Sunish Subramaniam, founder and secretary of PAWS Mumbai tells you all about managing an animal welfare NGO
As compassion towards animals has increased over the years, NGOs concerned with animal welfare have also gained importance. If you care for animals and want to do more than helping an occasional stray, NGO management is a worthwhile career option for you.
While there are only a few NGOs for animal welfare, the requirements are much larger. We receive many more calls for help than other NGOs. Not all NGOs have a fixed post for a manager, but there are people incharge of supervising the NGO's activities, raising funds, coordinating all correspondence and maintaining proper records.
Any animal lover who cares for animals can start an animal welfare NGO and focus on any one area of animal aid. For instance, if dealing with wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, one should have knowledge of wildlife, their habitat, laws and skills required to work in such an environment. One should also have a good rapport with forest department officials. Basic knowledge about giving first aid to animals is also necessary.
There is no mandatory need for a degree to start an NGO. But nowadays many universities offer courses in NGO management, social work and animal welfare, which are an added advantage.
Besides opening an NGO, there are many other career opportunities at the national and international level. NGOs require administrators, PROs, writers, fundraising officers, communication coordinators, information and monitoring officers and vets.
In order to start your own NGO, form a group of like-minded friends (try to involve professionals like chartered accountants, advocates, journalists etc.) to make a committee of at least seven members. The next step is to name the group, list the aims and objectives, register the group with the Charity Commissioner and start the activities. You should also get registered with the Income Tax Department.
There is no dearth of opportunities for those who want to work in this field. Remember though that this isnít a well-paying job in India, as compared to NGOs abroad. However, if you have a passion for your work, it acts as an impetus to try harder. You can even invite foreign NGOs to assist you in your endeavour. India is in dire need for professionals in this field, which has too many animals suffering and too few helpers.
Places to Study
- Amity Institute of NGO Management
- Annamalai University Directorate of Distance Education, Tamil Nadu
- Madurai Kamaraj University, Directorate Of Distance Education,Tamil Nadu
- Tata Institute of Social Science Master of Social Work, Mumbai
Animal Welfare NGOs
- PAWS firstname.lastname@example.org
- People for the Ethical Treatment of animals (PETA) www.petaindia.com
- Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD) www.wsdindia.org
- All India Animal Welfare Association (AIAWA) www.aiawaindia.org
- Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) www.bwcindia.org