We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
These inspiring lines were once quoted by Winston Churchill, who made us realize the true meaning of what we call is- the joy of giving.
With the similar aim that strives on bringing happiness for others, Pune’s NGO Bodhisattva attempts to distribute joy amongst all. To get to know more about the Philanthropic work they do, Reacho got in conversation with Founder and Managing Trustee of Bodhisattva- Mojdeh Arab Farashahi.
Tell us something about Bodhisattva?
Bodhisattva is an NGO that came into existence in 2015. In Buddhism ‘Bodhisattva’ refers to an awakened mind motivated by great compassion, which promises and vows to save all beings from difficulties. With the motto of to make a difference we must all work together; many in body but one in mind. Bodhisattva' aims to give rise to a community service and community support attitude in our youth.
Is there any story behind deriving the name Bodhisattva?
I am a Buddhism student and when I came across this word and its meaning, it resonated with how I felt all my life and the work I wanted to do. I wanted to love a selfless life, to be able to be of service and help/contribute towards making a difference.
Your philanthropic work for Animal welfare and Human welfare is commendable, tell us more about it.
We aim to reduce animal suffering and bridge the gap between animals and humans. We run an animal ambulance for street animals in Pune. We are committed to helping and creating a better environment for helpless and voiceless animals through our projects. We support with medical aid and treatments for people living below poverty line. We provide basic necessities to the homeless.
We believe in empowering women with knowledge so they are aware of their legal rights and laws. Bodhisattva also wishes to spread awareness, educate people towards social causes, social issues and get them involved and be part of making a change and raising their voice.
Can you elaborate on the NGO’s aspiration and motivation?
We take our aspiration from the quotes of Shantidevi, 8th-century Indian Buddhist monk that reads "As long as space abides and as long as the world abides so long may I abide, destroying the suffering of the world".
While our motivation lies in- we all desire happiness and wish to avoid suffering. Our mission is to spread the awareness that the smallest of creatures have a life force just like mine. Our ability to empathize with others is a natural instinct hard-wired in our neurology.
What kind of support do you get from the city dwellers of Pune?
We are extremely happy to receive the support we have got from the people staying in Pune and the appreciation they have shown towards the work we do.
Running an NGO is surely not a cakewalk, what are the challenges that the team is still settling on?
Financial support is very important. Especially if you are into social work and that demands making a difference. Bodhisattva has the 80g tax exemption certificate. We are currently looking for companies to support us through CSR funding for our projects and causes.