Gira Shah believes that every life is precious. She further says that if humans are considered as a superior species, it requires us to be more humane and compassionate towards all the creatures around us as they feel the same pain, hunger and thirst as we do. With this empathetic vision and belief, Gira founded "Jivdaya Charitable Trust" - a journey in the world of animal welfare in the year 2007. As a trustee, Gira spearheads the team towards an absolute dedication towards the service of innocent birds and animals that often stay neglected of good healthcare, better living conditions, love and kindness they deserve. Jivdaya Charitable Trust humbly endeavours to become the voice of these voiceless creatures.
What is your favourite word?
"Jiv-daya" is my favourite word. It means love towards any living creatures. There is a saying in Jainism, "Mann, vachan aur kaya se kisiko takleef matt pauchao" which basically means that one shouldn't harm anybody in any way through their thoughts, words and actions. My life is "jiv-daya" - from the time I wake up to the time I sleep every day, I cannot see either a man, an animal or any life form around me go through pain. I feel a very intrinsic need to help them.
What was the moment in your life that made you Blossom into the person you are today?
Basically you can do what I am doing only if you have a love for animals. I am from "Jain" community. There is something in our community that we call, "Jiv-daya" which means that you should be kind and responsible towards every life form - birds, plants, animals and everything around you. Growing up in such an environment, I always used to be a person concerned about the animals around me.
Back in the day when veterinary hospitals still weren't so well known, I used to see the animals around me suffering and wondered how I could help them. There wasn't any hospital or doctors I could take them to. I felt helpless. When I was older, got married, had kids and then found some more time in my life as my kids grew up, the sense and desire from my heart to help the animals had come once again. This time, I stood up to that idea and took steps towards whatever I could do. .
What would you want the young boys & girls to learn from your journey?
All of us dream. We dream a lot of things for ourselves. I believe we must take a step further and dream for a cause. We must keep faith in our dream and not give up. I insist that everyone should love nature, know the life forms in their own environment and be responsible for their well-being.
Many people today are fascinated about domesticating tortoises in their homes, but the tortoise isn't a domestic animal at all. Even if you give it the best amenities, a house is an unhealthy environment for a tortoise. Keeping it in your home just because you want to is being irresponsible towards the well-being of another life form.