Rutu and Maharshi at a SPARSH programme
SPARSH, an NGO run by Rutu and Maharshi Dave, will receive all author proceeds of a new book based on the friendship between a young millennial Shantanu Naidu and noted industrialist Ratan Tata, both united, among other things, in their love for, and concern about, animals and their welfare. Rutu is the daughter of Rina and Rajesh Fatehchand Mehta, and founded SPARSH with her husband Maharshi Dave.
Shantanu first met Mr Tata after the latter read about his project Motopaws, that helped put reflector collars on stray dogs to prevent their being hurt in road accidents. His book, titled “I Came Upon A Lighthouse” is described as “an illustrated millennial memoir of life with Mr. Tata” and is published by HarperCollins Publishers India.
The book by Shantanu Naidu
The author, who is a business assistant and a close friend of the industrialist, explains that he has “tried to capture … shades of (Mr Tata) other than as a humble businessman” and “talk about how genuine and wholesome intergenerational friendships can be”. Further, the author elaborates, “The thought behind this book has always been that the privilege of knowing Mr. Tata personally should not be limited to me alone.”
SPARSH is a public charitable trust founded in 2009 that works in multiple spheres related to human and animal welfare. Rutu, a diabetes educator by profession, oversees the animal welfare programmes run by the trust, while Maharshi, a lawyer, oversees the human welfare activities The animal welfare activities are under the following broad heads - Medical and foster care; an Orphanage; a Cat sterilization programme; Infrastructure development and Procurement of rescue vehicles and equipment. The trust rescues injured birds and animals organising pick-ups, treatments and release of birds.
Animals and birds rescued by SPARSH
Shantanu, the author, explains that Mr Tata is aware of Sparsh and its activities, and is supportive of the organisation. One of the mentors of Sparsh has ensured that there has been a close connection between Mr Tata’s office and the organisation. He further explains that the decision to donate the proceeds “celebrates how the book came into being”.
Shantanu adds, “Large Organizations are doing great work, but their network is so vast now that raising resources is no longer impossible, although tough. Younger smaller Organizations don’t get an opportunity to grow that quickly, which is why I chose Sparsh.”
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