PAWS grew in a natural way. The founder Nilesh loves animals which is evident all around him. At home he adopted a blind cat who can get anywhere faster than you. He and his wife Mansi put together their efforts and from their tiny office adjacent their beautiful house in Dombivali, they run this little but ambitious organisation for the animal welfare.
However, it’s in the streets that the main work is done. The team of more than 100 volunteers from PAWS, are shifting to be available 24/7, ready to attend any call regarding an injured, trapped, bad treated or lost wild animal in the Thane area of Mumbai. Awaiting calls in their street-office kind of space, volunteers like Avinash, a passionate animal lover since childhood, and who main charactered the video, are ready to get their hands (or their hooks) to rescue the snakes from peoples houses. “Snakes go to housing premises and even kitchens because there are rodents, and rodents are there because there’s garbage, so we tell people to keep the place clean and no snakes will come”, Nilesh tells us. “So you are helping to clean India!” I say.
They are moved by their passion and love for animals, and their commitment has shown big achievements in the 10 years the organisation has been running. Cobra snakes are no longer used in religious ceremonies but have been replaced by clay replicas, people do call them when animals are mistreated; monkeys or bears are performing on the streets, or even elephants (yes, there’s an elephant on the streets of Thane). With the only help of donations they currently have two ambulances for animals and are developing a rescue center for wild life.
Because by helping the animals and showing them love, people have become aware of the importance of respecting them. No animal is less than the other, so pigeons are rescued and often freed in the safe backyard of the Jain temple, a reference community in regards animal respect. Therefore, their task is not only to help the animals, but to educate the people and raise awareness of the animal welfare. Probably a much bigger task they are not afraid of engage with.