What if you wake up one morning to a gleaming look on your pets face instead of them jumping onto you (in most of our cases) to take them out? Just about then you realise there is something wrong and they need your attention. You would definitely make sure that you understand their problem and get to their side.
But what if it was a stray, abandoned or lost animal? We won’t even bother looking, leave alone helping it. Pune girl Neha Panchamiya has woken up each day to help the voiceless animals in need helped them like her own and bought new solutions to animal welfare and reduction of human-animal conflict in the city.
Neha’s education in the U.K. led her to discover the animal welfare efforts that western countries follow, and the private sector participation in the animal welfare movement touched her deeply. Once in India, it was soon for her to realize that this concept was just about in the burgeoning step. Instead of being cynical and also being in a challenged area of work she started an NGO along with her partner Tanya Kane and voila! ResQ Charitable Trust came into existence.
Her journey is not the way we think it is. Converting her passion into a full time dedicated professional and handling all the aspects of running ResQ is what’s inspiring for everyone out there. What started with 2 people has over 50 people working with them today. From initiating the movement by offering help to animals on-site, to becoming into a state-of-art animal rescue centre and hospital today, ResQ has become a haven for all kinds of needy animals. With no government aid and little private contributions, one certainly needs passion combined with perseverance & practical approach along with the unconditional love towards animals who cannot express in words.
ResQ has emerged to become Pune’s biggest animal welfare NGO, with 6 core members and 40+ support staff. They manage to help almost all the cases reported to them, yet she regrets being able to help only one-third of all the animals who need their services. What drives Neha is her team which is compassionate enough not only to help animals with an innovative approach but also abide by ResQ values of – Awareness, Inclusion and Action. Hard work is
being put in so that the general population can be aware, empathize and further volunteer to help the cute mute beings. Reducing human-animal conflict is the focus through their various programs and initiatives.
ResQ also ensures that every volunteer gets hands-on training and is accountable for his or her actions and takes complete responsibility. In Neha’s words, “It doesn’t matter how much time you spend at ResQ. But at the end of it, you should be able to feel that you made a difference to an animal’s life and that the experience made a difference to your life.”
As a woman in an offbeat career, Neha has faced all sorts of challenges and may even have a few legal battles to fight which she intends to stand up for. What matters today is making a real difference, being kind, working hard, dreaming big, staying focused, smiling often and learning from experience. Her motto is not only inspiring but a way to live a life. Neha has won several accolades like ‘Power Women of the Year 2017 – Times of India’, and ‘Excellence in Animal Welfare (CSR Leadership) – The Economic Times’. She is also a Hon. Animal Welfare Officer, AWBI, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt of India. Her work in animal rescue missions has been mentioned in various media and has been invited to speak on benefits of running on-site rescue and first aid program for animals at India for Animals 2016, a National Conference held in Mumbai by FIAPO India (Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations).
What she seeks from us is nothing but attention, contribution and initiation from the many who wish to offer a hand of support to ResQ. Her message to all is to stay steadfast in your goal. Never lose focus, even when the going gets tough. “Only in fire is the quality of steel tested”
May all positive energy move in your path girl! You too can be a part of this movement. Just visit www.resqct.org and choose an animal to contribute to in your own special ways.
Contributor: Kashish Ambekar