News & Views

Ingrid E Newkirk, the founder of PETA India and PETA affiliates worldwide will be talking for the first time in Delhi.

The recipient of numerous awards and the author of 13 books, Newkirk was named a top businessperson of the year by Fortune magazine and has been the subject of two television documentaries: the BBC's Ingrid Newkirk: The Naked Revolutionary and HBO's award-winning I Am an Animal. Her work to help animals is regularly featured in newspapers around the globe, and she has appeared on numerous high-profile shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes and Voice of America. 

When: Friday, 8 November, 7 pm
Where: Cinema Hall, Russian Centre of Science and Culture, 24 Ferozeshah Rd, New Delhi 
The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session moderated by Koel Purie, and light refreshments will be served. The event is free, but donations in support of PETA's animal-protection programmes will be gratefully accepted. 
If you would like more information or have questions, please contact Divya Lakshmi on 022-4072 7382, extension 203
PLEASE NOTE: Seats are limited! RSVP as soon as possible to Divya atDivyaL@petaindia.org for a confirmed seat. 
Also, students wishing to receive a certificate for attending the event must have a valid student ID.

Article about SGACC has published in Sadhna Path(May 2013)

Article about SGACC has published in Sadhna Path(May 2013)

Tips on How to Deal With Your Society over Stray Dogs by Rinki Banerji.

1. Dog psychology: dogs are by nature easy to make friends with unless they suffer from genetic fear of humans or experienced trauma in their lives. Dogs that do not like to be physically social can be befriended by offering food like biscuits, rotis, non-veg pieces, etc. Often hungry dogs tend to become aggressive especially when subject to too much abuse, in such cases, it helps feeding them to help calm them down so that eventually they stop bothering themselves about getting aggressive as they sense lesser threat from the human race. Dogs by their basic nature are and like being happy and playful.

2. In many societies, there are stray feeders and there are stray haters. The latter does not like animals and in most cases, there is not much that one can do about that overnight. They would like to get them killed and that too being inhumane gets ruled out. They will try to abuse these dogs whenever they can, if they are not neutral about it. They have either been taught to hate animals in their childhood or they may have developed it during their lifetime or are simply born that way. Animals are unsafe and vulnerable around such people as they are looked upon as ‘objects’ (to be beaten and hated). This projected cruelty often causes fights between animal carers and haters where the haters do what they can to disturb the ‘dignity and moral integrity’ of the carers so as to get an edge over the case themselves. It is then that the fight turns into an ego battle of ‘I will show you’. The haters tend to then form mobs to attack the minor group of carers or often in some cases, ‘lone individuals’ and suppress them. The police needs to intervene in such matters then where the normal mental tendency of the police is to agree with the mob than the minor group of carers. This infuriates the carers and they try to look for other ways to make the issue public like media, etc. Often public drafts from NGOs sent to these addresses of abusers also come in handy. Sticking legal notices pro-animal welfare around the place can also help while sheltering the dogs temporarily to prevent them from attacks. It also helps to gather more animal carers from around the place than a handful to show the strength of caring people. One must use their brains freely in such issues and interact with more people until their problems are solved, without getting carried away emotionally while being influenced by one or two emotional supporters as the latter may be falsely influencing the former with their own doubts and fears. After all this, there may be a relative difference in abuse cases and the frequency of fights may come down. However, it becomes imperative also to try and train the aggressive dogs in the way necessary (by repeatedly talking to them about it, dogs understand vibrations and languages are deciphered as vibrations in their mind but the message is often conveyed) so as not to attack without reason or simply because the dog does not like someone. It is also important eventually to make these people sense that their problem is actually a non-issue and can be resolved by just handing over a biscuit or two (to the aggressive dogs) through ‘their’ hands to end the animosity.

3. It is an observed phenomenon that ‘resolving’ fights and problems are sometimes better than aggravating them. It is very difficult not to react aggressively in such issues especially when one knows they are not wrong, but eventually patience and thinking can serve well.

4. For people that are willing to lose their fear of strays, there is an effective healing technique called EFT www.eftuniverse.com which I have used in the past and has worked out in many cases. For those wanting to learn and use the technique can contact me on rinkibanerji.in@gmail.com for the same. I will either teach them myself or redirect to centers/institutions where they can learn more, as per convenience.

Ambulance for animals

India's first auto rickshaw converted into an animal ambulance was donated by Bajaj Auto to the Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre in New Delhi on 17-5-2011. The Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre headed by Smt Maneka Gandhi, is India's oldest and largest all-animal shelter cum veterinary hospital. It homes more than 2000 animals and provides treatment to 300 animals every day. It provides the only 24 hour free animal rescue service in Delhi, saving an average of 6-10 animals a day. This new small ambulance will increase efficiency by allowing for small animal pickups separately thereby saving time and costs.


Mr Rajeev Bajaj who donated the ambulance and his wife , Deepa both care deeply about animals. The vehicle was handed over in the presence of Chairperson, SGACC, Smt Maneka Gandhi by Regional Manager, Bajaj Auto Ltd , Mr Pushkar Sinha. Also present on the occasion were Mr A K Seth and Mr Abhijit Dey , Area Managers of Bajaj Auto Ltd and Mr Sunil Sareen, GM of Bagga Link Bajaj( Bajaj Authorised dealer , New Delhi).


Charity makes you feel good

India is wonderful in its own way. We say namaskar to businessmen but we touch the feet of dancers, singers and writers. We look enviously at those who wear a lot of expensive clothes but we touch with love the feet of those who wear almost none. A meeting called by a person to teach you how to be a successful entrepreneur will attract fifty people ; a meeting called by a person to teach you to achieve a life without material desires will attract thousands. We forgive the bad because we believe that they will be punished in their next lives. We believe in reincarnation but we do little to ensure that we will have better lives next time. We believe in charity and yet we do almost none.


This week I am talking about charity. It has obsessed me for a long time and came into focus this monsoon when my flagship animal shelter of 31 years , the Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre, collapsed under the weight of heavy rain, 4000 animals instead of the 200 it was built for , and a medical team that did less and less as more and more animals poured in. I now spend 4 hours a day there and things look brighter. The doctors have doubled and are at work, the rooms that fell down have been rebuilt. But we are a long way from perfect as all the facilities have to be doubled. The police and the wildlife department, the municipal corporation - all dump animals on us every hour of the day. But we do not get a single rupee from the government to look after them, Apart from that we have a 24 hour ambulance service that responds to 50 calls a day for free rescues. We have an OPD that caters to 150 pet animals a day. We have any number of pedigreed animals being abandoned with us.


My hospital needs so many things: tiles, bricks , cement, a small van to pick up puppies, a new generator. It runs purely on donations and this month we posted a loss of Rs 2 lakh which always frightens me( The police dumped 35 camels on us that were going for slaughter. These camels were very sick and their feed alone has come to Rs 67,000 per week) . I need to make a lot of capital investment in Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre – ten rooms more for sheep, camels, doctors, staff , a new kitchen, 100 new kennels and a lot of repairs. Every morning , we make a list of companies and then I call them to see if they will donate something we need. Sometimes I have to go through a long monologue which bothers me and then am asked to call again as the person cannot take the decision. That embarrasses me. Sometimes , the person surprises me. Last month I rang up a company to ask for a washing machine and the CEO said yes , even before I finished my speech. I was thrilled !! He turned out to Shri Jyoti Basu’s grandson. Yesterday I called someone to ask for an OT light and since he seemed very gruff I trailed off by saying.... if it is possible. He answered “ Nothing is impossible. The word itself means I am possible so you will have your light. “ I was so joyous ! A company head has not even talked to me but has simply responded to an email and promised a cleaning machine. Bless him !! On the other hand , a club that donated 7 street lights made me come to meet them twice on Sundays ( my writing day) , for 5 hours each , took one million photographs with each member's family and then I had to pursue them for two months to install the lights. Not good. There are two people who hound me on a weekly basis saying that they will leave the money to animals in their wills – and they have a lot of it . But they refuse to give any now – and I am sure I am going to die before them !


I give as much as I can away because it makes good sense for my health,economically and karmically. For me , everything that is given away is like being put into a bank for me alone. This business of giving and taking for me is like being in a river. The river carries on flowing . I am simply bathing in the flow and enjoying the rush of water. I am always surprised by revelations of people who make thousands of crores through bribes and open loot. Where, how and when will they use it ? Madhu Koda and his gang looted Jharkhand's poor people and sent the money to a lawless African country called Liberia. Will they ever see it again? Is their quality of life better? Are they happier?


If the purpose of life is pleasure - and I am a firm believer in this - then the quickest way to get that rush of happiness is not to buy something but to give something away (or , in my experience, to plant something in the ground )


Charity makes you feel good. The giver is always indebted to the person he gives to because of that amazing flush of happiness that comes for a little while. You feel that you are some worth in the world , that you have done your duty and that you have a little value in the grand scheme of things. The Japanese have a saying that when you save someone's life , you owe them forever. That’s how I feel. In fact instead of feeling superior , you should thank the people that you have been allowed by the universal energy to give something to.


The laws of nature are constructed for your survival and for your emotional and spiritual advancement. Helping those in need is self defence because you will be helped when you are in need . If you believe in another life then anything that makes another life feel better is acquiring Good Karma. And , if you believe the Gurus, you can trade that in for a good reincarnational slot on Earth.


To see what a bad survival policy selfishness or greed is, look around you. The bad air, the terrible water, the poison in the food ... all your problems stem from some individual greed. Monosodium glutamate that kills so many people was banned in India - it took the bribing of one bureaucrat to allow it and now it is found as a secret ingredient in many edibles. Our current environment minister has given more mining licences in forests than anyone else. He has also repealed the act made by me 20 years ago that disallowed anyone from constructing near a beach. So he has destroyed , through a single person's greed , the forests and coastline of an entire country. Contrast that with a person who gives his entire life in charity by becoming a voluntary doctor in tribal villages. Or with a man in Gujarat who buys seeds with all his earnings and then goes to public lands to scatter them . Or someone who trains forest guards on how to catch poachers. Or someone who opens a daily feeding centre for the homeless . My mother always kept clothes for children in her car and gave them to anyone she thought needed them. See their faces - they are much happier than this minister .What a fun way to live !!


In the case of my hospital - I always tell the people who use it that it does not belong to me . I am just the caretaker appointed by the gods to handle it in this lifetime. Imagine yourself a wounded or sick or discarded little puppy. Would you not want a medical facility where you can be cared for ?


Find a place in your city that needs your charity. Start with feeding the birds. Every week give a donation to an animal shelter , a children's orphanage and a charitable hospital. Put a tap outside your house for water. I read about someone who gives away 31 things from her house every month. Choose a weird number and stick to it so that it becomes an adventure. And remember to give nice things: A biscuit to the dog is not charity. Charity is the biscuit shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.


Yogiraj M , whose book I told you about last week, says: When you serve a less fortunate person in any way — material or spiritual — you are not doing him or her a favor. In fact, the one who receives your help does you a favor by accepting what you give, and there by helps you to evolve and move closer to the divine, blissful being, who in reality is within all.


“Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot!" says Lord Krishna, in the Bhagavad-Gita. " My life is a result of what I have done in all my previous lives. I am bound to fulfil a certain role in this life and I can only act within it to a limited degree. But within that parameter can I change my luck ? Our holy ones say that it is possible to change one's fate though charity and meditation/prayer. Helping animals who cannot complain about their suffering or do anything for you in return would be the ultimate karmic investment. So , in a way, if you like being selfish, charity is the ultimate shopping experience ! Here is nature's law: You can buy an insurance policy for your next life ( or even this life's coming years) by giving as much as you can in this life. If you keep the river flowing, you will insure that you get to drink from it as well.


Maneka Gandhi


Concept: Gautam Grover Model: Nathassha Sikka Photography: Manish Manchanda

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