Geeta Seshamani, Co-Founder
Geeta Seshamani, an English Literature Lecturer at the Delhi university, has been running Friendicoes SECA (Society for the Eradication of Cruelty to Animals) for almost 30 years.
Geeta’s objective always was to try and help animals in need. Friendicoes SECA provides an animal emergency helpline for dogs, cats and domestic animals.
In addition to the thirty year old and well established clinic cum mini hospital in the Defence Colony Flyover Market, Friendicoes also runs a mobile clinic for working equines (horses, donkeys and mules) in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
In 1995, Geeta witnessed a sloth bear bobbing up and down in the middle of the Delhi-Agra highway, a main tourist route. The poor bear was being dragged along by a coarse rope that was strung through his bleeding infected muzzle, while his ‘owner’ begged money off the tourists, who probably hoped that their money would be used to provide care for the bear.
This “Dancing Bear” (as they’re referred to since they jump up and down in pain when their handlers pull their rope) struck a nerve. Geeta realized this was not entertainment for tourists but torture and abuse of a shy endangered wild animal that was being exploited for human greed.
Geeta asked Kartick, a distant cousin to work with her to help investigate the story of India’s dancing bears and help to create a long-term sustainable solution to end this cruel practice that had gone on long enough!
Wildlife SOS became the platform to create a long-term holistic solution to help rehabilitate the Kalandar community in alternative livelihoods while also giving the bears back their dignity and freedom.