Dear Friends,

Happy Diwali! Diwali – the main day is on November 14 this year – is the Festival of Lights, one of the major holidays in India. The lights of Diwali celebrate well-being and a new beginning. India has a very ancient tradition of harmony and kindness, especially towards the natural world. The word ahimsa means “do no harm.” In the third century BCE the emperor Ashoka set up pillars all over India. Some are still standing today, with the original laws engraved on them. They set out rules for kindness, especially for kindness toward animals. Ashoka established the first veterinary hospitals in the world – and they treated plants as well! Ashoka, whose name means “without suffering,” was a transformative figure, and even today traditions of India lean towards kindness.

Of course, we all have different traditions. But most of us, one way or another, do feel a longing for peace, harmony, and a new beginning.

There are organizations in India which do remarkable work – bringing about new beginnings for forests and wild lands, injured and orphaned wildlife, community dogs and cats, low-income women and children, indigenous peoples, and others who may be left behind.

We’d like to introduce you to a few of these charities over the coming weeks and months, and so we thank you for subscribing to this newsletter.

We live in tumultuous times. After the dark of night come the first beginnings of the dawn. Beyond the clouds, lie the blue sky of heaven and the sun that shines, always. There are very great cycles, beyond the power of our imagination, which turn and return.

We can all extend a hand to help with a new beginning for someone, and that brings light and peace to us as well.

Thank you for caring!

Be well. Peace be with you!


Emergency dog feeding program….

Feeding 100,000 dogs….

During the height of the lockdown caused by the pandemic, restaurants and tea shops in south India were abruptly closed. Community dogs who used to hang out there waiting for handouts from kind people suddenly had nowhere to turn for food. Blue Cross of India, the largest animal shelter in India, sprang into action to feed dogs all across the greater urban area of Chennai – giving food to 100,000 dogs….

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Special education…….

From frustration to success…….

Nestled on the beautiful grounds of the CP Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation in Chennai, India, are two schools, one is the Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre where children who may have learning disabilities learn to develop their own unique talents and abilities and become stars at what they can do….
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Rehabilitating wildlife….Two young pelicans take a tumble….

The Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, in Bangalore, India (the WRRC) does wonderful work caring for injured and orphaned wild birds and animals, then releasing them back to the wild. Two pelicans who’d fallen out their nests high in the trees were found recently and brought to them to be cared for. See how the young birds gained strength and are getting ready for flight out in the wild….
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Restoring Forest Groves….Pavupattu: Among the trees…

Traditionally, every village in India had a small forest grove nearby, a place of unspoiled nature, of great peace and refuge for wildlife and for the village people. Sadly, many of these have fallen into disrepair in recent times. The CPR Environmental Center and the CP Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation have restored 53 of these small forests over the past thirty years. Here is the story of the first forest grove that they restored thirty years ago….
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