“My foray into animal welfare began with my dearest boy Choco. It is true that animals help us find our purpose in life. Choco was a stray dog that I had grown fond of and was taking care of. Nobody could differentiate him from any other pedigree dog because that was how well looked after he was. When the COVID wave struck all of us, we had to move to our hometown and I left Choco under the care of a few NGOs in the city.
But when I came back to Chennai after a couple of months, it shook me to see Choco completely worn out, anaemic and also completely dehydrated. This incident opened my eyes to the sad reality of animal welfare in the city. We lost Choco within a week’s return and it was devastating for me.
This event however pushed me to take initiatives to help strays in and around my area. I remember exhausting 30 kgs of pedigree within the first week of community feeding. I started to call out to my friends to start feeding routines with me and we started to feed all the strays in the Thiruvanmiyur area.
We started a community called ‘Animal Says’ which catered to the welfare of strays in and around Chennai. With time, chapters started to sprout in Bangalore and other states of India as well. As the community began to grow, we also started to take an active part in rural development programs as well.
During one of our field visits as part of our social work program at school, we visited the tribals at Nilgiris. Seeing their state of living, we understood that these people didn’t even have their basic needs met. One of our goals at ‘The Says’ community is to build a fully functioning school here at Nilgiris. This will entirely be a crowd funded initiative and we have this milestone set for ourselves in this coming year 2023.
Working with like minded individuals over the course of the projects have enabled me to realise the importance of working in groups. Individually we might not be able to create huge impacts but with collectively when we work together, the magnitude of the impact that can be created is going to be huge. This is what we at the says community hope to impart to the readers and we hope to bring in many more members onboard and start chapters at multiple places to help us continue our good work.”