7 yrs old girl gets Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Award for Excellence in Animal Welfare

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Mumbai, Oct 01 (ANI/Business Wire India): Karunashram unit of People for Animals (Wardha) announces Ashraya Ananthanarayanan, a seven year old girl in Pennsylvania as the recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial award for excellence in animal welfare.

K.L.Ramchander (OSK), ex Regional Director of Air India applauded Ashraya for her guts and gumption at such a tender age. Not one to shy away from injustice, Ashraya has taken every opportunity to champion the cause of animals. On receiving the award, Ashraya said, "Compassion is something everybody has. It's just that sometimes we do not notice it ourselves or we do not have enough courage to bring it out. I believe that a person with a correct combination of values and character can bring about the revolution of peace in this world."

Ashraya learnt of Karunashram from Arthy and Ponnani, her parents. She immediately expressed her desire to help and donated Rs10, 000 from funds that she had raised from a dance recital. Karunashram and Ashraya share a unique relationship unaffected by distance.

Last year, Ashraya was appointed the Child Ambassador of Karunashram in recognition of her fund raising efforts for the organization. There has been no stopping her ever since. In July, 2008, she received the Compassionate Kid award from PETA; the world's largest animal welfare organization for rescuing a turtle from captivity.

Ashraya hit the headlines in several newspapers for her brave act. Ashraya will also release her debut Piano CD in Dec 2008. It will be a joyful collection of Indian Classical songs and Western Classical on thespians. The proceeds of which shall go to help PETA, Karunashram and SEVA.

Apart from being a young writer of the Amazing kids' magazine of USA, she also plans to release her bud book in 2009 titled "THE RING OF HOPE" on compassion. Ashraya will also be featured in a book by Ninon de Vere De Rosa, the founder of Kids Talk Productions and in her TV Show as Voices of Tomorrow. For this tiny tot, there is no 'Next is what?' She sure knows what's next.

Karunashram also announces the launch of V Pasta, a signature vegan dish by Ashraya to mark the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. Available in Le Royal Meridien, Crepe Station, 5 The Restaurant, Royal Orchids and Moshes, V Pasta aims to celebrate the spirit of compassion in a dish.

Earlier this year Karunashram also started the City's Angel award to highlight the work of individuals towards animal welfare. Four Mumbaikars namely Anupama Hariharan, Shashi Iyer, Monika Mehta and Shilpa Mistry received the certificate of merit. Anupama Hariharan showed tremendous bravado in saving the life of a man who was hit by a vehicle on the Eastern express highway.

Shashi and Shilpa, both suburbanites have constantly provided refuge to needy animals. Monika Mehta, a student of TISS initiated fostering and adoption services in association with Karunashram. Determined to fight a losing battle, Monika single-handedly organized the resources for ensuring adoption of puppies and kittens in Mumbai.

Ravi Ramchander of Karunashram said that when their team first started work, they had no idea what they could do in Mumbai, as the shelter was based in Wardha. But the support from so many bright youngsters has infused fresh life into the cause and has made it possible to look beyond the periphery of the common towards something more uncommon. All we need is one brave person and one more.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, "A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave."

For more information on Karunashram, visit www.karunashram.com

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