07 April, 2010

Best Friends 

Animal Society News

Blue Cross of India: Mrs. Usha Sundaram will be greatly missed  

The co-Founder of Blue Cross of India, Mrs. Usha Sundaram, passed away this past Sunday, April 4,

April 06, 2010, 1:1AM MT

The co-Founder of Blue Cross of India, Mrs. Usha Sundaram, passed away this past Sunday, April 4, after a brief illness, with her family by her side.

Mrs. Sundaram spent her entire lifetime helping animals.  In 1959, she, along with her husband, Captain Sundaram, and their children, started Blue Cross of India by rescuing animals in need and caring for them at their home. Soon their home was filled with all sorts of animals: cats, dogs, goats, and occasionally mongooses.

In the years prior to starting Blue Cross, they had both been pilots (in the days when women did not become pilots, especially not in India).  From 1945 to 1951, they flew together piloting the plane of the Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Blue Cross moved out of their home and became the first of the modern-style animal shelters in India.  The kindness and compassion of Mrs. Sundaram spread very far afield, as the work that she and her husband (who passed away in May, 1997) began, has been carried on by their son, Dr. S. Chinny Krishna, the Chairman of Blue Cross.

Long before any other similar program in the world, forty-five years ago, Blue Cross began, and continues today, their ABC (Animal Birth Control – TNR) program  for community animals. It is a successful, model, no-kill program that has resulted in the elimination of cases of rabies in the city of Chennai, as well as saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats.

It would be difficult to overstate the impact that Blue cross has had on the global no-kill movement. The ABC program has been formally adopted into the national law of India and has been taken up by animal welfare groups in many countries.

Blue Cross is one of the largest animal sanctuaries in the world with five separate shelters—caring for dogs, cats, cows, pigs, monkeys who were lab animals, and other animals.

Mrs. Sundaram was especially fond of cats, and in 1999, she and other family members donated a 600 foot cattery, a beautiful area with trees and a covered shelter, to the Blue Cross center at Guindy, in Chennai.

She and her family were instrumental also in the passing of many ground-breaking laws to safeguard animals in India—and in working with others to establish one of the most enlightened legal animal protection frameworks in the world.  These measures built on the protection given to animals by the Constitution of India, as well as the tradition of reverence for animals that has been in existence in India for thousands of years.

During her lifetime, she made substantial donations to the Blue Cross centers at Adyar and Guindy for the cat and dog shelters. After she passed away, her eyes were donated, following her wishes, to the Shankar Netrayala eye bank, and two persons will be able to see again thanks to this gift.

Mrs. Sundaram was a pioneer in the field of animal welfare, and the love, kindness and compassion that she extended so selflessly to animals is carried on today by Blue Cross of India and by countless other organizations in India and far beyond who’ve been inspired by the work that she and Captain Sundaram began so many years ago.

To visit the website of Blue Cross of India, please click here.

Photo: Trix Wollen / Mrs. Usha Sundaram, with her son, Dr. S. Chinny Krishna (left) and Phil Wollen of Winsome Constance Kindness Trust (right) 

Thanks to Animal People Newspaper for sharing the photo.

No comments:

Post a Comment