If we were to ask you what you thought animals are doing on our planet, what would you say? I expect some “They’re creatures, Monsters!” coming my way. Some might feel more kind, and call them toys and play-things. Most would just fasten their bibs, pull out their forks and declare, “They’re Food!”  But there are a few souls, who would answer that question saying ‘Friends.’ Here are some women who would happily skip, crawl, roll, glide, gallop, hop and tumble through their lives with these unlikely furry best friends!


Binjal Shah Curates This List



 Dorothy Ghosh

A qualified, intelligent and successful woman goes down the path of social service. What would you make of that? Is it just that she is stupid, or are animals everywhere silently mouthing a plea for attention? It is the latter, and the plea had been going unheard until it met Dorothy and her powerhouse of love and compassion for animals. She founded the Kalyani Animal Welfare Foundation in 2010, draining every last cent of her savings to take a land on 5-year lease in Village Bhati in Delhi. Her mother also chips in by donating her entire pension to bear the rent. From collecting funds to buying medicine to cleaning the premises, both mother and daughter manage every single bit at the shelter all by themselves. – See more at:


 Dr. Leena Dalal

Leena Dalal Picture By:  The Hindu Businessline
Leena Dalal
Picture By: The Hindu Businessline

Dr. Leena Dalal is one of the leading veterinarians in our country, and her clinic perched up in the heart of Bombay city is the happy place for many  animal lovers and pet owners. And why wouldn’t it be? Who doesn’t love a place where adorable animals prance in happy and mellow, and leave happier and peppier? Her clinic is no ordinary one- it is a state-of-the-art wonderland that she has developed through her deep understanding and empathy for animals’ needs, with sound and hydro and orthopedic therapies that wouldn’t startle your beloved. It was certainly a gamble, economically, to have a clinic for pets that is as specialized and newfangled, because the concept of indulging your animals the same way you would your babies, has not quite landed in India fully. But Dr. Leena wouldn’t have had it any other way!


Mitali Parekh

She is a journalist with the Mumbai Mirror, and has made lifestyle writing her turf since longer that I even started reading newspapers. Yet, stories and articles about our furry stray friends are not so stray in her columns. Ever so often, on pages flanked by barbaric stories of humans turning on everything that moves, Mitali Parekh’s article shows up about how your pet can love you like no human being ever will, or how an adopted dog once saved his master’s house from burglary, and such fascinating accounts. She is a strong advocate of loving the mute-brutes, and getting twice the warm and fuzzy loving back.


Anuradha Sawhney

When Anuradha Sawhney took in her arms starving pups and unnaturally furless kitties and dying calves back when she was in college, she would get increasingly livid at the brutality of the world, towards animals. And this passionate anger did not go in vain, she gave it a consequence- by joining PETA- People for Ethical Treatment of Animals- the most established welfare organization for animal rights world over. She served as the chairperson of its Indian wing, and has dedicated her life appealing to the world to show mercy to the helpless cries of animals. In fact, she pulled out all the stops and even converted to Veganism, to be a true champion of Animal welfare. Femina named her among the 50 women of the year in 2009. She has received many other laurels for her good work, egging her on to keep at it.

Pratima Devi

Pratima Devi Picture By: Jaiarjun.blogspot.com

The strays in one of the most uptown localities of Delhi are all chubby, healthy and happy with coats of soft fur. Who would you expect to be pampering and fattening up these waggers? The good-hearted residents of Saket, eh? Pratima Devi clearly believes she has too lavish an abode and too extravagant a meal, because she has been sharing everything she owns with 70 dogs for over 30 years. And why shouldn’t she? A rag-picker’s income and parking-lot home may not be sufficient, but she makes up for it with all the space in her heart! She was even awarded with the Godfrey Philips Bravery Award in the year 2009 for her ‘social bravery’. She refuses to stay with her own children, she believes that these animals are her babies.


Farzana Contractor

She might be the workaholic stressed-out editor in chief at the Upper Crust magazine office, but mention her other “pet” project, her magazine “Dogs and More” and an amorous hue washes off the frown. She she gets into her mama-lion mode and starts off all animatedly! And after everything her Inshy has been with her through, her indebtedness is natural. When her husband Behram passed away, had it not been for Inshy, the void would have never left her. And today, she wants to spread the love- through her magazine dedicated to pets and how to shower them with your love, and through the numerous dog shows she holds to give every dog that promised day!


[Featured Picture Courtesy:  Times Of India]