Gandhi ji has said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Yet, there are so many stray animals around the country who are suffering due to lack of food, love, and care.
It is a sad reality of today that the responsibility of animal welfare is resting in the hands of only a few NGO’s and Animal welfare activists.
One such NGO is the Our Faith Foundation. It is a eleven-member team of dedicated volunteers working towards animal welfare and also making continuous efforts in the fields of human and environmental welfare.
When asked about the challenges they faced in chasing this pursuit, they admit that the funding is the main concern. Apart from this, they also face the prejudices and irrational fear people have against stray animals. They are also looking for collaboration or CSR with corporations in Dehradun which is why they organized a Winter Charity Carnival at Faith Rescue and Recuperation Centre in December 2020.
Sadly, the foundation is yet to receive support from society and the local government. They strongly believe that educating the masses about social issues with animals will go a long way in sensitizing the general public towards animal welfare issues.
Their message for readers of DehradunTales is
“For the price of a fancy dress that you may wear a couple of times, you could feed at least 150 dogs for a week or buy books for an entire year for a school-going child. It’s time we start to make better choices as human beings!”
We wish all the best to the team of Our Faith foundation for their future endeavors.
Read the full interview to know more about their journey.
Tell us about ‘Our Faith’ Foundation.
Our Faith is a non-profit organization, an active advocate for the amelioration of our planet and all lives on it. It is powered by a group of individuals coming from all walks of life who were brought together by their shared vision of a better future for us all.
In addition to being active in the field of animal welfare for seven years, it is also making continuous efforts in the fields of human and environmental welfare.
Who all are part of your team?
Our Faith stands strong with an 11 member team, most of them are based in Dehradun. We also have a team of dedicated volunteers and will also be offering summer internships soon.
How did you conceive the idea of working on animal welfare?
There was no one source of inspiration that led to us working in animal welfare. The founder of the organisation, Niharika & her mother, Ms Anjana have been compassionate towards animals since the beginning. They believe that their love & compassion has guided them towards the streets of animal welfare.
Niharika says, “As a child, whenever I saw a stray on the streets, I just had to feed him with some biscuits. It was more like a natural instinct.”
The organisation might have came into functioning officially recently, but the team has been working in animal welfare for as long as they can remember.
Apart from animal welfare, what other issues are you working on?
We are working on environmental welfare, human welfare apart from animal welfare.
What challenges did you face in the beginning?
The main challenge we face in any NGO is funding. We have been trying to run the organisation with our own money till we get steady income. Other than that the main challenge we face in animal welfare is the prejudice and irrational fear people have against strays. It’s a pre conceived notion that a stray is dirty and dangerous and helping them causes negative reactions towards us.
How do you financially support your NGO?
We are utterly grateful to our donors who support us. We are also looking for collaboration or CSR with corporations in Dehradun. For now, we are funding our activities from our own pockets.
In a city like Dehradun, what measures would you suggest for tackling such issues?
We strongly believe that the reason behind prejudice is ignorance. Educating the masses about social issues with animals will go a long way in sensitizing the general public towards animal welfare issues.
Have you also collaborated with any national or international organization?
We are always open for collaborations of any kind which is why we organised a Winter Charity Carnival at Faith Rescue and Recuperation Centre in December 2020. This gave us a chance to collaborate with local businesses which further promoted their business as well as our organization.
What kind of response did you receive from society and the local government?
Sadly, we haven’t received any special support from society and the local
government, but we do expect some positive response in the near future.
However, there are a bunch of people who always come forward to help us every now and then.
How do you see the future of ‘Our Faith’ Foundation?
We see our future as full of hope, positivity and one that improves the quality of life of all beings on this planet. We aim to touch as many lives as we can, be it on our daily feeding drives or enabling as many young children to go to school.
We aim to start a food programme where we provide clean, nutritious meals at a nominal price for those who cannot afford two square meals a day. We also aim to begin regular plantation drives with the help of our dedicated members and volunteers.
Above all, our future aligns with our organisation’s objective which is to make the world a better place for everyone.
Your message to the readers of DehradunTales.
Our message to the readers would be to be compassionate and empathetic to others. Be it looking after a sick or injured dog outside your place or a man who daily faces a choice to feed either himself or his family.
Some of us are fortunate to have the upbringing and amenities that make our lives much easier as compared to those who are not.
For the readers especially we’d like to say that
“For the price of a fancy dress that you may wear a couple of times, you could feed atleast 150 dogs for a week or buy books for an entire year for a school-going child. Its time we start to make better choices as human beings!”