Hyderabad's teen idol
Interview with Md. Zabi Khan.
Tell me something about yourself?
This is Md Zabi Khan I am 20years old I am an animal rights activist, a social entrepreneur, record holder for being the world’s youngest animal rights activist, humane educator, founder a place to bark society,Ashoka youth venture, National youth award nominee 2018 and Recently became Padma shri nomiee 2018 i started working for animal rights from the age of 13yrs,When i was16yrs old i started an registered ngo named a place to bark society and started running a rescue and adoption animal shelter. So far i have rescued 500+ animals and rehabilitated around 3000+ animals.
The voiceless are the ones who suffer the most in any given situation and I wanted to stand by them. I wanted them to have good homes where they are loved , fed and cared for their entire life. When we look into an animal's eyes , we see a soul. We see the pain, the feeling of abandonment , the hardship they had gone through.
How did it all started?
It all started when i was 13years old, i love animals for as long as i can remember..I was walking down the street and i saw a German shepherd puppy lying on the road, I inquired around and found that someone just dropped him off a car and never returned.
The puppy looked sad and was very hungry, I got him home and named him Casanova. However, 4 days later, Casanova was running very high temperature. I took him to vet with my dad’s help; vet examined him and told me, that my little kiddo will be all fine within a few days. Once back home, Casanova remained a little dull but followed me around all through the day. I woke up at 4am the next morning I called out Casanova and he didn't responded, i touched him and they was no response, my little kiddo was no more.
I still clearly remember that morning and give me shudders. My dad told me that Casanova was suffering from parvo bacteria and was in the last stage, he was probably abandoned because his previous owners thought he wasn’t worth investing so much in. As a matter of fact why would they put in so much of money and efforts to safe a dog, at the end of the day they can buy one more again. That night shattered me as well as showed me the meaning of my life. I promised myself that I would now never let any animal suffering like my Casanova did. My life had a purpose and a meaning now and that’s how it all started.
Animal rights are taken forgranted in a country like india but the pain and suffering a animal goes through is no less than a human and this lead to the formation of APTB. A Place To Bark was started by me Registered under section 3 of society act, it holds a strong position in the city for the welfare of animals. We deal with abandoned and abused animals who had a rough start in their lives. We rehabilitate, retrain and rehome them in the best families who deserve them. The activities range from Animal adoption, rehabilitation, retraining, providing medical assistance to the injured animals, rescuing abused animals from pathetic conditions, creating awareness in schools, college, and orphanages sending food to animals affected by Natural calamities.
Your initial journey
I first rented a place near my home and ran an animal shelter there for two years and then I joined my engineering college and it was getting real difficult for me to manage shelter as well as studies together.
Then I thought why don't I open a shelter inside my college campus. . Through my work, i inspired and motivated other students in my college. They joined my work and sympathized with the cause. With students strongly backing me,i then went on to convince college authorities and open an animal shelter in college. i have been successful in convincing my college and has constructed animal shelter inside the college campus and made my college the India’s first Animal-Friendly Educational campus.
i have been successful in creating a self-sufficient, self-governing system in my college where all students contribute in some small way towards running the shelter (the help could be in terms of taking the dogs for a walk or bathing them). This in turn also engages students in some other activities apart from studies and gives them some time out. I want to now replicate this model in other schools and colleges.
In this unique ecosystem, animals can travel in the college bus and roam freely in the campus.
We have over 450+ volunteers all over Hyderabad who helps us with rescuing and rehabilitating abandoned/abused animals plus help us in raiding illegal slaughter houses, breeders and pet shops.
I have changed the mindset of society towards my cause. i have gotten about a framework change in my college and has successfully transformed the mindset of the institution as well as students. I have so far rescued around 500 animals and rehabilitated around 3000+ animals.
Animal abuse have been increased a lot in the past few years, there in no humanity left. The pain an animal goes through is no less than a human going through it. Research finds a clear and compelling link between animal abuse and other violent acts. Animal abuse does not only hurt animals; it affects our entire community. Whenever an animal is abused, a chain reaction begins in our community. Not only does an innocent animal get injured, but the person who commits the offense often falls into a cycle that could ultimately result in violence against other people. The evidence of a link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans is compelling. In the vast majority of cases, cruelty to animals is just one aspect of a social environment marked by violence. In fact, people who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crime.
Animal abuse, like many other forms of abuse, is about power and control over a helpless victim. It is intolerable. By taking action against animal cruelty, we not only prevent animal suffering, but also uncover and perhaps prevent additional crimes. Understand the link and take animal abuse seriously. Hurting an animal hurts us all.
I am currently working to start an animal ambulance which will rescue the needy animals 24/7 in the city
We have been successfully able to shut down over 60% of pet shopsbecause now people prefer to rather adopt than shop.
We are in process of expanding our shelter from 200 sq yard place to a 12 acr of land.
I have covered over 260 collages and universities to motivate students to start there own social ventures.
I was somebody who never dared to raise his hand in the class,somebody who hated to be called on to read aloud and was described by every teacher of mine as Painfully shy. I think something in me connected to those who seems invisible and voicelessAll i know is i had no choice left in the matter. I was born for this nd now i raise my hand for Animals every chance i get.Someone who didnt dared to raise his hand in the class grewup to someone who wants to raise the roof for ANIMALS
For me giving these animals a voice, these choice less animals.Helps illuminate the dark cold barren enclosures that brings out the cries of pain, loneliness and toucher, voices begging to be heard and to be recogniseTo know that they are not alone and yes they are heard and may be some how this makes me feel less alone.Acting on behalf of these animals that I would never meet but fight for every day.It has taken me from feeling like power less individual to an important proactive part of the wheel driving forth towards making this earth a kinder gentler and more sustainable place to live in.I have tried planting a seed of change and i delight it seeing grow.
We can all change this world, we can all raise our voice We all have it in us no matter what our calling is.
How did you connect to Nikhil Chandwani and the help you received from him?
I got connected to Nikhil via social media regarding filming a documentary on my work since then he was always there guiding and supporting. He helped and guided me to apply for World record, He guided me to start writing a book on rescues and he is sponsoring the publication. He is a blessing to many like me who needs a Godfather in there lifes.