Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I have not visited India in more than a decade now and have forgotten how difficult it can be to look at everyday life and try to find one cause to do something about.

Everything exists in parallel in India. There will be affluent neighborhoods, people who can afford most of what is needed. Outside the same neighborhoods, will be a slum where people and children barely survive, live in poverty, have diseases, and work longer than 12 hours of the day. The problems range from not having the right color shoe to wear, to no shoe at all, to no food for the day either.

I remember being like most Indians growing up, trying to block out everything most days. It is hard to open yourself up to care about each and every living being, human or not as there are so many of them who need immediate help, surrounded by poverty of all kinds. This explains why most of us Indians project an air of indifference about everything.

Living in the US, the problems are generally only seen on tv, online or heard of from a third person. Things are never right in front of your eyes. There are causes we can choose to pursue and others we can choose to not know about.

In both situations, there are always some of us who go against the norm and do something. Here in the US, we pursue some causes and do much more about them without being bogged down by every other thing. In India, it is easier to get overwhelmed with the enormity of the many issues that are always right in front of the eyes, but we can choose a few to pursue and keep doing something till we can pursue more.

Why this post you say? Yesterday I read Eileen's write up about her trip to a bunch of cities in India. Eileen is the founder of Help animals India which is a 501 c3 based in the US. Her charity writes up grants for several animal welfare, rescue and sanctuary organizations in India. Every few years she also visits them to see the progress and the use of the financial help.

Her trip write up is eye opening. To read about so many people, most of who have their own problems and needs, who are not rich, who work or volunteer to help the animals in distress, work tirelessly for long term solutions for the strays and other animals, is humbling.

Most of these people are Indian, they also grew up in the same country, are faced with enormous number of issues every day, and they still go out of their way to take a cause and work selflessly for it. It is people like them who don't have much, who care and help, and now the younger generation who also see the work and compassion and get inspiration on social media, that end up helping. Most of the developed class, middle class, tech and other people think of the problems (strays, animal issues, poverty) as nuisance rather than something they themselves can help solve.

Indifference because of over exposure to something, or no exposure (ignorance) of something, is hindering the path to any change for the betterment of people, society, animals, and the earth.