Vasanthi Kumar, Compassionate Classrooms

Vasanthi Kumar’s mission is to introduce humane education lessons into school textbooks and teachers’ manuals that are published by the Educational Boards across India.

She explains, “Compassionate Classrooms” was a project that I from STRAW India (Stray Relief and Animal Welfare) embarked upon, on receiving a grant of $1000 from The Pollination Project.”

Vasanthi began with the Educational Board of State of Karnataka, which is an important state in the south of India. “The outcome of this project would mean reaching out to tens of thousands of students in the whole of Karnataka and planting in them the seeds of compassion to all living things and respect for the environment.The Educational Board is an umbrella body to which thousands of Government schools are affiliated to, in the state of Karnataka and hundreds of children are a part of each of these many schools. So when a lesson in let’s say compassion towards animal get included into a text book, it means that hundreds of students would be exposed to that lesson and in turn would learn to be kind and caring to animals. And the best part is that this is would continue year after year.

I am the co-founder of STRAW, a small animal welfare organization based in New Delhi, the capital city of India, that focuses on outreach for animals and awareness building through humane education, an area for which donations and grants come by very rarely. The grant from the Pollination Project was therefore a big boon. If not for this grant of US$1000 from TPP, it would have been very difficult to bring “Compassionate Classrooms” into thousands of schools. In other words, US$1000.00 from The Pollination Project has made it possible for me to spread the message of compassion towards animals to thousands of students today and to millions of them, in the years to come.

Our ultimate goal is to take our “Compassionate Classrooms” to all the 35 states of India. Though India is country where vegetarianism is not uncommon and animals are literally worshipped on many occasions, one could see the rampant prevalence of cruelty towards animals. And this situation is mainly because of unawareness of treating animal more compassionately. If only people were aware that an animal feels pain just as much as we humans do, animals in India would be a happier lot.”