“Four years ago, I created MARS – but my passion to help animals began when I was a child growing up in Bombay, India.
I was brought up by three kind and strong women – my mother, grandmother and aunt. I watched all of them be kind to animals and go to any lengths to help them, it left a deep impression on me. If my mother saw a starving dog, she would stop her car and search for a restaurant or shop to buy food. It was her dream to start a dog shelter.
There is a strong need in me to nurture, partly because I lost both my mother and aunt within one year. My grief has kept me hooked on elevating the suffering of animals and making their lives better. Giving animals love, joy and happiness and keeping them safe makes life worth living.
Remembering the rescue which spurred me to pursue my mother’s dream. It all started on New year’s eve of 2014 with celebrations in full swing when we heard a howling outside. On checking we discovered a small, feisty, snappy bundle of energy under a car that was bleeding and we tried getting it out but this puppy was biting. Somehow we managed to get him. It had cuts on his back and legs, broken leg injured spine and obviously in pain. We took him in and managed to get a vet to come see him. And from there things progressed. We both have been very keen and fond of animals as both of us had pets since childhood but our hearts melted seeing this pup injured so we took him in and I guess he was our first official rescue. We called him PK after the movie that had just been released about an alien from outer space. he fully recovered within a month.
I have my masters in psychology, and have worked with children with special needs and counselling brain trauma patients, and am particularly passionate about helping disabled and paraplegic dogs.
Five years and hundreds of rescues later Mars was founded in 2019. Our shelter took shape in 2020 when we decided that it was high time that we shifted to a larger space to house our dogs. Today our shelter is home to more than 200 dogs. Dogs, which otherwise, would have been neglected and not given a second chance, find a safe haven at our shelter. We have old, blind, paraplegic, disabled and handicapped dogs.
MARS provides vaccinations, neutering, re-homing and animal health programmes in Chennai, India. So far, the charity has rescued over 500 dogs and financed 200+ sterilisations. We also plan to build a hospital which will give free treatment to street animals, have access to a 24/7 animal ambulance and provide awareness programmes in schools and universities.
We have been providing daily meals for approximately 250 dogs in the two out of three Corporation pounds in Chennai (Kannamapet and Llyods Road corporation pounds) for the past 3 years along with getting the pounds cleaned, fumigated, providing ivermectin injections and DHPPI vaccines.
In recognition of my passion and dedication, I have been given the honour of being on the board of Animal Birth Control (ABC) of the Chennai Corporation.
My goal is to see every street dog, not only in Chennai, but all of India to be vaccinated and spay/neutered and given a safe haven to live and die in dignity. The need to create shelters for all dogs that live on streets…Old dogs, sick dogs, mother dogs who have littered, pups, abandoned indies and breeds who are cruelly left on the streets to fend for themselves during extreme heat, rain and a hostile environment need to be given love care and a forever home.”