Today I shall tell you about an amazing human being.
A human being who is a jewel of our species, a man of impeccable philosophy and morals, a man who through his sheer dedication and hard work has done so much for the betterment of our equine friends.
In India, ponies are used to carry everything under the sun.
But unlike cows, bullocks etc, there is nobody to help them.
Most, if not all, the pony owners are poor people with large families barely scratching a living. Many of them don’t have medicine for their own children, never mind the ponies.
So, what do they do when a poly becomes old or becomes sick?
They abandon the animals.
The poor ponies, sick or old, slowly starve to death or get into accidents and die.
One man felt deeply about their conditions.
In India, there are millions of so called animals lovers.
99% of them are armchair animal lovers though. Signing petitions and attending gals and events supporting animals are the extent of their work for the betterment of animals.
This man is different.
His name is Sandesh Raju.
Ever since his youth, he has been deeply passionate about animal rights, animal welfare and veganism. The last one is deeply problematic since he hates all vegetables (apart from potatoes).
But still, thinking about the animals, he has maintained his veganism for decades now.
He started his animal activism by working as the chief of operations in Blue Cross of Hyderabad.
In his time, he rescued countless numbers of dogs, cats, cows, horses and birds. Moreover he ensured the vaccination and sterilization of thousands of animals every year.
And he did all that while studying for his masters.
He later joined a company for money. But his soul did not allow him to continue in the corporate world.
He heeded the call of animals and quit his job.
And started working for the ponies.
He started a non-profit, non-governmental organization. He also started studying veterinary sciences.
And he started providing treatment and medicines for free to the ponies of Bangalore.
He started his NGO SAMABHAVA with the aim to provide five freedoms to the working ponies
- Freedom from thirst and hunger – by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
- Freedom from discomfort – by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from pain, injury, and disease – by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to express normal behaviour – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
- Freedom from fear and distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
He started going around Banaglore with a begging bowl in his hand – not for money, mind you, but just for a little space.
A little space to build a shelter.
And once he got that, he started rescuing abandoned, sick, starving, old, injured animals.
To date, he has rescued 47 such ponies.
It might not seem like a big number to you, but for those 47 ponies, it has been nothing short of a miracle.
http://samabhava.org/cms/index.php?route=product/category&path=90_106_107 (shameless bit of self-promotion just to let you know that am not a totally worthless good for nothing stain on humanity and waste of oxygen)
Survivor was the first and am so happy that he is still with us today and seems to be so happy in his new home.
He has diligently worked for the last decade for the ponies, sacrificing all his time, energy and money. He has sacrificed his career, his love life, his friendships, his chance for a partner in life, all for the ponies.
And its only now that he is getting the recognition that he so richly deserves. Not that he is doing all this for accolades or prizes.
He hates limelight and shies away from most recognition.
But to me, he is bonafide hero and deserves all the goodwill and acclaim that a human being can ever deserve.
To say that he has been a gift from heaven to the poor ponies of Bangalore would be a mother of all understatements.
For the ponies, he is manna from heaven.
For the humans, he is an inspirational figure and legend.