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Linking Young Minds Together
   Volume 6 | Issue 02 | January 15, 2012 |


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Star Chat

A Hero for the Helpless

Animal Welfare Worker
Rubaiya Ahmad
Talks to
Naziba Basher

Courtesy: Rubaiya Ahmad

I was quite the trouble-maker when I used to study in Agrani Girls School. I have no memory of studying or getting good grades all the way until the 8th grade. My best memory from school was during something we used to have called Education Week. It was like a national competition and there were a lot of things a student could participate in like singing, speaking, poetry and more. I remember winning a gold medal in Public Speaking and I had also come first in Poetry in the Dhaka Division.

The two years of college in Holy Cross College were like my golden years. I became a really good student and started concentrating on my studies, I made amazing friends and the atmosphere was just fantastic. All my friends from school had entered Viqarunnisa Noon College and I was the only one to get into Holy Cross. Naturally, I had no intentions of going there and was very depressed. The principal, Sister Joseph Mary, called me in one day and politely told me that she really wanted me to be a part of Holy Cross. She made me feel so special and wanted, that Holy Cross had turned into some sort of a haven for me since then. Sister Joseph Mary was the reason I started improving academically as well because I never wanted to let her down.

When I went to the USA and joined the University of Texas for my Bachelors, life had suddenly become very blurry. Even though I lived with my uncle for two years, I had changed my major thrice and ended up getting into multiple jobs. Then, I moved out when I was 21 and everything had gotten even harder. You can never really realise the responsibilities of life until you start living alone. When you are under the guidance of someone, you do not really get survival training. So, when I was on my own initially, everything was a big mess. I did not know how to live on my own, what to eat, what to buy, how to manage time and money but then slowly and painfully, I had learned to take complete care of myself.

Earlier in my life I was never too fond of animals. I did not hate them but I did not love them either. Someone I knew had left their kitten with me for one week and I was quite annoyed at that. But that one week with the kitten had changed my life completely. Even after all these years I still keep in touch with the family and ask about the kitten every now and then. I, then, started getting involved into Animal Welfare organisations like a cat rescue programme; I worked at a zoo and more. When I moved back to Bangladesh, I wanted to be involved in Animal Welfare organisations but realised that there was absolutely no scope. Instead, people were killing dogs on the streets on a daily basis. I had adopted a couple of local dogs and got a full-time job. But, I could never move my mind away from saving animals and could not concentrate on work. That is when Obhoyaronno-- Animal Welfare Society happened in 2009. Since then I have been working non-stop to save animals and thankfully, we have finally stopped Dog Culling, an act that has been going on for almost 60-70 years now, on the 1st of January, 2012. We have also opened our own Clinic with modern surgery procedures and have lots of street animal rescue projects.

I believe that not many people are fortunate enough to realise their passion. Their visions get blurred by the whole 'money-making' scenario and are completely oblivious to hopes, dreams and passion. I think the only way one can go further in life and sense true freedom is if they realise their passion and work for it.

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