Caring Friends – dawn of a new philanthropic age
“Non nobis solum nati sumus.”(We are not born for ourselves alone.)
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
Often in animal welfare work, the focus is on – well, the animals. Their suffering, abuse and neglect, their treatment and rehabilitation, their care and welfare, and laws to implement their protection. But one thing we tend to overlook in the long run is that kindness, compassion and selflessness (three of the mainstays that propel animal welfare work forward) cannot be implemented. They come from a place so deep within our souls that it is truly a blessing to witness them in action. Another fact to open our eyes to is that the welfare of animals is sustainable only when it’s intricate linkage with human, natural and societal welfare is understood, acknowledged. That is holistic. It is where social work in the real sense is successful. And organisations like Caring Friends are testimony to such all-inclusive altruism.
Founded by a humble man of Gandhian stature, Ramesh ‘Uncle’ as he is known simply within his circle spearheads the organisation with a core team of equally selfless and dedicated individuals. Their sole aim is to work with social welfare organisations at the grassroots level – providing financial and other supportive aid to those with potential, making them self-reliant and then exiting the scene to move on and help other struggling NGOs.
The ideology fuelling the revolutionary movement in their own words:
“To support upcoming organisations mainly working in villages and remote areas, in all aspects of their working, like overall development, creating a road map, goal setting, communication, corpus, accounting, self-analysis etc apart from funding. As of today CF is associated with more than 30 NGOs in 13 states of India working on various issues like welfare of children, women, farmers, physically challenged, tribals, advocacy, livelihoods, animal-welfare and also with activist organisations. Starting with one donor and one institution, today we have 500+ donors who support our NGO partners not only with funding but also with their time, expertise , networking and help them in capacity building.We do complete due diligence before selecting our NGOs and continue monitoring their work with periodic follow-ups. All visits, assessments and assistance to the NGOs are conducted personally by core members of our group, so that every rupee that the donor contributes is used optimally and justified. Our only criteria to support an NGO are the excellence of work and no other factors matter.”
As an organisation, Caring Friends has zero overheads, no bank account and accepts no cheques in its name. Cheques from donors are made out directly to the NGOs and as such, 100% of the funds are directed solely to the NGOs in need.
Philanthropy has been a longstanding stronghold – an escape route even – for those that wish to evade the laws of karma. Those big hearted donors that give so that the all seeing gaze may turn away from black deeds. Donations in cash or kind to absolve one of his sins or to help him perform a religious duty like zakat.
Caring Friends has given philanthropy a completely new meaning . For them, humanitarian work means ensuring that the ‘humans’ involved in bringing about social changes are taken care of – just like a corporate entity takes care of its employees. There are Caring Friends donors who are happy to sleep on the floor, while opening up their homes to organisational functionaries in need of living space. That is philanthropy with a difference. It is forward thinking, rounded and spiritual in nature. It is a revolution – in every positive way possible.
We at Thane S.P.C.A. are honoured and priviledged that Caring Friends saw the untapped potential in us some years ago, when we were a fledgling organisation struggling to make a difference to the immense suffering of the animals in Thane district. With their constant and unflinching support (financial and motivational), we’ve come a long way.
On behalf of all the staff at the Thane S.P.C.A. hospital and all the animals we have treated and rehabilitated, we deeply thank Caring Friends for their uninterrupted support. You have our prayers, our blessings, all our good wishes, and our gratitude for helping us do God’s work – to show the world the transformative power of compassion, and to be instrumental in bringing hope to hopeless hearts.
We will constantly strive for the welfare of animals – and we look forward to a long and enriching association with Caring Friends.
There is much to be done!
Team Thane S.P.C.A.