Stylewhack presents Breaking the Box Series, bringing inspiring stories of people who are fulfilling their dreams following a different trajectory! Today we bring forward the motivating story of Neha Panchamiya Jangle, who decided to break the box and follow her dream of being an Animal Welfare Activist. Neha is also the Founder of RESQ where animals are rescued everyday and is living her each day doing what she loves the most!
Neha Panchamiya Jangle – Animal Welfare Activist, Co-Founder of RESQ
“Most people do not get “what” I do or “why” I do”, says Neha Panchamiya Jangle. “And over the years, I have stopped giving explanations because I’ve realised it is hard for people to understand it.”
Neha who is a Masters of Medical Science -Human Nutrition (U.K.) , is the co-founder of RESQ, a not-for-profit organisation that works towards the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and sick animals. Talking about her passion that pushed her into this wonderful field of animals, she says, “I have been drawn to animals since a very young age and more so to the plight of an animal in pain. Seeing an animal in pain is unbearable to me and the joy of seeing one recover and get released is immeasurable.”
That is when she decided to step on this path and actually do something about a cause that she felt so deeply about. Of course there were a lot of obstacles when she started out at a very young age of mere 22 years.
“People didn’t take me and my partner Tanya seriously at first! I think they thought this was a whim. My family was initially very skeptical about my decision to quit a great full-time job that I had with a healthcare company. Over the years, they have seen RESQ and my passion grow and are mostly supportive. It was a struggle dealing with casual or condescending attitudes. Ten years on, many naysayers are eating their words now. Also as with any NGO, funding is a constant struggle. We don’t know sometimes how we manage, but we believe strongly that if you do good work, the funds will come. Luckily that mantra seems to have worked! The other big hurdle is finding good people, who last with the organisation. We have had some fantastic people work with us, but many of the promising ones we have lost to other countries.”
Neha further adds the woes of juggling her work and giving time to her family, “Since I juggle between things and being a mother to a 5 year old son, I don’t find the time or the will to socialise beyond work and my child. To work with rescue animals you have to have resilience, passion, and a very strong stomach to deal with injury and cruelty.”
Neha has a wide smile and looks jubilant when we ask her about RESQ. Her passion is clearly seen when she talks vividly about RESQ, “At RESQ we also conduct awareness and education programs which focus on impacting society with respect to reducing human-animal conflict and conservation of the environment. We were the first to set up a Helpline in Pune for street animal emergencies. We receive 70-100 calls a day of all kinds and rescue between 400-450 injured and sick animals every month. We get dogs, cats, cattle, donkeys, mules, horses, pigs, goat, birds and have had 9 rescued elephants at RESQ as well!“
Wow, well that is a big feat! Rescuing 400-450 animals in a month is indeed a commendable job! Neha goes on to tell us about the infrastructure and team at RESQ, “We have a full-fledged RESQ centre and hospital in Pune and a brilliant team of staff who is as passionate as the people who began this organisation.”
Apart from dedicating her time and energy at RESQ, Neha is also passionate about graphic designing and her other businesses Pawsh and Kids Ahoy, which are run by her partner Tanya Kane.
“I started learning graphic design because RESQ needed design work and I refused to spend funds on non-medical things. I have always been creatively inclined and slowly I started getting more design jobs. After 5 years, I am now formally part of a creative agency called Three Digits, as a partner with two other friends, Sameer and Sushil, who I have been informally working with for a long time.”
Talking excitedly about her future plans with RESQ she says, “We are also starting a Children’s Education wing called Project Karuna which involves corporates, schools and awareness programs towards animal welfare and the environment and thus really hoping for some philanthropy and open mindedness towards the same!
In the future I really wish to ensure a rabies free city. Conducting effective mass Animal Birth Control Programs to control the stray animal population and educating the younger generation to reduce human-animal conflict in our urban environment are the other goals that we at RESQ will be focusing on.”
Signing off with a note regarding the various animal atrocities that we get to hear, she says “I respect people who say they dislike animals as much as I respect people who love animals. What I have no respect for, is individuals who are cruel to animals. It is okay to dislike animals and stay away from them, but I fail to understand infliction of neglect or cruelty towards voiceless animals.It’s okay to be angry, it’s not okay to be cruel.”
Thank you Neha for all the wonderful work you have been doing. Stylewhack team is truly inspired!
As Neha says, “If you are truly passionate about something, you will not make excuses and will find the time and resources to do it all. There are sacrifices, but if there’s a will there a way!”
We hope you are pumped up enough to get what you really want to do in your life!