“It is important that when pursuing our own self-interest we should be ‘wise selfish’ and not ‘foolish selfish’. Being foolish selfish means pursuing our own interests in a narrow, short-sighted way. Being wise selfish means taking a broader view and recognizing that our own long-term individual interest lies in the welfare of everyone. Being wise selfish means being compassionate.” – Dalai Lama
On World Animal Welfare day, here’s looking back at this awesome day in 2017! As part of BankBazaar’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, a few employees visited the Wildlife Rescue And Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC), Bangalore.
A fair bit of planning went into the event. A bunch of phone calls and emails spanning over three months later, we were invited for a day of activities at the Wildlife Rescue And Rehabilitation Centre, Bangalore. WRRC, as the name suggests helps in the rehabilitation and rescue of wild animals. We were told that they needed help with painting cages. We were more than happy to do what we could.
Additional Reading: Lessons in Leadership From Queens Of The Wild
So the day finally arrived and we reached WRRC at about 11:00 AM, warmly welcomed by the two resident Indie dogs Milo and Mili. Shilpa, who works with CUPA (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action), started showing us around. We were later joined by Mr. Anand Nair, the centre manager at WRRC, who spoke about the animals and the facility in detail.
There were exotic snakes that had been rescued at the airport while they were being smuggled to other countries. There were monkeys who had been rescued from labs and were now incapable of fending for themselves in the wild. They still had huge numbers stamped across their chests (in indelible ink). Something to think about every time you decide to buy cosmetics that are blatantly tested on animals.
There were parakeets whose tail feathers had been snapped for ‘easy storage’ by their fortune-teller keepers. There were other reptiles and birds too, who had some form of injury. We even saw a wildcat, who looked pretty much like the domestic cat we all know, only a little bigger.
What was common among most of the animals in the facility? Most of their disabilities or injuries had been caused by humans. The consolation is that the good people at WRRC are pulling out all stops to nurse these animals back to health. They are eventually released back into the wild. Anand said that this is done regularly. Those that are incapable of living in the wild are kept there and taken care of till the end of their days. Foreign critters, such as the African Sand Boa seized by customs at the airport, are sent to sanctuaries within the country as they can’t be released into the wild in India.
Next, we were given buckets of paint and paintbrushes and asked to paint cages that are used to keep animals in the facility. We were a spirited group and did the best we could in the little time we had. We were at it for about two and a half hours and helped paint about seven cages.
After a quick lunch, we were shown how medicine is administered to the animals in the facility.
Next, was the highlight of the day! A kite, a cattle egret and a cobra were released back into the wild in our presence. Our volunteers were even given the opportunity to release the birds themselves. The cobra, who made his displeasure known by hissing viciously, was taken a little outside of the facility and released.
Next, all the volunteers were given certificates by WRRC as a token of appreciation. We also handed over the funds we’d raised. A round of pictures and we called it a day!
I have to mention something here and I’ve noticed this among all the people who work for animal welfare. Shilpa and Anand were happy people. Anand even had a spring in his step! It was evident that they loved what they were doing.
I’m also extremely proud to work among people who care about other living beings. The small but formidable BankBazaar army was awesome and we did make a difference, as small as it may be.
I always come back more thoughtful after a visit to any animal shelter. People like Shilpa and Anand temporarily restore my dwindling faith in humanity.
I leave you with these thoughts. Until next time.
P.S. As part of my wise selfishness act, I hope to start an animal shelter of my own someday. I’ll probably need a loan for that. Hence, I’ve started keeping track of my Credit Score. If you share the same aspirations as me, you should too. BankBazaar lets you check your Experian Credit Score for free.