Geeta Seshamani - Savior of India's Animals
Geeta Seshamani - Saving animals and changing laws In India
Founder of Friendicoes, SECA (Society for Eradication of Cruelty to Animals), and
Co-founder and Guiding Force of Wildlife S.O.S.
Geeta Seshamani, an English literature Professor at Gargi Colege in south Delhiand, is passionate about animals. She is a remarkable woman who's mission in life is to be a voice for animals and save those who have been victims of neglect and cruelty.
She has been involved in animal welfare and wildlife conservation for over thirty years and established the first Stray-Animal Birth Control center in Delhi.
In 1979 she started Friendicoes SECA (Society for Eradication of Cruelty to Animals). Friendicoes' mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and give better lives to the stray and abandoned animals in New Delhi, the capital.
In recognition of her work and knowledge, Geeta has been appointed by the government to several committees dealing with animal welfare including: the Government of India Committee for Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experimentation on Animals; the Animal Welfare Board of India; and the Central Zoo Authority.
That's just part of the story of this amazing woman. She is also the driving force behind Wildlife S.O.S. which she co-founded in 1995 with Katick Satyanarayan. The organization works throughout India saving wildlife from poachers, habitat destruction and cruel humans.
Street Dogs in New Dehli
Geeta's work began with dogs
Geeta has always loved animals so when she saw the dozens of stray dogs digging through garbage dumps for scraps of food or huddled together for warmth she knew she had to do something.
Geeta also saw the abuse these feral dogs were subjected to and wanted to end that as well. Friendicoes was created based on these experiences. Friendicoses, a Society for Eradication of Cruelty to Animals.
Two of the major problems India faced with the feral street dogs was rabies and sheer numbers. Geeta and Friendicoes worked hard to set in motion a program of TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) as used in the United States and other developed countries for feral cats.
Animal Birth Control Program
Finally, in 1997, the Animal Birth Control program was adopted as the official Indian policy for dealing with rabies and street dogs. This meant that the TNR program for street dogs was accepted. This has helped to reduce the numbers of dogs and the number of instances of rabies as well.
Geeta and Friendicoes established the first Stray-Animal Birth Control center in Delhi
Although the work started with the dogs, you'll see as you read through this site that Geeta didn't stop there. ALL animals in India are sacred to her and she has made it her life's work to save every one of them.
Geeta's love is returned
Saving donkeys, horses and mules
Equines -- donkeys, ponies, horses and mules -- are another of the animals Geeta works to save. In India they are used to carry bricks or stones from the many brick kilns and stone quarries. Very often their owners overload them causing them to lose their balance and fall, often twisting an ankle or worse.
Adding insult to injury, when an animal is injured and falls down, their owners beat them to try to get them to get up. Often, the injured donkey after so much abuse is dispirited and will simply lie there and take the beating, giving up on life.
Since these injured equines can no longer work, they are often abandoned beside the road by their owners. Simply left to die, alone and in pain.
Geeta dreamed of having an equine veterinary unit along the Delhi-Agra corridor to tend to these working animals. Friendicoes now has a mobile clinic that runs on the belt between Delhi and Agra and in and around the state of Haryana. They hope to expand the work to Agra in the immediate future.
The clinic provides free medical care to over 1500 equines a week. In addition to medical care for the animals, they provide farriery training, feed and husbandry advice, and educate the owners in the care of the animal.
When a horse has served 15 years as a police horse, she now has a home at Friendicoes. There, she can spend the rest of her life basking in the sun and munching to her heart's content.
A Personal Thank You
Thank you for being the voice for animals. You are an inspiration. Your your determination, dedication and above all compassion shines through in all that you do.
It is encouraging to see your resolve and the results showing just how many animals you have saved. I know that with enough people like you, we could save all of the animals in the world.
Bear hugs, Frankie
Cats are also given a new life.
Although there are not as many feral cats in India as dogs, there are many cats that are in need. Many are abandoned, abused or starving.
Cats and kittens are abandoned in boxes and bags at Friendicoes' doorstep or tied up outside their facilities. Old and disabled cats are left when their owners no longer want to take care of them.
These cats are given sanctuary -- receiving food, water, shelter, medical care and love. The injured and sick are taken care of as well. They are also spayed/neutered. They adopt out the ones that they can. The rest have sanctuary at Friendicoes for the rest of their lives, receiving love and care.
Monkeys, who used to be free to roam, now are living on roof tops of homes and on top of electric poles. They usually are rescued by Friendsicoes in pretty bad shape, having been electrocuted, stabbed, or scalded by boiling water or acid.
Friendsicoes houses them next door to the cats in a large enclosure. Most will live the rest of their lives at the sanctuary as they are disturbed from their treatment by humans.
Friendsicoes is trying to raise more funds to erect a larger monkey enclosure to give them the space they need to be happy and healthy.
City hospital for animals
Geeta believes that all animals should have medical care if needed. Many, many of the animals Friendicoes receives are sick, starving, maimed, injured, abandoned, or abused.
Friendicoes has a well-equipped clinic staffed with 5 veterinary surgeons, 6 para-vets, and 28 shelter staff that takes care of each and every animal.
They also have a well-equipped clinic with 2 operating rooms, a diagnostic pathology lab with complete testing facilities and an x-ray machine so they can determine exactly what is ailing an animal so they can provide the best medical care possible.
This equipment is used for strays but also to help family pets. The services are provided at no or a minimum fee to low-income families.
Friendicoes has a house-call service by appointment and provides 24-hour for emergencies.
As you can imagine, donations are key to help pay for these services and for spay/neuter as well.
Mahatma Gandhi Quote
"The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be determined by the ways it treats it's animals."Mahatma Gandhi
Geeta and Friendicoes wins Prestigious Pehal Award
In a nation wide search for people & non profit organisations that have done pioneering work for social causes, "Friendicoes SECA" was felicitated with the prestigious "Pehal Award" by popular TV channel Zee News.
Friendicoes has been doing pioneering work to protect and help animals for over two decades now. The award was received by a Friendicoes SECA team of President - Nina Anand, Life Member - Tandrali Kuli & Vice President - Geeta Seshamani.
Saving The Dancing Bears of India.
Dancing Bears Of India
In 1995, they formed Wildlife SOS, an Indian Charity dedicated to saving all of India's animals, starting with the dancing bears (sloth bears).
After conducting an 18-month research project to understand the issues and the needs of the bears and the Kalandar people (the gypsies dancing the bears), they created the India Bear Rescue Project and Tribal Rehabilitation.
They were given land to build the first ever rescue center for bears in India and in 1999 construction of the sanctuary began. The land, near Agra, was within the Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, a 2,000 acre of land in a conservation area owned by the forestry department.
The sanctuary was completed in 2002 and on Christmas Eve of that year, the first 6 sloth bears were rescued.
Wildlife S.O.S. has since created and manages 3 other bear sanctuaries in India.
Geeta and Kartick's Bear Rescue Program was started with a 3-prong approach, which addresses both the cause and the effect of India's bear dancing tradition.
1. Give the Kalandars alternative employment.
2. Rehabilitate the bears.
3. Stop the poaching.
In addition, Wildlife S.O.S. created and conducts educational programs for tourists, the general public and school children.
Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife S.O.S.
To tell the day-to-day-in-the-bush rescues of these battered sloth bears, I've created a lens about Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and Director of Wildlife S.O.S. (WSOS)
Kartick, known as the BEAR MAN in India, risks life and limb to save these battered bears.
Along with photos, the lens has a video of an actual undercover rescue of bear cubs from poachers and more information about WSOS and their India Bear Rescue Project. Check it out at Katrick Satyanarayan - Champion of India's Dancing Bears
Dancing Bear of India
For a more in-depth look at how sloth bears are captured and turned into Dancing Bears, I've created a lens about their lives both before and after Wildlife S.O.S. saves them.
It's a bitter-sweet story full of hope about the sloth bears that have been saved and those that are still dancing. It is also one about hope and the change that is taking place due to Geeta's love and guiding hand.
You can check it out at Saving the Dancing Bears of India
News Stories about Wildlife S.O.S.
- Leopard and tiger skins seized in Karnataka-Flora & Fauna-Earth-The Times of India
NEW DELHI: Two leopard skins and a tiger skin have been seized in Karnataka's Chickmaglur region in two separate incidents and four people arrested in this connection, a senior Wildlife official said on Tuesday.
- NGO's in India: Wildlife S.O.S
Agra is on the itinerary of many tourists who visit India. Home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal draws countless crowds to its unparalleled magnificence. Despite having visited the mausoleum four times - twice in the last sever
- Charity saves 500th dancing bear
A charity in East Sussex which is aiming to end the trade in dancing bears in India, has rescued its 500th animal.
- MCD 'dogged' by canine menace- Wild & Wacky-Earth-The Economic Times
NEW DELHI: Move over roads, parking or sealing, the burning issue for MCD is the increasing number of street dogs in the city despite a sterilization programme.
- Mammoth loss
The dwindling population of the endangered dugongs suffered one more loss recently in the Andaman and Nicobar islands...
- India restricts tourists to save its last tigers - Times Online
TOURISTS are to be banned from the heartlands of the 37 national tiger reserves in India amid fears that their presence is hastening the demise of an increasingly endangered species.
- Years after they stopped soaring over city, 2 vultures found
Almost a decade after they went extinct, two vultures have now been found in the city. On Saturday afternoon, a highly endangered Egyptian Vulture was found by an NGO, Wildlife SOS, from near the Ghazipur abattoir.
- Snakes in spotlight this week
Next time you spot a snake, keep in mind that, in all probability, it will not be poisonous. Out of about 15 species of snakes that are found in Delhi, only two are venomous.
- The dancing bear of Wildlife SOS - Yahoo! India News
Mumbai, Feb. 6 -- Established in 1995, Wildlife SOS (WSOS) has been dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating wild animals in their natural habitat in India for over 15 years. And
- NGOs ask Jairam to stop animal killings in Himachal
A delegation of five animal rights groups met Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh here Monday and sought his intervention to stop killing of wild animals in Himachal Pradesh, a spokesperson for the groups said.
This Lens Supports Wildlife S.O.S.
Animal contest Winner
This lens took 3rd place in the SquidActivist October Challenge for Animals in 2008. Thanks to all who voted for your support and for the money raised for Wildlife S.O.S. and the other animal charities.
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