“What do you do when you see someone pelting a stone at pup?” asks Jotvinder Singh, a Delhi based entrepreneur. “If you scare the guy, it is your first step towards compassion for animals. Your journey starts.”
After years of running a printing and publishing business, Jotvinder turned to his “inner calling”. He shut shop and started providing cooked food for dogs, pets as well as stray dogs across the National Capital Region and five other cities of India.
He developed special food, adopted stray dogs, identified ‘Feeding Points’ in different cities, put up water bowls, took help from local security guards, Taxi Stand people, Tea Stall owners etc. ... and he has been feeding stray dogs ever since. When asked “Why?” he says, “Who else will do it?” Jotvinder’s simple solution for most problems is, “Go to the street, feed the dogs or play with them. Take my word, you will find a purpose in life!”
“Let me confess, Few months back I came up with this concept to start tiffin service for pets. I could sense a dire need for something like this. Where we usually do not take the trouble to cook for our furry babies and either serve them with leftovers or opt for packaged food.
In any case both are not required and does not fulfill all of their nutritional requirement.
Then started the ground work. Market survey was done on 300 people and results were positive. Rented a place in Mahipal Pur. As target audience was Vasant Kunj in New Delhi.
Developed nutritional charts, studied diet plans and with time employed boys to cook meals in small bunches. We tried on pets and they lapped it up, boosting confidence that we could not go wrong with this.
Lot of proposals came by to join the band wagon. Everybody thought that this is easy money with negligible investment. Somehow I did not adhered to their motives as all of them thought it on business alone with no inclination towards serving. Business in anyways require funds to sustain but then not without passion and love with which you could nurture.
Now after being operational for some time and trying several marketing stunts I have come to know that you cannot succeed when you don't have fire in your heart or you don't believe in what you are doing. Money cannot be your sole criteria to business.
Joined several Dog and Animal Lover Groups in various social networking sites to reach out. And as I sunk myself into it, I could not believe that there are thousands of noble souls who are selflessly devoted for welfare of animals.
In fact, I did not know there was a sea of humanity who work tirelessly and silently for a cause. No one does anything for any reward or think about returns. Why then any concept (like mine) should work on to earn money or in fact why should someone ask me for the profit if they partnered? Things you cannot explain. More so, when you believe in something!
I have also observed that my part of cooking is always as in daily required. In case staff cooks before I reach office, I notice that poor munchkins don't eat!
Woof Yums started with a stray who had crossed better half of his age and due to some injury got his tongue removed. A dog with no tongue! Imagine. We asked his foster mom to try out our meal. She religiously made balls of our food and this Hero gulped them all. It must have been almost over a month now and I am sure both of them are content. Sadly he passed away last week due to enlarged liver.
This Saturday received a call from another noble soul. He was worried about his six strays as he had to leave for 2 years for higher studies. Assured him of regular deliveries and he felt satisfied.
Is this what I had started with? As I go more into this, a certain guiding force steers my mind and action. I can tell you this is platonic.
It sometime drains me out, emotionally but then I see all others out there and who have become inspiration for my tired soul.” states Jotvinder.
That’s a man who spent more than a decade chasing materialistic dreams and fulfilling familial needs. “I used to feel suffocated when had to entertain dim witted people just so I could get my contract approved and payment released. Could never relate to creative ideas which were dumped on my head just because someone fancied them.”
Now that his children are pursuing their own professions, he chose to call it shots and followed his passion.
Quite lately, Jotvinder has taken on a mission to provide simple jute mattresses for strays. Similar to putting up water bowls during summers.
Response is awesome, even which has surpassed his imagination, keeping in mind that he had just ventured in few months back!
“It’s the trust an honest man conjures. There are good people. They are willing to par take any social service or cause which touches them. Behind air conditioned glass windows, there are people too who think they could at least promote or support a cause which is close to their heart.”
It is like singing under a shower.
“I have turned more spiritual in my deeds than in action now”, quips Jotvinder (known as Jojo Singh amongst friends).
You just have to at least once look into the dog’s eyes to understand what faith is. They might be suffering from some physical disability but they would not complain. Ever. They take life as it is, whereas humans would like to encash their disability. That’s the reason we see them out on crossings asking for alms. Life would have been positively different if we learnt from animals.
Strangely, the brand Woof Yums, has been overshadowed by the deeds it takes under the umbrella.
“I had seen and met many spiritual teachers. Everybody in a race for supremacy, belittling every second person and promising Moksha to all those gullible who come to them, but at a price. I had a chance meeting with one of them. (that was during the time I was completely bedridden after a serious bike accident). I believed, but I found myself dependent. Felt weak in my conscience. Always looked for an answer and this turned me into being selfish. The same feeling when you put up strobes on your car. The confidence will be there as long as the lights are flashing.
You just have to listen and respect your inner calling. The education you have, whatever knowledge you gain with your experiences are enough to shape up what you want to be! There is absolutely no need for any external force to mould you. It is all within.
Woof Yums, is a small identity, a small step for a big change. We cater to basic things any living being could ask for. Food; Shelter; Love and Dignity.
In the coming years, Jotvinder does not see the growth of company but the expansion of empathy towards voiceless. He is currently in talks with setting up such centres across other metropolitan cities of India. Apart from delivering food, they intend to deliver humanity.
There is a man who had in true sense been there done that. He found recognition and respect through strays. A man as common as you and me out on streets. One of the millions standing above millions.