The cause of animal welfare has always been close to my heart. I was introduced
to animals at a very young age as there were always animals around me right
from birds, dogs to cows which my family used to look after. The values imparted
to me both by my family and through my education at B.H.U. and Lucknow
University ingrained in me the virtue of looking out for the weakest in the society.
However, the privilege of getting married to an army officer not only further
emboldened my resolve to help the voiceless but also gave me the opportunities
to observe and learn how these creatures are treated across various parts of the
country, and to get a closer look at their issues and plight. While I did whatever I
could with what I had in these places to help the animals, right from doing
rescues to taking an injured animal to a vet. One common factor which always
bothered me, was the lack of facilities for these wonderful creatures especially in
tier 1 and tier 2 cities. As a result of which the idea of Aashray was born after my
return to Varanasi and settling down here. In its’s initial days Aashray was
operated from a makeshift shelter in the parking area of my school. It was with its
legal inception in 2011, the activities of Aashray in form of a trust commenced.
We still are a small but organised shelter, the only one of its kind in Varanasi and
one of the very few in the Purvanchal region which caters to all the medical issues
of animals in the city. My long-term vision for Aashray is to make it much more
organised and well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, which can only be
achieved with the generous support of like-minded people.