The students of Kids Central (KC) High International School, Chennai, conducted a fundraiser for Chennai-based animal rescue trust Upaghna, visited their facility and came up with innovative ways to collaborate with the trust and amplify its impact.
Class XI students, along with school staff, visited the rehab retreat on the school’s first field trip in two years. The students enjoyed the outdoors and spent time with the animals. They also engaged in conversation on how to work for animal welfare.
Raji N, counsellor, CAS coordinator and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Psychology educator at KC High International School, said students are encouraged to apply their skills and talents while taking part in various Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) Programmes. “We have earlier conducted fundraisers and associated with organisations like iAdopt and Madras Crocodile Bank Trust,” Raji said.
The school got to know about Upaghna from a social media post about Ramu, a hearing impaired Rajapalayam Hound at the rehab retreat. The children wanted to help Ramu and got in touch with Uphaghna’s managing trustee, Jayshree R.
“The students shared a wonderful ideas like creating a helpline where people can call and report injured animals. One of the students pointed out how switching to earthen roofs for the shelters could be a cooling, eco-friendly move. The students were also eager to share details of the animals up for adoption to help them find homes,” Jayshree said.
Class XI student Navya Chordia said the initiative taught them teamwork, management and animal welfare. “As a part of our fundraiser bake sale, our class baked around 190 cupcakes and sold ice tea as well. The response from the school was great and we were sold out soon. Since we all love animals, we decided to visit and donate to Upaghna,” Navya said.
The funds donated by the students will be used to create a fenced enclosure for Ramu, to keep him safe till he is adopted. Other special needs animals will also benefit from the enclosure.
A bit of information that surprised most students was how harmful biscuits are for dogs. “Human food is not good for dogs. If you want to feed your local strays then carry some cheap dog food instead of giving them biscuits,” Jayshree said.
The students were also given tips on how they can contribute to animal welfare. “Individuals can choose to donate money or resources, volunteer at shelters, foster adoption-ready animals and share adoption appeals on social media,” Jayshree added.
“I learnt a lot about compassion, patience and marvelled at the resilience of these intelligent creatures. I am really glad we had such an enriching experience and hope all these dogs find good families soon,” said Class XI student Anushka Navaneeth.