INDIA Listen to the podcast here  The story of Astha Gupta Keep calm and turn Vegan, would be the apt introduction of our…

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Country: INDIA

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The story of Astha Gupta

Keep calm and turn Vegan, would be the apt introduction of our endearing Astha Gupta, an Advocate by profession, conducted research and draft works for a law firm prior to becoming a resilient activist, ready to steer the world around her in the right direction. Her humble personality makes you want to believe that everything is possible if you are willing to put the right kind of effort. Determined, clear-headed and optimistic about her path and its challenges she shares with us her journey and experiences as a practicing Vegan and a proactive Vegan Activist.

Astha Gupta (in her words) :

As a child, I always loved animals and wanted to contribute for their well being and I thought, being a vegetarian, my duty was over, but a few years later, at an event dedicated for animal well being, I realized that my responsibility had The animal saver - Astha Gupta - Vegan activistonly just begun. That was the day when few of the volunteers at the event had introduced me to the realities of the world around me, the cruelty, unhygienic habitat, extreme exploitation extending into animal mutiny, it shook me. I had been so unaware and under-informed about how things worked for those mute creatures, it was very clear to me, that, there was a need to raise a voice for these voiceless souls who are mistreated beyond measure, for just commercial reasons, it is truly unfair. I then fully understood the importance and need for the concept of Veganism and what being a practicing Vegan would mean to me, the animals, the environment, the ecosystems and coexistence of all beings on this planet as a whole. I am since that moment, a practicing Vegan, I have since then dedicated my life to advocating realities and importance of Veganism as a part of Animal Welfare. I am today a full-time Vegan activist and I assure you, the job has just begun.

astha gupta the animal saver - vegan activist

To all those who have turned into a vegetarian, for ethical reasons and their love for animals, I can surely say with experience that, it is not enough, for people who have turned a Vegan , I would also say , being Vegan is not enough , you also have to become an activist , one has to make people aware and well informed as well as speak up for the rights of animals, spread the word about what  Veganism truly stands for and the rising need for action , we have reached the eleventh hour , it is time we realize our flaws and begin to work for a better, safer, healthier, happier life not just for animals but also for ourselves.

I am working as a full-time employee with an NGO that advocates Veganism and specifically focuses on building awareness. Initially, there were some doubts, dilemmas and questioning eyes, wondering what I was up to, but the right support from my family, friends and my peer group of activists have helped me in being a very clear and consistent focus on making the right impact and bring about real change. I am always questioned ” what is going to change if I turn Vegan, will everything else stop ? ” it definitely is heartbreaking to realize that the question has weight, but I am positive about it and would like to answer that ” Change always begins with one man ” and ” A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step ” and I want each of us to take that step forward, come out of your comfort zone, do your research, become aware andastha gupta the animal saver - vegan activist explain the realities to others as well . If anything about me and the things I have said or the work I do has inspired you to want to practice Veganism, I would suggest you to do your research, it is going to keep you motivated and give you proper direction and instantaneously build a commitment within you to continue as a Vegan every day. It is not an easy job being an activist, even though I have my family’s utmost support, they are not Vegan, but this is to only state that despite the challenges we are going to face, never giving up and consistently following up the action is equally important. The effort is to make people aware, I have experienced multiple scenarios like mine where people are aware and transitioning slowly towards a Vegan lifestyle. It is a small step towards a brighter tomorrow and should be seen as a sign of progress and motivation to do better in the coming days.

My message to everyone would be to become aware , it is not entirely about being Vegan , like I have said earlier that I was once unaware and continued to live happily, same is the case with everyone else, even though we do not actively create the distress that exists, we are 100 % indirectly responsible for the current situation , our lack of action and misinformation contributes as much to the tyranny on animals as much as the direct actions . So I wholeheartedly ask everyone to make the effort to know about the drastic scenario we live in and work towards making the world a better place to coexist. Thank you.

TAS Message :

That is Astha Gupta striving for change with her voice and actions, promoting a particularly growing issue, importance of Vegan lifestyle. Veganism is one end of the spectrum of animal welfare, whereby one stops the activities that indirectly promote distress and contributes to a better life for the animal kind. Here at The Animal Saver, we throw light on the beacons of change, so we can wake up to a brighter tomorrow with an enhanced vision for all beings on this planet.

If you like to empower Astha Gupta activities, please reach us by clicking here and tell us how you are planning to support her.

Host: Lakshman Molleti

Interviewer:srilekha sannidhanam

Writer: raven by thoughts

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