When we heard about a young Indian couple, living in the U.K., who had just set off by car to drive from London to New Delhi on a mission to raise awareness for animals, we sent them an e-mail and caught up with them by phone in Volgograd, Russia. Here’s what they told us.
Tushar: We started driving on 17th of April and are in Volgograd in the south of Russia. My parents live in Russia so they’ve just joined us for a couple of days here, and we’ll be driving to Kazakhstan from here.
From Kazakhstan, we’ll go to Uzbekistan, then Kyrgyzstan, then China, then Nepal, and finally India. We are hoping to arrive in Delhi around the 12th of June.
Pooja and I are from Delhi, and we have been supporting a lot of animal charities in the U.K. and in India for a few years.
Pooja is very passionate about caring for stray dogs and other abandoned pets, and Friendicoes is one of our favorite charities.
Pooja: In India, animal welfare is not culturally a priority. There are a lot of poor people, so the animal side of things gets ignored.
Friendicoes looks after dogs and horses and cats and donkeys and cows and many other animals, but they are always on a hand to mouth situation. They never have enough funding.
In winter sometimes the dogs and the cats roll in newspapers to protect them from the cold. So that’s why we wanted to help Friendicoes and raise awareness for them.
Tushar: I’ve always wanted to drive to India; that was my dream because that’s where we hail from. I’m a software consultant, so I’m taking a break from my work now. Pooja is an insurance broker, and she resigned from her work in order to do this journey.
We’ll be visiting other animal organizations along the way, including Jivdaya, which is a big animal organization in India. We also have an appointment in Nepal with an organization called Animal Nepal. And we’ve talked with some organizations in Uzbekistan and we will be stopping in some of those on our way.
Pooja: When we were going through Ukraine, we saw that people obviously are very animal friendly, but there are a lot of strays. And even though people don’t have a lot of money, they do try and look after these animals, they do try and feed them.
I always tell people that if they can take out some time from their normal day-to-day lives, they can make a difference and, you know, do something for their local organization, local charity. If what we’re doing can inspire other people to do something for their local charity anywhere in the world, then I think we’ve achieved what we’ve set out to do.