“The three of us have been friends ever since we entered college. And just like every other tale of growing up, a few years down the line, life took us in different directions, literally, in a quest to figure out our respective careers. But regardless of whichever corner of the world we were in, the one thing that bound us together was our common love for animals.
Now having volunteered at various pet shelters throughout our time, we observed something unique! Despite a wide array of people being interested in animals, these shelters struggled to have their rescues adopted. Everyone loved petting puppies and kittens on the road but when it came to giving them a loving home, a vast majority automatically backed out. Moreover, there was also a growing trend where foreign dogs with golden manes were taken home like trophies while our indigenous varieties that could be adopted for no cost were often refused the love they deserved.
And this definitely puzzled us! We couldn’t wrap our heads around why the preference existed but knew we wanted to spark a change in the right direction. So upon pondering over the possibilities, the first natural step that felt right was educating people on the ground reality that existed. We realized that if people understood the number of homeless and abandoned dogs at all these rescue homes, then at least a small fraction would choose adoption as the better alternative.
Then we thought of ‘Yoga’, another activity which is also known for its calming tendencies besides a multitude of positive psychological effects on the doer. Eventually, we zeroed down on creating an environment where people have a place to practice yoga in the midst of a bunch of these loving puppies. And combining the best of both worlds, we named the initiative ‘Pawga’ and started actively approaching major animal shelters for collaboration.
And thankfully, we soon had the support of The Blue Cross of India, a major animal welfare centre based out of Chennai. The officials there, were upon hearing our idea and readily supported us in every step since. Their encouragement coupled with our drive to find a loving home for these four-legged friends blossomed into our first beautiful event held just recently. Change is, of course, a long way ahead but we believe it’s more about the intention! Hopefully more people realize the need to adopt over shop and we see a significant change in the coming years