NEW DELHI: Animal lovers and herders in the Faridabad region will soon have the opportunity to learn more about the medical condition of the strays as well as their live stock.
The Vedanta Group’s philanthropic arm, the Anil Agarwal Foundation, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Haryana to promote animal welfare under The Animal Care Organization (TACO) project.
Marking the launch of TACO, the Foundation adopted a Tapobhoomi Gaushala based in Faridabad. The event was attended by Krishan Pal Gurjar, Union Minister of State for Power and Heavy Industries, who officially presented the Gaushala to the Director of Vedanta Limited, Priya Agarwal Hebbar, in the presence of Rajesh Nagar, MP for Tigaon.
TACO aims to modernize the shelter infrastructure and manage animal shelter operations by partnering with KPMG for project design, the National Veterinary Foundation for technical support and YODA, an animal welfare NGO, as as implementing partner.
Speaking on the occasion, Priya Agarwal Hebbar, Director of Vedanta Limited, said the initiative is close to her heart as it not only addresses stray animal health issues but also provides training for aspiring vets.
“We aim to develop a world-class infrastructure where we will provide shelter and medical examinations for stray animals. These infrastructures, equipped with some of the best facilities and equipment in their class, will also serve as training centers for aspiring veterinarians,” , Hebbar said.
With a livestock population of around 535.78 million, India needs a vast veterinary infrastructure to ensure its welfare. Through TACO, the Foundation plans to initially support and strengthen veterinary healthcare services in the Delhi-NCR regions, with an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore. Later, the initiative might spread its wings to other states and UTs in India.
The proposed multi-specialty veterinary hospital will focus on advanced veterinary care, preventive veterinary care, neutering and neutering program, diagnostics and mobile emergency care units. He will also work in rescue, rehabilitation, providing geriatric and palliative care, animal housing services, nutrition and general welfare. And the Academy will provide/center to provide short courses for different target groups, mainly veterinarians and para-professionals.
At the same time, animal lovers can take private lessons.
The Director of Vedanta Limited said: “At present the type of education that aspiring vets receive at the UK-based World Veterinary College is much more advanced than our local veterinary colleges. Over the next five years , we aim to build a world-class infrastructure and model that can be replicated in remote parts of the country.”
The Foundation is developing a holistic welfare program to meet the growing challenges of animal health and welfare. It aims to work across a broad spectrum, ranging from medical research to capacity building programs, from awareness raising and advocacy to investment in the training of animal health professionals.
The goal of this initiative is to create a safe, sustainable and scalable ecosystem for animal welfare.
When asked how the Foundation plans to bring in doctors to treat stray animals and livestock, Hebbar said the Foundation plans to bring in global experts to train young vets and deal with critical cases. .
“Currently, the majority of veterinary graduates have vaccination-related cases. Therefore, they are not in practice to treat serious cases that include injuries or illnesses. In our Foundation, we focus on providing a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge for young talents and prepare them for the future. And to do this, we aim to set up courses and bring in world talents and leading vets to train these students” , she said.
“Once we set the tone, we expect it to become a movement in which everyone participates. We can create the best infrastructure required for animals. Today, we only have 40 to 50 % of the total number of vets required in the country. They are in so much demand and we don’t have enough vet institutes. On top of that, we don’t have so many people who are passionate enough to become vets too. So, we need to spread the word, and that’s what led to the creation of TACO.”
Other prominent dignitaries who attended the event included Sanjay Joon, IAS, Divisional Commissioner Faridabad Division; Jitender Yadav, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad; Yashpal, IAS, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Faridabad; and Md Imran Raza, IAS, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad.
The Anil Agarwal Foundation is the apex body for Vedanta’s community and social initiatives. The focus areas are health care; women’s and children’s development; animal welfare projects; and sports initiatives.
The Foundation also aims to empower communities, transform lives and facilitate nation building through sustainable and inclusive growth.
Anil Agarwal. (Photo: Twitter/@AnilAgarwal_Ved)