“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it , then stop wishing and just do it.” —Wanda Sykes
This quote strongly resonates with my beliefs and what I thought during the lockdown. I felt like there was something I needed to do for my community as that had always been one of my Passions.
The coronavirus lockdown definitely had its negative impacts, but I personally found a lot of time to work on social projects on issues that I felt strongly about, one of them being animal welfare. My main thoughts revolved around the impacts that the lockdown had created on stray animals, given that they depended on humans for their daily source of food. Coexistence of humans and animals is crucial to the overall survival of all species. It is very saddening to see that human animal conflicts are becoming more frequent as the world progresses. I remember starting out small, with a humble notebook where I would put down my ideas to help the condition of stray animals in India.
My friend from Noida and I collaborated on this project together and ended up with many ideas, some which included an e-book or a podcast and we also decided to name the organisation “Helping Paws”. But as time went by, we realized that we needed to start small rather than going all out in the first few weeks. We ended up creating a fundraiser for a small animal shelter in Noida called The House of Stray Animals and we were able to fund upto 40,000 rupees for the NGO. After that initial success we went on to create a website with articles on different aspects of animal welfare. In addition to that we also created an instagram page with posts informing the public about the issue.
Thanks to the Cambridge Learner profile, which is embedded into students of Legacy School Bangalore, I was able to confidently carry out this project. I always kept in mind my responsibility to make a change in the lives of stray animals, which fueled me to be reflective and innovative by thinking of newer ways to make a change. This helped me to be constantly engaged in the project making me confident about my social change abilities. This entire circle of learning and reflecting is a process that will come to everyone as long as they put in the effort to do so. To be honest the entire process of working for a social cause was pretty challenging because I needed time to focus on my classes and we found it very difficult to stick to deadlines. However my call of helping was far more stronger than my thought of giving up, hence i continued to further the cause through “Helping Paws” and I am thankful to have done so. When i find out about the lives of animals that i’ve changed, it’s like a reward that can never be taken away from you.
I would encourage students to identify their passions and commit to work towards the cause. Don’t give up and always fight for your cause because I’ve learnt that anyone can make a change, no matter their age or how big of an impact they make. In the end it’s small steps like these that truly develop into life changing moments for everyone.
To support her cause, visit: https://helpingpawsorganiz.wixsite.com/helpingpaws
About the Author
Rithu is an avid believer in making a difference in her local community. She strongly encourages students to identify their passions and interests and act on them to make a change. Currently Studying in Grade 10 in Legacy School Bangalore she learned that the curriculum itself demands students to look beyond academics. She is looking forward to taking on many more projects and has already started to do so by working on her GP team project.