As it is said, ‘It’s not a weakness to care for animals, it’s a strength!’, Mini Vasudevan, a Coimbatore based professional telecommunication engineer turned social entrepreneur, co-founded the Humane Animal Society (HAS), a non-governmental organization, along with her husband Madhu Ganesh in 2006 for the welfare and protection of animals. At the tender age of 11, she saw a chicken being cut on the farm, which moved her to be a pure vegetarian. Talking about animal exploitation, Mini said, “Life abroad gave exposure to a lot of exploitation that animals were subjected to by humans. Awareness about this slowly transformed me to understand them better, and I realized that they were just sentient creatures like humans with a soul and hence had a right to a suffering-free existence without being subjected to exploitation and abuse.”
In November 2006, while volunteering at the place where Coimbatore Municipal Corporation (CMC) was carrying out an Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme, Mini was moved by the sight of dogs been tied up in chains, sitting inside a cage in their own urine and ordure. Dismayed by the situation, she also said, “We realized that though the intention of launching the program was good, the Corporation did not have the requisite expertise,” and sent an email to Maneka Gandhi, the animal rights activist, expressing her concern. On receiving a harsh revert, Mini Vasudevan was stimulated to take the ABC program under HAS and further set up shelter homes.
The success of Humane Animal Society in treating 50,000 animals with 100 in the shelter home at Seeranaickenpalayam and 70 in the sanctuary at Valukkuppara, converted Mini from an animal lover to an animal rights activist. HAS boasts of a big family of caretakers, shelter and sanctuary staff, veterinary doctors, ambulance drivers,s and animal handlers, having progressed with adoption services, vaccination, rehabilitation of abandoned animals, and birth control programs.it has created awareness about the treatment of hurt or distressed animals and rescue programs. In 2015, it took off with the ‘Mission Rabies’ in Coimbatore, aimed to prevent the spread of rabies by mass vaccination of dogs.
Mini Vasudevan was recently awarded Nari Shakti Puraskar, the highest civilian honor for women in India by the Ministry of Women and Child Development as a recognition for her social work.