Every year, India sees many visitors from across the world. Some come to experience the rich heritage of this diverse country, some come here in search of a spiritual journey, and some come here only to find that India isn’t what they imagined at all. Everyone who leaves takes back plenty of memories and fascinating stories. However, there are those who find their solace and purpose in India and stay back to do their bit for the country they now call home.
Here are 4 of them who work tirelessly to help hundreds in India, and continue to create an impact today:
1. Lynne Voggu: Lynne worked in investment management in Massachusetts before moving to India in 2000. Here, she met and married her husband, Dr. Ratnam Voggu. Lynne started Agape, a home for children orphaned by AIDS, in a small room with six helpless children in 2003, shortly after moving to India. Today, it has grown to house over 250 AIDS orphans across 7 different homes in the city of Hyderabad. Over the years, Lynne has managed to help several students find their independence and build a life of their own. She works tirelessly to give these children the respect and care they deserve.
2. Nandu Lal Joshi: American by birth, Nandu Lal Joshi was put in a gurukul in Vrindavan by his parents when he was younger. His guruji (teacher), Kurma Rupa Prabhu, born to Mexican parents, took care of cows until his demise in 2015. Today, Nandu Lal carries on his legacy and is taking care of over 300 cows and bulls at the sanctuary. He gives them free fodder, medical care and a place they can call home. Nandu Lal is dedicated to this cause and is doing everything he can to give injured, sick, and abandoned cows a better life.
3. Deb Jarrett: Deb was 40 when she felt like she needed to do something to expand her horizons. She wanted to make a true contribution to the planet, and that took her from America to Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, where she spent several weeks volunteering at a preschool. One day she saw an injured dog lying in a temple where the lessons were held. Heartbroken and helpless, Deb didn’t know what to do. She happened to meet someone who could help her, and that was the moment Deb’s life changed. She saved the dog’s life and started Dharamsala Animal Rescue to raise awareness about the animals of Dharamsala. The organization rescues, rehabilitates, and feeds stray animals while also giving them the medical care they need. They have helped hundreds of animals through the years.
4. Sudevi Mataji: Friederike Bruning, a German who came to India as a passing tourist, over 40 years ago was irresistibly attracted to the country’s spiritual heritage and traditions. After finding answers in the Bhagavad Gita, Friederike became a devotee of Lord Krishna. She started leading a spiritual life and after taking Diksha, Friederika became known as Sudevi Mataji. Apart from her devotion, she also found a new and special bond between her and the gentle cows. She started the Radha Surabhi Gaushala in Mathura, a safe and welcoming home for cows. Today, she has over 2500 cows whom she takes care of. Nearly half of these cows are permanently handicapped, sick, or injured. Each cow, calf, and bull at Radha Surabhi has a name, an identity, and a special place in Sudevi Mataji’s heart. And all of them receive equal love and attention.