From rescuing and rehabilitating stray animals to riding for a cause – the top Social Stories of the week

This week, SocialStory witnessed a slew of inspiring stories of people aiding other people and animals, along with the empowerment of India’s weaver communities.
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Sajesh S from Bengaluru quit his job as Brand Consultant and is pursuing his dream of becoming an animal activist. Meanwhile, after being dormant for a couple of months, the volunteers at Humanity United Together (HUT) came together to help those who have been impacted by COVID-19.

The Habitats Trust, an organisation that is protecting natural habitats and indigenous species through strategic partnerships and on-ground efforts, is leveraging technology for the same.

On the other hand, six handloom enthusiasts are bridging the gap between India’s weavers and prospective clients across the world.

Here are the top Social Stories of the week:

Meet the 31-year-old animal lover from Bengaluru who left his job to care for over 300 strays

Sajesh (in blue) with one of the volunteers, and a rescued dog.

Every other day, we hear of stray dogs in India being subjected to atrocities, many of whom are left to die on the streets. In fact, the country has more than 35 million stray dogs, many of whom die without any food or shelter or due to dog-related diseases.

Seeing their condition, Bengaluru-based animal rights activist Sajesh S, who was working as a branding consultant with a company, left his job to become a voice for these dogs.

He started Animal Lives Are Important (ALAI), a dog rescue and rehabilitation shelter for injured, sick, and differently-abled dogs, in Bagalur, Bengaluru in September 2017. The shelter now houses over 300 dogs and other stray animals like injured cows.

How HUT helped people and animals in distress during the pandemic

Feeding the stray dogs

As India fights the COVID-19 pandemic, NGOs across the country have been working relentlessly to help those affected. With limited resources, these organisations have helped the underprivileged sections of society by providing relief materials.

Despite the challenges, NGOs and volunteers came forward, risking their lives to keep the spirit of humanity alive. Humanity United Together (HUT), a volunteer-driven NGO from Bengaluru, is also helping a number of families affected by the pandemic.

The organisation was started in 2016 by a group of seven engineering students from Bengaluru – Adil Hamza Khan L, Rishabh Jain, Haneefa Nida, Priyanka C, Roushan Meraj, Aaron Geoffrey, and Prerana Reddy P.

How The Habitats Trust is trying to change the approach to conservation in India

The Habitats Trust is supporting conservation efforts across ecosystems

While campaigns to save the tiger, the rhino, the elephant, and the Gangetic crocodile have been in the spotlight, not much is known about the efforts to conserve and protect lesser-known species like the pygmy hog.

“The conservation of these species and habitats, which attract very little attention, is extremely critical to maintaining ecosystems and landscapes,” says Rushikesh Chavan, Head of The Habitats Trust (THT), an organisation that is working towards protecting natural habitats and indigenous species through strategic partnerships and on-ground efforts.

Founded in 2018 by Roshni Nadar Malhotra, the CEO of HCL Corporation and Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, and Shikhar Malhotra, the Vice Chairman of HCL Healthcare and Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation, THT is leveraging technology for conservation and awareness generation. Rushikesh says that their strategy is not to compete with other conservation organisations, but to be enablers of conservation.

How six women helped India’s weavers earn over Rs 70 lakh in just three months during the pandemic

Clockwise from left: Pochampally (Jeelaguru); Chanderi (Zaheen); Pashmina (Mir Sahab); Maheshwari (Aziz); Benarasi (Sarfaraz); Bagru (Gopalji); Kota (Haaji Sahab); Chikankari (Ajay)

As per the 4th All India Handloom Census (2019-20), there are 26, 73,891 handloom weavers and 8,48,621 allied workers in the country, but with no sustainable livelihood to be made, those numbers are dwindling.

One ray of hope that has emerged during the pandemic to help revive interest in the handloom sector is the Resource Helpline Bridge for Weavers (Bridge), a collective of six women who are handloom enthusiasts and are bridging the gap between India’s weavers and prospective clients across the world. What’s commendable is that they are driven purely by their love for the craft and are not making any money from this enterprise.

This Bengaluru biker community is riding together for social causes

The core team

Pursuing your dreams while contributing to society is an unmatchable feat. But that is something on the minds of a group of biking enthusiasts who want to change the world for the better.

Bengaluru-based Bros on Wheels is a community of over 60 bikers, who formed the group on June 21, 2018, which also happens to be World Motorcycle Day.

The community has three main factions – BroFast Rides which focuses on short, monthly, breakfast rides; the longer EPIC rides that take about two to five days and cover the longer distances; and BroCode.

Through BroCode, a unique campaign of the organisation, the fellow bikers give back to the community. This faction was particularly inspired by a tragic event that shook India in 2019 – the Pulwama attack. Since then, Bros on Wheels has made it a point to work towards social causes.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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