Who We Are?

Stray Relief and Animal Welfare (STRAW) was founded by Vasanthi and Dinesh. As a husband and wife team, they have worked together on a number of projects, both personal and professional and STRAW is a passion that is closest to their hearts.

As management graduates, both Vasanthi and Dinesh have held senior positions in the corporate world. All that while, they have been associated with a number of charity organizations that extend help to destitute children, the old, the blind and the weary animals. However, when it came to setting up their own charity and when a choice had to be made, caring for those that were least cared for in this world, that is the voiceless animals, took precedence and STRAW was born.

Vasanthi Kumar – Co-Founder & Managing Trustee

She was introduced to the world of dogs when a friend decided to leave his Pomeranian dog under her care when he had to leave the city and ever since, she has always had a dog at her home.

However, it was "Puppia", an abandoned Pomeranian dog that she rescued from the streets of New Delhi that changed her life. From a dog with maggot wounds and matted hair, Puppia turned into a handsome dog who loved life for the next one and a half years.

Unfortunately, his sudden blindness due to Glaucoma, followed by heart attack and death in the next two days was heart rending. This incident changed her outlook towards all the strays on the street and animals at large and took a sharp defining turn towards shaping STRAW's priorities & programs and provided the requisite persistence to pursue them.

With masters' degrees in Economics and Management, Vasanthi has always believed that Education is the key to bring about any kind of a change in the society. This core belief has led to STRAW’s complete focus on humane education.

Humane education initiatives particularly those which have a multiplier effect, has been her personal favorite. One such initiative includes her contributing content relating to humane education for schools textbooks and teachers' manuals brought out by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT), Government of India and many State Educational Boards.

Besides being the chief functionary and supervisor of all the projects at STRAW, Vasanthi has served as a Board Member of the Federation of Indian Animal Protectors' Organization, New Delhi, INDIA (FIAPO) who conferred on her the "Outreach for Animals" Award in November 2012.

Dinesh Kumar – Co-Founder

Having grown up in a small town in Rajasthan, Dinesh has seen many people living in complete harmony with animals and birds that stroll and swoop in and around their homes. Birds were fed grains during the rains and stray cows would drop by for a 'chapathi' (Indian bread) or two in the mornings and of course, the dogs were always there to help with the leftovers.

He has had dogs, cats, rabbits and parrots as pets. As a child, when he saw a goat being sacrificed at a nearby temple, he was completely shaken, saddened and sensitized for life. Ever since, he has defended creatures that cannot defend themselves from human onslaught. His passion for wellness for all creatures is expressed through STRAW's initiatives.

Having graduated from India's premier institutes, The Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Dinesh is an important member of our Think-Tank. He provides inputs to strategy; programs execution plans and helps with the technology to support these.

Hareram Yadav – Advisor (Technology Support)

Hareram is a Project Director at a software company. He thinks like a nerd and is the person behind the robustness of STRAW’s website which has been built on a bootstrap framework, making it not only mobile friendly but device friendly. In today’s times when it is imperative for an organization to be technology savvy, STRAW depends on him for all its technology needs.

Upon witnessing an animal sacrifice at a temple in childhood, he turned a vegetarian and continues to be one by choice. Having contributed to STRAW in many ways, Hareram Yadav has a natural attraction to be a part of STRAW.

Ipsita Sarkar – Manager (Humane Education & Content Creation)

Ipsita has adored animals since her childhood. It all started with her animal puzzle set where she believed each animal character needed to be rescued and put into a safe cave instead of being assembled together. Eventually, she became best friends with her own pet dog, Lucky and other neighborhood animals. As she grew up, she was very happy to discover an animal rescue NGO in her neighborhood where she began to volunteer.

Education is her other love and line of work. She is crazy about making teaching as creative, experiential and veered around the environment, as far as possible. She has been an early childhood and primary school educator, curriculum developer, freelance writer and children's content and games developer with an academic background in education, sociology and journalism.

In her pursuit to make learning engaging, long lasting and humane, she trained and got experience while working in a Montessori, Waldorf inspired schools and other progressive institutions. The experience helped her understand the need to educate the 3 Hs - Head, Heart and Hands together and appreciate the varying needs of children, while teaching using creative strategies as diverse as storytelling and playing games. Now she supports STRAW to create contents for humane education programs.

Preeti Singh – Advisor (Outreach Programs)

Preeti Singh is associated with STRAW in the capacity of Advisor. Being a strong advocate of compassion in action, she believes in STRAW’s vision of making humane education and animal welfare, an integral part of school, college and community discussions. She supports us in our “Compassionate Classroom” programs and workshops in schools and colleges.

Her brother’s pet dog, Bruno taught her the meaning of unconditional love and this progressed to her feeding a stray dog whom she named Blue and with his death she made a promise to herself to be more organized in helping the voiceless.

Being a highly compassionate person, she is an active animal caretaker. She has rescued nearly 200+ dogs from very distressful situations over past many years, is a proud dog mom to 20 rescues who are old, had failed adoptions, and now a permanent resident in her little sanctuary. Besides being a guardian of over 50+ dogs in South Delhi, she helps with rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of dogs in Delhi/NCR.

Preeti is a post graduate in English Literature from Delhi University and has had a brief stint in investigative journalism. She is a certified Mental Health First Aider by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), India and pursues a full time job as a regulatory compliance professional with an MNC.

Abhimanyu Kumar (Manyu) – Social Media

Abhimanyu loves animals through and through. Having no siblings, he grew up playing hide & seek with his pet dog, Simba and did not hesitate to call him his brother.

It is this deep-rooted love for animals, particularly dogs, that makes him wonder about the way animals are treated the world over and about how empathy for animals is missing among children and the youth of today. This is where his thoughts match our mission, to inspire compassion for all living beings & respect for environment among young minds through education. His thought has always been, if only children grew up knowing that animals feel pain just as much as we humans do, they would always be kind to animals.

Manyu supports STRAW in an advisory capacity, especially in the field of social media and in the digitization of our humane education contents, while honing in the knowledge and skills he has picked up during his education at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-G) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A) and during his professional career in the field of mobile games.

He has been bringing smiles on the faces of children through his mobile games; going forward, he wishes to get animals to smile too.

About Us

Stray Relief and Animal Welfare (STRAW) India is a registered nonprofit/non-government organization and its focus is summed up in its motto, Animal Welfare through Education. It promotes empathy and compassion for all living beings and care for the environment by educating young people through its humane education programs and workshops.

Address

Stray Relief and Animal Welfare (STRAW)
2303, Sector D, Pocket 2, Vasant Kunj
New Delhi, INDIA
Postal Code: 110070
Email: contact@strawindia.org

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