Capacity Building

Credits : PFA PPF

The Ahimsa Fellowship

The Ahimsa Fellowship, powered by People For Animals Uttarakhand (PFA UK) and People For Animals Public Policy Foundation (PFA PPF), is a response to the urgent need for more talent in the field of animal welfare in India. It is India’s first fellowship of its kind which gives direction to the dedication and compassion for animals of young leaders – leaders who can work closely with all stakeholders including govt machinery to enforce animal protection laws in India.

It is a 9-month immersive full-time programme, facilitated by the stalwarts of the movement in India. It provides opportunities for young leaders to gain experience, knowledge, visibility and skills through hands-on learning, mentoring, and networking. The fellows are given a monthly stipend.

Talent Gap : There is a mismatch between the demand and supply of skilled and qualified professionals. Reasons:

1) Lack of awareness : Many people are unaware of the broad spectrum of animal issues and the opportunities for employment. There is a lack of exposure and education on animal welfare. 

2) Lack of interest : Very few have the motivation to work for animal welfare. They may have other career aspirations or preferences that do not align with the cause of animal welfare. 

3) Lack of incentives : Animal welfare is perceived as a low-paying, low-status, high-risk, or high-stress career that does not offer any career growth or recognition. 

4) Lack of skills : Those who cross the above hurdles may lack technical skills, soft skills or domain knowledge required for effective animal advocacy work. 

5) Lack of opportunities : Access to quality training / internships in the sector is low. The talent gap limits the capacity and quality, impact and sustainability of animal welfare interventions, especially with respect to innovation and collaboration that can be fostered among different stakeholder.


  • Training : By experts in animal behavior, ethics, law, policy, advocacy, communication, leadership, and management. 
  • Deployment : Fellows are placed in different districts across India to work with govt machinery, local communities, NGOs, media, and other stakeholders for improved animal outcomes. 
  • Project : The fellows design and implement their own projects like awareness campaigns, conducting surveys, organizing events, providing services, or creating products 
  • Placement : Graduating fellows are provided placement opportunities with the growing number of organizations. The movement benefits from shorter time to intervention.


Alumni receive ongoing mentorship, guidance, and opportunities as part of the Ahimsa Fellowship. Alumni continue to support and collaborate with each other and with stakeholders. 


The Ahimsa Fellowship can thus create address the talent gap by creating a pipeline of talented and committed individuals who can take the movement forward in India for decades to come. 27 fellows have graduated and have been absorbed in the movement, while the next batch is on going.


The Animal Justice Landscape in India 

It is a complex and underserved cause. As per Animal Welfare Board of India, there are 3500+ organisations in India, but 95+% of them focus on unproductive cows (political issue) and street dogs (most visible issue). Street dogs particularly get the major share of the budget available for animal welfare. It is not hard to see why this is the case. Dogs are in our homes and hearts, and not on our plates. The number of dogs on the streets is so large (60 million) and the problem so hard to get ahead of, that anyone working in the space will always be overwhelmed, too overwhelmed to consider the plight of billions of animals that are exploited on a daily basis for human use. These animals are exploited in staggering numbers, with an intensity of suffering that is unfathomable, and an endlessness that is mind-numbing. 

Existing interventions are mostly reactive, with very little work going towards changing the system and bringing about holistic, systemic and sustainable change. In short, the area that needs the most attention is the most underserved. By far.

Need of the hour 

Individuals, organisations and projects that reduce suffering across all animal species via a holistic, systemic and sustainable approach, including all stakeholders. 

IAF’s Incubation Programme

IAF invites applications from passionate individuals, who have ideas about ways to make a long-term impact on reducing animal harm in neglected cause areas and are willing to work hard to bring these ideas to lifeDeserving applications will go through a process of shortlisting based on defined criteria and an interview process with a panel. The selected individuals will receive a seed grant of INR 5 lakhs, and a mentor to help refine the idea to take it to the next level. For the cohort of individuals that are selected, training on setting up and running an NGO will be provided. 

After a period of six months, a follow-on grant of INR 10 lakhs will be given to those individuals from the cohort, who have successfully demonstrated the proof of concept and the ability to scale up the idea. For successful individuals, IAF will ensure continued support up to a point when they would be expected to become self-sufficient. 

Model Animal Welfare District Project

This is a comprehensive and collaborative intervention that aims to create exemplary districts in India where animals are treated with respect and compassion, with the backing of the Government machinery. 

The Problem 

Millions of animals in India often face institutional cruelty and neglect on a daily basis. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (PCA Act) mandates the establishment of SPCAs (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in every district of every state and entrusts the government with the duty to prevent and alleviate animal cruelty. A district’s SPCA is to be chaired by the District Magistrate. However, due to various reasons such as lack of funds, intent, infrastructure, knowledge, and implementing agency, SPCA is non-existent or defunct in 95% of districts in India. As a result, animal cruelty continues unabated and affects the well-being of both animals and humans.

The Solution

The initiative aims to set up and run SPCAs in select districts of India by activating government officials and collaborating with local NGOs. The project will also equip on-ground personnel with knowledge and skillsets to tackle challenges such as animal birth control, vaccination, rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, wildlife conflict, disaster management, and legal enforcement. The project will also raise public awareness and education on animal welfare issues and promote harmony and coexistence in the community. 

Key Actions 

  • Set-up Animal Birth Control monitoring committees 
  • Induct regional leaders; ensure quarterly meetings 
  • Ensure > 1 functioning polyclinic at district HQ; on-site assistance facility 
  • To have at least one transit facility for recovering wild animals 
  • SPCA to adopt guidelines for cruelty response 
  • Sensitisation of police personnel (above the rank of SI) and forest officers above the rank of DRFO of relevant statute, members of the judicial machinery including Dept. of Prosecution, District Disaster Management et cetera; capacity building of govt. vets pertaining to services that lead to holistic solutions 
  • Agreements/collaborations/MoUs in place with allied government departments 
  • Develop at least one regional animal advocacy NGO with clear agenda and road map 
  • Dairies and poultries to comply by pollution guidelines and the Municipal Corporation Act 
  • Outreach material to be displayed on select hoardings in the city by the SPCA 
  • Slaughterhouses, meat shops, pet shops and breeders to be licensed/registered 

Join the cause

Each day we are partnering with NGOs to amplify their efforts. We cannot be more thrilled about it.