Dawa Dolker liebe, Lisa Shapiro Award Winner 2017
A tribute written for Dawa Dolker, written by: Umang Singh and Dolma Sinon
Dr. Dawa Dolker works as a full-time dentist during the day and dedicates every other spare moment of her life to animals. One year ago, Dawa co-founded the Dharamshala Vegan Movement (DVM) which promotes veganism and animal rights (AR), finds homes for animals in need and encourages people to reduce or cease their consumption of animal products. DVM’s concept is that, with love, we are all one – vegans and non-vegans alike are welcomed to volunteer and teach compassion. Dawa believes that teaching compassion grows compassion in oneself.
This powerful activist has been known as the animal rescuer of her village since she was a child, so whenever someone spotted an animal in distress they would reach out to Dawa for help. Dawa has been feeding, rescuing, fostering and adopting street animals and working harmoniously with the local animal welfare organizations to create a safe space in Dharamshala. DVM, under Dawa’s leadership, holds seminars, organizes public screenings of documentaries at local restaurants, distributes flyers, and speaks out to schools and universities to bring awareness of veganism. She has made it her mission to visit nunneries and monasteries to show the truth of animal suffering, detrimental health effects and the environmental implications of eating animal products in her community. Her exclusive duty is to represent Tibetan Buddhist on veganism and animal rights issues to the world. One, of the many, innovative ways she engages her community is by offering vegan tea on the street and engaging in the benefits of drinking plant-based milk. Dawa also ventures out into the night to screen different documentaries to promote veganism to the public, college and school institutions.
Dawa has organized multiple AR events such as “India United for Animals” (9/18/2016), International Earthlings Experience Day (5/10/17), National Animal Rights Day (6/4/17) and the upcoming “World Day for Farmed Animals,” (10/2/17) She recently succeeded in screening the film “Earthlings” for over 50 Tibetan students during her personal visit to Mundgod in South India. Despite numerous difficulties, Dawa has never failed to encourage people to make the world a safer place for animals to live. Her cool, free-spirited nature somehow finds a way to constructively address veganism with everyday people she encounters. Her advocacy is altruistic in nature for animals and people. Dawa treats everyone equal in desiring for happiness and shunning suffering. People like Dawa deserve to be recognized, awarded, and appreciated in order to make changes for the voiceless and distressed animals. She is an unsung hero for myself and many others because she gives priority to her commitment to animals. Her “team spirit” attitude and genuine authentic friendship for everyone allows her voice to be heard. Veganism, for her, is a life choice which she believes in sharing through only love and compassion. Her message is simple, extend your compassion to every being regardless of species, races and gender.
The beauty of this Tibetan Buddhist woman, inside and outside, is shown evident to us daily. In this era of materialism, we are all touched by her ability to manifest joy in simplicity and altruism.