Visits to Nepal and India and much more!
Greetings to all of you caring people worldwide!
Help Animals India was honored to be a speaker at multiple events and a sponsor of the recent Himalayan Vegan Festival in Nepal to help spread the message of compassion. It was the largest such festival ever in the area.
Left to Right: Gauri Maurekhi of People for Animals Uttarkhand (a Help Animals India grantee — read more about her outstanding work below); Help Animals India founding director Eileen Weintraub; the Honorable Maneka Sanjay Gandi of People for Animals (also a Help Animals India grantee); Renee King-Sonnen of "Rowdy Girl Sanctuary" (transforming attitudes towards cows in Texas).
At the conference we were able to connect and network in person with our grantees in Nepal, including Animal Nepal, Sneha's Care, SPCA Nepal and Magic Marble Foundation which offered free spay/neuter for any community dogs in the Kathmandu Valley.
While international speakers and participants forcefully pled the case for veganism and for "diet change to stop climate change," quite another story showed itself in the streets of India and Nepal with cows and buffaloes roaming everywhere (sadly, many will wind up illegally trafficked) and goats and chickens cruelly kept and awaiting slaughter. Plant-based milk alternatives are extremely limited to nonexistent in this part of the world.
But there is good news! In Gujarat, Help Animals India grantee Prayas Team Environment is changing lives for the better with our help and their new plant-based venture, KIND 1. Here's how they describe their mission and current sate of progress:
"This is an initiative to make plant based and vegan food and lifestyle more available, affordable and attractive. It's first of its kind in Gujarat, and we look forward to work with stores, restaurants, caterers, and people at large to promote plant based and vegan lifestyle. Initiating stocking and distribution of all meat and dairy alternatives, will be eyeing for a super store, and then an experience center in the future."
Next we travelled down to India, where we visited our project in the ancient city of Varanasi. Here is Help Animals India Founding Director Eileen Weintraub cutting the ribbon of the new mobile spay/neuter vehicle for the dogs! What an impact this vehicle has as it visits the local neighborhoods, enabling people to bring their pets in for veterinary care right then and there!
In Varanasi and Sarnath, here is our outreach to the community promoting compassion for all animals, dog bite prevention and street dog care.
Varanasi for Animals is active year-round with hundreds of dogs being spay/neutered/vaccinated and rescued each month. Additionally, each year in nearby Sarnath (the sacred place where the Buddha gave his first teaching) we organize an animal birth control camp which includes a comprehensive anti-rabies vaccination drive as well as awareness classes in the schools and villages. Our project, which began in 2012, has been made possible with a yearly generous grant by the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and donors like you.
In the villages ...
On the streets ...
... and touching the hearts of openminded schoolchildren, eager to adopt a more compassionate lifestyle and destined, perhaps, to become animal advocates themselves in the years to come.
Further south in India, we visited Help Animals India grantee WRRC (Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre).
WRRC does sterling work for captive elephants in India, ranging from legal advocacy to public outreach and now housing four sick, injured, and crippled elephants. They have multiple litigations running for the sake of captive elephants in the various High Courts of India and the Supreme Court. They also conduct and support outreach programs that raise awareness about the cruelty of captivity. Help Animals India is privileged to have supported them for years, enabling them to launch their Elephant Care Facility, which has grown from a two-acre facility to a joint initiative with the Karnataka Forest Department on a 30-odd-acre facility now housing four rescued ladies. Supporting elephants is a gargantuan task, and they need your continued generosity.
Here is a sweet video from WRRC who write:
"The new elephant sanctuary now has 4 elephants (in order of arrival: Aneesha, Gowri, Durga and Jamuna). It is gradually getting the first unmistakable signs of elephant presence... dung piles, broken branches, scooped out earth, signs of mud splash points! The elephants are relaxed and dynamics of relationship with each other are still in process ..."
"Gowri and Aneesha are still overtly demonstrative and loving but now joined by Jamuna who is like a lady in waiting to Aneesha — very curious, gentle and always wanting to be of help. Durga feigns as if she doesn't care for anyone but enjoys their company with rumbles, mostly from a distance.""
"It is a joy to watch them, but keeping them safe and secure we need cameras which are solar driven and can be viewed at different points outdoors. We are trying to find out more about its availability in India and effectiveness in practical use ..hoping you will assist us in keeping this center as a haven for these much abused elephants."
The center will eventually be a safe haven for even more elephants who have endured decades of abuse and mistreatment. It will be such a blessing for these great, awesome animals to find the lasting security they so deserve.
WRRC sister nonprofit is CUPA Bangalore which has six other centers: Trauma and Rescue Centre, Animal Care Clinic, Second Chance Adoption Centre, Large Animal Rescue and Rehab Centre, Geriatric Centre and a CUPA spay and neuter center which does animal birth control for 250 dogs and 185 cats every month. The cat TNR project (TNR: trap/neuter/release), which Help Animals India helps support, is the largest in India, tending to cats in the teeming projects of the mega city. Since it was initiated in 2018, over 4000 cats have received the project's vital assistance!
At the WRRC Centre:
960 Indian star tortoises (whose populations are declining globally) had been cruelly kept in sacks for illegal sale when they were confiscated by the authorities and handed over to WRRC. Some of them were well enough to be released immediately, others must first be kept under observation under special heat lamps. Above is WRRC's senior veterinarian Dr. Roopa Satish checking her precious patients. She is so dedicated! She checks each tortoise daily.
Here are some of the many orphaned macaques at WRRC. They are orphaned due to the sudden death of their mothers either due to childbirth or human activity. They are brought to WRRC where they are taken care of and then carefully introduced (with precautions against rejection) to the macaque troop being gathered there. Once integrated into the troop, the orphaned macaques are taught how to survive in the wild before the group is released into a suitable habitat.
Inside the CUPA Geriatric Centre, home to over 50 unwanted canine senior citizens. Thank goodness they are not wandering the streets and have found refuge here. Wish we could take them all home! Winter is coming and the center needs more supplies and breathable beds like the ones seen here.
We would be remiss if did not mention the good works of one of India's foremost animal activists, Ms. Gauri Maurekhi (pictured next to Eileen in the vegan festival photo near the top of this newsletter). Gauri runs one of India's foremost animal sanctuaries: the Happy Home Sanctuary at PFA (People for Animals) Uttarkhand in Dehra Dun. It's home to hundreds of formerly abused animals: horses, mules, donkeys, goats, sheep, cats, hens.
Gauri is an astounding activist for all animals, bravely filming abuses inside slaughterhouses and working in the courts for India's animal laws. Help Animals India regularly provides grants to her Happy Home Sanctuary. Its latest efforts include rescuing and treating many abandoned mules. More than 20,000 mules are used for ferrying devotees up the hill to the Kedarnath Shrine in Uttarakhand state during the Char Dham Yatra religious pilgrimage, and the majority of these poor animals are sick and overburdened — some to the point of serious injury and abandonment. There are no proper facilities or veterinary caregivers to ensure the animals' health, care, and safety.
PFA Uttarakhand has filed litigation to bring relief to these animals. It is also administering treatment in the field and rescuing abandoned animals. Some of the recent rescues include Kio, Goldie and Jacky. Will you help us sponsor more?
The U.S. dollar is at its highest value against the Indian rupee, however costs in India/Nepal are way up due to inflation, like everywhere else. How will we feed all the shelter animals and continue to rescue more? Will you help us with any amount!
We are particularly proud of receiving 103 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reviews on the Great Nonprofits Website.
With deepest gratitude and appreciation — from the Help Animals India team, our colleagues in India and Nepal, and the animals.