Despite her Osteogenesis Imperfecta condition, Shweta Maurya from Varanasi launched Astha Loving Kindness and Compassion (ALKC) Foundation which helps injured and abandoned animals.
Shweta Maurya from Varanasi was born with a genetic condition named Osteogenesis Imperfecta in which her bones become brittle and prone to breakage. In her 35 years of life, she lost count of the number of bone breakages in her body. She was bedridden ever since age six.
“I have had multiple rod surgeries to keep me alive. My bones lose their density and get porous due to the disorder with each passing day. It also causes heart complications,” tells Shweta Maurya. The doctors told her parents that she would have a very limited life. But despite all odds, Shweta has dedicated her life to the rescue and rehabilitation of stray animals.
She initially wanted to become a doctor. But no medical institution would accept her because of her condition. Also, the ostracised life she and her mother lived pushed Shweta into depression. She fought with depression for three years and only when in 2012, her brother opened her Facebook page she came across the ‘Adopt a Pet’ page. “A post where a dog was beaten inhumanly by a security guard at a university caught my attention. The poor animal was bleeding profusely and needed help. I was shocked by the atrocities done to the animal and decided to help. I connected to other groups on Facebook and arranged for medical help and treatment,” she says.
“It was my first time coming across such brutality and so I decided to take up the cause for the animals,” she says. Shweta then spent her time joining multiple groups for animals across India. She boosted and reposted posts and raised awareness among people about stray animals. Through this, she helped the animals in need. Shweta worked to coordinate with NGOs, shared contact details, arranged rescues and connected volunteers to rescue dogs, donkeys, cattle and more.
In 2016, however, Shwetha’s health condition worsened and she had to be hospitalised for a long time. “I got disconnected from social media for two years while recovering from a health condition. My liver had stopped functioning efficiently and I was put on artificial breathing for a few days,” she says.
But Shweta soon recovered and this time when she was back on social media, she launched Astha Loving Kindness and Compassion (ALKC) Foundation NGO that works for animal rescue and welfare. She was also working as a graphic designer. She needs around Rs.6000 for the rescue and rehabilitation of the animals, she only gets half of that from donations and the other half she takes from her own earnings as a graphic designer.
Shweta right now focuses only on her hometown Varanasi. Besides her brothers, she has two volunteers to assist with her job. Till now, she has rescued about 300 stray animals.
Credits: The Better India