Board, Ambassadors & Staff
BoardNorma Alvarez, People for Animals Goa
To work for the welfare of animals. To conduct ABC programme in Goa. Says Norma: “FIAPO provides a link to other NGOs outside the State of Goa. It keeps us abreast of new developments. It can become an advocacy group for any of the specific issues we might want to raise.”
Amala Akkineni, Blue Cross of Hyderabad
Chair, Membership and Nominations Committee
Amala, together with husband and actor Nagarjuna, co-founded Blue Cross of Hyderabad in 1992. Currently, she is a member of the Animal Welfare Board of India. Actress by profession, Amala uses her celebrity status to promote the welfare of animals at every opportunity she gets. She helps raise funds for Blue Cross of Hyderabad to conduct animal welfare services that reach out to over 30,000 animals every year.
Abodh Aras, Welfare of Stray Dogs
Chair, Finance Committee
Abodh Aras is the Chief Executive Officer of The Welfare Of Stray Dogs. He is an MBA in Marketing and a graduate in Hotel Management. Abodh has worked in the corporate sector with companies like DHL Worldwide Express, managing customer services and sales. His passion for animals led him to quit the corporate sector and join WSD in 2000 where he volunteered since 1995. He is also a co-opted member of The Animal Welfare Board Of India
Sudhir Amembal, Animal Advisory
Chair, Fundraising Committee
Sudhir P. Amembal is Chairman and CEO of Amembal & Associates, one of the world's most highly respected training and consulting firms in the field of equipment leasing, a U.S. $750 billion industry. Mr. Amembal has been an advocate for animal welfare and rights since 1974. He has served as President of several animal welfare organizations, including the Humane Society of Utah, Wasatch Humane, The Animals Voice, and Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Whilst living in Mexico, he co-founded Amigos de Animales in San Miguel de Allende. He offers pro bono strategic consultancy to animal protection organisations,via Animal Advisory.
Lynn de Souza, Social Access Communications
An MBA in Marketing with 25 plus years in media planning, buying, research and management, some stopovers into integrated communications, knowledge management, training and healthcare, and a permanent passion for serving animals in distress, spells the name that is Lynn de Souza. A great example of rising through the ranks, Lynn is an icon who exudes influence, commands the respect of all in the business and plays a very active role in shaping the Indian media industry.
Timmie Kumar, Help in Suffering
Timmie Kumar graduated from J.J. School of Arts- Mumbai with specialization in Interior Designing in 1979. She is very passionate about animals since childhood and started working with “Help in Suffering”an animal NGO in Jaipur as a volunteer 12 years ago. She took over as a Managing Trustee of HIS in 2002, becoming the first Indian lady to do so. HIS is responsible in making Jaipur free of Rabies. Under her leadership HIS was able to open its second shelter in Bassi known as Camel Rescue Center (CRC) in April’2011 for treatment of camels. HIS and CRC conduct several free treatment camps organized at different locations in and around Jaipur like Pushkar Fair, Luniawas Donkey Fair etc.
Vasanthi Kumar, Stray Relief and Animal Welfare (STRAW)
With two Masters degrees in Economics and Management and 20+ years of experience in the corporate world, Vasanthi Kumar co-founded STRAW (Stray Relief and Animal Welfare) www.strawindia.org to pursue her passion for animal welfare. The purpose of STRAW is to sow a seed of empathy towards people, compassion towards animals and respect for the environment in young people through Humane Education. Completing an online course “Teaching for a Positive Future” conducted by the Institute for Humane Education, USA, enables her to accomplish her goals at STRAW in a better way. Vasanthi also contributes humane education content to school textbooks and teachers’ manuals published periodically by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and State Educational Boards. The “Outreach for Animals” Award was conferred on her by the Federation recently.
D.R. Mehta, Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (Jaipur Foot)
D.R. Mehta is a former Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India. He is a founder and chief patron of Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), the world's largest organization for the handicapped in terms of free fitment of artificial limbs/calipers etc. Mr Mehta is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest Indian civilian awards, for his contribution to social cause.
Sathya Radhakrishnan, Blue Cross of India
Chair, Programmes Committee
Sathya has been virtually running the Blue Cross of India since December 2010 and is well versed in the requirements for running an Organisation as per legal requirements. The Blue Cross of India is one of the founding members of the Federation and is one of India's largest animal welfare organizations, running active animal welfare, animal rights and humane education programmes.
AmbassadorsErika Abrams, Animal Aid Charitable Trust
Co-founded Animal Aid Charitable Trust in 2002 together with husband Jim and daughter Claire. Says Erika: “For every animal protector in India, FIAPO gives us a chance to voice our opinions, ideas and questions among colleagues devoted to helping animals. Together, we’re stronger. The animals need us to be strong.”
A lawyer by profession, Dan has been involved with the vegetarian and vegan outreach efforts in the United States for about eight years, and has been a supporter of FIAPO for about two years. Dan has worked with animal welfare groups in the United States including the Humane Society of the United States, Compassion Over Killing, Vegan Outreach, Mercy for Animals, and the Washington Animal Rescue League.
Varda has a mix of skills, with a background in cognitive sciences, philosophy and artificial intelligence. She is responsible for overseeing all programmes, with a strong focus on movement building. Before joining FIAPO, she worked in Scotland, setting up the largest grassroots group promoting animal rights. She was involved in setting up new services for grassroots nationally to help strengthen the movement there, including a collective of all Scottish animal protection organisations - much similar to FIAPO. She has experience in grassroots mobilisation. Varda has also worked in international development and with social enterprises.
Puja has an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford and has worked initially as a Field Researcher with the Assam Haathi Project - a collaborative conservation project between Ecosystems-India & Chester Zoo, UK in Assam and then as Trust Coordinator with The Kishkinda Trust in Hampi, Karnataka. Puja is currently based in Goa.
Bikramadittya Guha Roy
Bikram has been a journalist, a photographer, a botanist’s assistant, an adventurer and more. He was always into rescue and rehabilitation of urban wildlife. Handling snakes and fostering animal babies are his natural skills, as is his communication. Before joining FIAPO, he has spent nine years as an Instructional Designer and created effective learning material for people of various industries and societies across the globe. Bikram’s first book “Backyard Wildlife – A Diary of Neighbourhood Creatures” published by Times Group Books in 2011, is very popular among children and young adults who love neighbourhood animals. Bikram holds a bachelor’s degree in Botany and another in Journalism, both from the University of Calcutta.
Director, External Relations
Arpan has degrees in Economics and Social Work and has worked extensively in the areas of grassroots conservation action, livelihoods, animal welfare and policy. He has researched conservation management in India as well as consulted with agencies such as the UNDP, the GEF and World Bank on formulating and evaluating biodiversity conservation programmes, linking conservation and livelihoods and creating incentives for conservation. Early in his career, he worked with TRAFFIC India on programmes to curb illegal wildlife trade and enhance the capacity of enforcement agencies towards this end. He also has several years of experience in leading grassroots wildlife conservation efforts in central and north east India. Arpan has served on planning commission working groups for the 11th five year plan on animal welfare, eco-tourism and wildlife conservation.
Heer has a background in Psychology and has worked with the corporate world for over eleven years, overseeing back-end operations, Project Management and Service Delivery with Debt Collections for American Express, Washington Mutual and Mexus Education a K-12 organization. Heer's association with animals began at a very early stage. Over the years she has closely worked for local animal shelters at all possible levels and gladly shares her home with nearly a dozen dogs and a special needs cat. She looks into all aspects of operations for FIAPO.
Based in Bangalore, Prashanth holds a Masters degree in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from Pondicherry University, and a Bachelors degree in Life Sciences from Bangalore University. He has had experience working in the conservation and development sectors previously, and has been involved with on-ground implementation of projects with a high degree of community engagement. Some of his previous assignments have been in working for mitigation of Human Animal Conflict in the Western Ghats and lower Himalayan landscapes; earthen engineering and watershed management in central India, study of people’s dependence on forests for resources in the Nilgiri Biosphere region etc. Prashanth works in movement building with FIAPO, to get the local federations moving and getting them to be more connected, empowered and efficient in working for the cause of promoting animal rights.
Office Admin and Support
Babita ensures that everyone at FIAPO is looked after. From keeping the files sorted to ensuring the soya milk never runs out, Babita comes with varied skills! The first animal of Babita's life was a six month old calf that she fed when she first went to her village. She was very young but made an immediate connection. As she grew up, her bond with cows and calves never went away and she regularly stopped to feed them whenever and wherever possible. Along with cows, she also loves dogs, at one point, looking after 5-6 dogs at her in-laws place. Learning from FIAPO, her 10 year old son has given up milk as he could not believe the cruelties inflicted on the cows.