NEW DELHI: The editorial team at The Citizen and the management team at Zaazen Wellness would like to extend a big thank you for all the support that led to making our charity event, “Fetch And Stretch: A Yoga Fundraiser For Friendicoes” a resounding success.

For the few who need an introduction to Friendicoes -- the animal shelter rescues and rehabilitates injured strays and abandoned pets, runs vaccination and sterilisation drives, operates an ambulance service and animal helpline, hosts a Mobile Equine Welfare Programme… the list goes on, making Friendicoes synonymous with animal wellbeing in the capital city. A few weeks ago, Friendicoes issued a public notice asking for help -- as the shelter owed 82 lakhs in outstanding dues.

The Citizen, along with Zaazen Wellness -- a holistic wellness centre that provides a diverse range of pre and postnatal services to its clients -- got together to extend our support and a big thank you to Friendicoes. “Fetch And Stretch” took place on Saturday, September 12th, at Lodhi Garden. The class was led by instructor Anishka Bagla, who has completed her RYT200 teacher training in Bali and taught classes in New York, Central America, the UK, and India.

We asked for donations of Rs. 1000 per person, with the option to donate more. The generosity of the attendees ensured that we exceeded our target by multiples, and will be handing over 100 percent of the proceeds to Friendicoes.

“I think the cause is very important. Friendicoes has been an invaluable part of our lives in Delhi; it’s the reason why animals in the city have a chance. I knew Friendicoes was trying to raise money, and when I saw that a yoga event was being organised to help the shelter, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. I had a great evening doing yoga in the park, and the last few minutes of meditation were even more special as I reflected on why I was there,” said attendee Deepika Singh.

Sunaina Malik, another attendee, offered a similar view. “Supporting Friendicoes is all the more important given the type of work that they are doing. They are one of the few animal shelters in the city, and by far the most comprehensive in the services they offer and the number of animals they have helped over the years,” she said.

We at The Citizen and Zaazen Wellness agree with the above, and thank you f all for your support. We hope “Fetch And Stretch” can become a regular fixture, and will keep you posted on that front.

Jayati Sehgal, founder of Zaazen Wellness and the force behind “Fetch And Stretch” says the following about the importance of Friendicoes and the need for events that help support the shelter’s work:

“I recently visited Friendicoes, and was overwhelmed by one of the dogs that I met there. He was this super happy, three legged little guy, bouncing off the walls with energy (limbs no bar)!

I assumed he may have been taken in by Friendicoes when he got hurt, and then just stayed on there to call it home; a home he shares with countless other animals that are old, injured, abandoned and have nowhere else to go.

This reinforced for me what we all already knew: Friendicoes is really doing something right.

I know I am not alone when I say that I wish I could do a lot more to help the animals in the city. But honestly speaking, since I -- for various reasons -- cannot be running out in the middle of the night to rescue a dog that has been hit by a car, or housing a litter of homeless motherless puppies, or providing food and mediation to the innumerable number of animals that need it, the least I can do is attempt to help out an organisation that is trying its very best to do all of these things, with whatever resources they have at their disposal.

Friendicoes really is an unsung hero of our city, and I am certain that their closure would leave a massive gaping hole. I suppose there may be a slightly selfish motive here, because I, for one, will sleep a lot better at night knowing that Friendicoes is still around and secure.

The response to Fetch And Stretch has been really great, and we can see that there are a lot of people who really want to help. We would like to make the event a regular feature, and hope that our contribution, however small, will help Friendicoes get just a little bit closer to their goal.”

Thank you!