International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957
Delhi/Bombay/Madras/Calcutta, India


ALL INDIA ANIMAL WELFARE ASSOCIATION
ONE OF THE SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS OF THE 15TH WORLD VEGETARIAN CONGRESS, INDIA

By MRS. MEHRA VAKIL
(Joint Honorary Secretary of the Association)

The All India Animal Welfare Association is a cosmopolitan humanitarian organization, working for the benefit of all animals and birds, lending its support to all activities for the promotion of their welfare, to uphold their rights and to alleviate their sufferings.

The Association owes its formation to the initiative taken by Mr. J. N. Mankar and the Bombay Humanitarian League. On 14th May 1951, an All India Animal Welfare Committee was formed, with its headquarters in Bombay. Later, this Committee adopted a constitution for the All India Animal Welfare Association and functioned as the Association's Provisional Managing Committee. On 10th July 1953, the All India Animal Welfare Association was constitutionally formed and the Managing Committee of the Association was duly elected.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of the Republic of India, and Mrs. Rukmini Devi Arundale, M.P., ar Honorary Patrons and Mr. S. K. Patil, Minister for Irrigation and Power in the Union Cabinet, is the President of the Association. Miss Freany H. Wadia, most devoted worker for the cause of animal welfare, has been the spirit of inspiration in all the activities of the All India Animal Welfare Association.

The Association seeks friendly co-operation from various animal welfare and humanitarian organizations throughout India and has been receiving the same. Since the formation of the Association, World Day for Animals, the anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi is being observed every year.

The Association has been carrying out extensive educative propaganda throughout the Country, to promote kindness towards animals and birds. The Association has been giving its full support and co-operation to Mrs. Rukmini Devi Arundale in her efforts to secure suitable and comprehensive legislation for the prevention of cruelty to animals in our country.

The All India Animal Welfare Association propagates vegetarianism and seeks "to educate public opinion in favour of natural and humane diet from the points of view of humanity, health, economics, science and aesthetics." We do not force our views upon others, but feel that there must be a change of heart and sincerely pray that persons become vegetarians through their own convictions.

In Bombay, the All India Animal Welfare Association has been doing dog welfare work in the City in co-operation with the Bombay Municipality. Besides having introduced humane methods in dealing with the unfortunate dogs caught daily under the Greater Bombay Municipal regulations, our Association has been rescuing from destruction dogs in good condition from amongst those caught daily. So far, our Associaiton has rescued more than 1,500 dogs and has found suitable homes for them.

The Association has also been making efforts, in co-operation with the Municipal authorities, and the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruely to Animals, to improve conditions in the slaughter houses as well as cattle pounds and water troughs in the City and Suburbs of Bombay, besides trying to improve the conditions of working animals such as horses and bullocks. The Association has not neglected the question of illegal slaughter of animals and the most ghastly forms of animal sacrifice which take place, particularly on religious days, but is doing its best to prevent these atrocities as far as possible, with the ind of co-operation of the Bombay City Police and the Bombay Municipal Corporation.

The Association has so far been able to deal with some of the aspects of the aims and objects, as laid down in its constitution and sincerely hopes that with growing public support it will be able to have further achievements. During the course of its activities, the Association has been laying great emphasis on:

  1. the removal of all forms of cruelty perpetrated on poor animals and birds by mankind, in the name of food, fashion, science and sport.
  2. educating the younger generation to be kind, through the introduction of humane education in schools and colleges.
  3. condemning all blood sports and brutal forms of amusement, which involve the hunting, killing or maiming of animals and birds.
  4. condemning the exploitation of animals and birds in the name of fashion and clothing, and such industries which involve ghastly forms of cruelty to animals.
  5. condemning the exploitation of animals for atomic experiments.
  6. condemning the practice of exporting defenceless animals to foreign countries, as also the most shocking travelling conditions under which they are transported.

We feel that "no civilization is complete which does not include the dumb and defenceless of God's creatues within the sphere of charity and mercy" and, as is said in the International Animals' Charter, that:

"Men will have increasing respect for animals as they realize that men and animals share the same divine life, that all are rooted in the same spiritual unity."

"The infliction of suffering on animals for any purpose is indicated as a violation of the claims of kinship, justice and compassion, and inimical to the spiritual and material advancement of humanity. It is therefore our bounden duty to seek to minimize their suffering and promote their welfare as we seek to minimize the sufferings and promote the welfare of human beings."

"Religion constrains us to treat all others as we would ourselves be treated, and to reverence the life in all God's creatures, and teaches us that 'As a man soweth so shall he also reap'."