Each year we see an increasingly wide variety of Community Investment Grant applications, offering a window in to the societal issues that our colleagues around the world are passionate. Reading through the applications for fiscal year 2014, I was struck by three applications from our Delhi office, all of which were submitted on behalf of animal welfare organizations. This is what I learned:
The image of a cow on the streets has become a stereotypical image of India, according to Vasudevan Rangarajan, account director with Edelman Delhi. Despite the veneration of cows by generations of Indians, an inclination to vegetarianism and animal-friendly laws, the conditions for street animals are distressing. Often subject to inhumane treatment, these animals live as mute victims of public apathy, without access to food and plagued by disease.
Some organizations are dedicated to improving the lives of animals living on the streets of India.
Arunachala Animal Sanctuary & Rescue Shelter provides medical aid and sterilizations to stray animals in the community of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, a southern Indian state. Funds from an Edelman Community Investment Grant were used to purchase supplies and medication for the organization’s sterilization and anti-rabies program, clinic and hospital.
Believing that it is the responsibility of humans to care for the environment and every living being, Kalyani Animal Welfare Foundation founded the Swarna Lata Home for Destitute Animals in Village Bhatti, South Delhi, where stray and abandoned animals can regain their strength. The majority of the Community Investment Grant was used to sterilize and vaccinate almost 30 dogs, while the remaining funds were used to organize a fundraiser that raised enough money to purchase food and medicine for an entire month.
For the Youth Organization in Defense of Animals (YODA), animal welfare in India entails not only improving the physical welfare of animals but creating harmony with the humans who live alongside them. In just three and a half years, YODA has helped 4,000 domestic animals and, with funds from a Community Investment Grant, has been able to vaccinate and treat over 50 dogs, with a goal of helping 500 dogs this year.
Edelman is proud to support these and many other organizations through the Community Investment Grant program. The Edelman employees in the APACMEA region who received a grant on behalf of the organizations they volunteer with are:
- Smera Chawla – Kalyani Animal Welfare Foundation
- Deborah Hayden – Second Harvest Japan
- Smita Joshi – The Leprosy Mission Trust India
- Aklanta Kalita – Youth Organization in Defense of Animals
- Vasudevan Rangarajan –Arunachala Animal Sanctuary & Rescue Shelter
- Siddharth Sing – HEAL (Health and Education for All)
- Echo Xia – Shanghai Enrichment Community Center
- Helen Yue – The Library Project
John Edelman is managing director of global engagement and corporate responsibility.