Curated Story
Chandani Grover
Source: Ashoka

How Stray Dogs Inspired an Empathy Movement

This article originally appeared on Medium

Growing up in Bhopal, India, Chandani Grover used to build twig houses to shelter butterflies from the rain. Instead of playing sports at school, she played with a street dog. One day she saw a litter of 10 stray puppies at someone’s house — and the next, she was caring for them at her own place.

The 15-year-old encountered stray dogs every day. Chandani, who has always been enamored with animals, took her passion for animals further when she saw the dogs being mistreated. After she saw a car run over a local dog, she knew she had to do something. So Chandani set out to change how her community thinks about and treats animals — replacing an attitude of fear with the spirit of empathy.

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Ashoka insight

Chandani realized that her mission extends beyond improving the quality of life for stray dogs. It’s about empathy. Deciding to overcome fear and “drop the stone” can serve as a gateway to a new way of living and relating to other people, not just animals.

The name of Chandani’s venture — “Kindness, the universal language of love” — captures her vision to help people better care for everyone, first by learning to better care for animals. Kindness is “the way we communicate with every being on this planet,” she explains, “regardless of age, gender, etc.”