She fun, she is feisty, she is kind and generous, one of my awesomest friends.. She has been such a major influence on me when it comes to animal welfare.. I have learnt so much from her and I continue to do so.. I have been waiting to put this up for so long and I had to do some convincing to get her to do this Interview ..Meet the super awesome Rohini Kamath
You have been working in the field of CSR now and in the past have worked for animal welfare organisation. What made you choose this path ?
CSR is quite broad as a terminology and it encompasses a lot that often doesn’t get talked about. I manage employee engagement for Cisco and find ways in which people can volunteer for various causes across the city. My passion has always been animal welfare, more so of the domesticated kind as I’m married to someone who works with wildlife I will dart at the sight of the snake but now I’ve become more tolerant. While I was in grade 5, I wanted to be a vet. But as I grew up, I came to realise that managing blood is not something that I can handle.So I had to steer clear. I have been a vegan for the last 10 years now. Given how materialistic the world has become, I feel that we need to give back in whatever little way that is possible. That is what I have been striving to do.
How important is it for people to come forward and take part in community service ?
I think people need to get their hands dirty and volunteer as often as possible and also become self-reliant.If we see a pile of garbage outside the house, instead of cribbing and cursing, we need to find out a way in which we can make a difference. That’s where focus on solution becomes important rather than critiquing the problem. Armchair activism is the easiest thing to do these days. But to actually step out and take on responsibilities is difficult. Post this also, sustaining it is hard.To be able to cater to requirements yourself.Bengaluru has a good landscape of volunteers.If you are part of the change, then that’s a huge thing. The next generation needs to be humble and that’s where our role comes into picture. We need to emphasize on “Be the change you want to see”
When it comes to animal rescue, what according to you could be made better?
I would be specifically talking about Bengaluru here as each city functions differently. When I was way back in college[I’m talking 10-15 years back], it was way too different. There was just one or two NGOs then and we used to go and conduct adoption camps. I started off in 2003 with volunteering.
People need to be supportive of each other.What is disappointing is one rescuer being unhappy or being nasty towards another rescuer. If we share best practices, work collectively then we go much farther.
Camaraderie is the need of the hour. Bombat Dawgs is one place where I’ve seen people networking so well and helping each other out. If you are a first time rescuer, don’t hesitate to take on the responsibilities that comes with it. I see a lot of people picking up dogs but eventually they shy away when it comes to fostering the dog. It needs to translate a little bit more into something big. Do so in any informed manner. Take guidance and then move ahead.This is just to lessen the burden on other rescuers who probably have many other animals to cater to. Experience makes you wise.
What are the biggest challenges that you have faced ?
From animal welfare perspective, finance is one concern I would say. Whatever responsibility that I take up, I pay from my own pocket. I cant keep asking someone for that. One animal that you put your hand into is going to cost you some money. But whenever I have approached people for fund raising, they have always been very generous.People are kind most of the time. From a personal perspective, a part of me shuts down whenever I see a suffering animal. I end up wondering what is it that we are doing to everything around us ! It is a much better environment now than it was ten years ago.
You adopted a kitten,Kulfi,a few years ago. What would you like to tell about adopting animals ?
You don’t need to go and buy a cat or a dog. You can just walk up to your nearest animal shelter homes and give a home to
Animals are not commodities. The number of pure bred dogs that get abandoned are just increasing with each passing day. People need to be a little more open minded. Adoption is the way forward. One day I saw a post on FB. Shruti who works for Save our Strays in Mumbai had posted about this cat who had lost her paw due to maggot wounds. I spoke to her and said let us wait for a week. In case no one turns up to adopt her, I’m going to take her in. I figured out my financials and also checked with my friend who was wiling to foster her while I was on travel. These things become very important once you decide to bring an animal into your life.
It’s the best decision that I’ve ever made. Kulfi has changed everyone’s perspective and everyone has just welcomed her with open arms. That’s the true beauty of adoption !
What has been your biggest learning so far ?
My mum’s too much fun. She is like my sibling. With my father, he has been such an inspiration. Whatever I am today is predominantly because of him. He has taught me to stay humble, to be approachable and not to forget my roots. With my dad’s transferrable jobs, I have lived in small places majority of the time. I didn’t know what “lifestyle” was. I remember someone telling me Shoppers’ Stop and I was wondering what this store was when I came over to the city. Wherever you can, give back.
Who has been your biggest inspiration and why ?
Whenever I met people, I have learnt from them. There is no such thing as “a inspiration” in my life. Many people have inspired me. For instance, my sister in law, she has taught me what it is to be a wonderful parent. People who toil day in and day out for the welfare of animals inspire me. Be it the Bismis of the world, Sanjana Madappa, Anoopa Anand, Santosh Rajshekar, Surya. There are so many people who do this and they all inspire me. My house help inspires me. She is nice to my cat. She is such a warm person. I’m so inspired by Gracy where we got a dog adopted.She has made an informed choice as to never to go in for a breeded dog. My apartment watchman inspires me. He tells me Namaste every morning and that is such a nice thing. Every member of y family inspires me. Whenever I meet someone new, I try to take something positive back. It doesn’t have to be world changing. My friend Karishma does yoga every single day, Brijesh works so much on fitness for marathon.That for me is inspirational. Inspiration is something that can be picked every step of the way.