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Zabi Khan: Man Behind Several Mute Smiles

  • April 28, 2024
  • 4 min read
Zabi Khan: Man Behind Several Mute Smiles

Zabi Khan: Each and every animal on this planet deserves to be here as much as you and I.” These are the words of Zabi Khan, an animal rights activist famous for protecting and rehabilitating abandoned animals. Awarded as one of the best volunteers in India by the United Nations, Zabi, from his juvenescence, was empathetic to voiceless creatures. At the age of 13, Zabi became a hope for his first puppy Casanova, who was abandoned by his owners. But soon Casanova fell ill and passed away due to severe bacterial infections, which was the reason for his abandonment, according to Zabi. This very incident left his younger self heartbroken. Zabi made a firm decision that he would not let any animal suffer.

Zabi is a native of Hyderabad, and he has volunteered in many NGOs and animal shelter homes. With the support of his family, in 2014, Khan established an NGO in a rented place close to his house. His NGO, “A Place To Bark,” works in rehabilitating abused and abandoned dogs. The NGO holds a strong position for the upliftment of voiceless and abused animals. A Place To Bark was a dream of a younger Zabi, and now it is a home for several ill-treated animals. According to Zabi, his journey as an activist started because he failed to rescue a life, and that incident triggered him. But it’s true that sometimes the greatest of ideas come from the unexpected situations. Not only to Zabi, but the shelter has impacted the lives of people working there in many amazing ways.

During the course of his engineering, he convinced his college authorities to start an animal shelter inside the campus. And this initiation gave India its first animal-friendly educational campus hosting many homeless and abused animals. Zabi Khan is a social entrepreneur and a humane educator. Starting from the young age of 13, he is a living example of humanity.

In 2018, Khan, the youngest animal rights activist, was nominated for Padma Shree, the fourth-highest civilian award in India. Zabi was also a part of MTV’s popular reality show Roadies Revolution, in which he strongly put forward the urge for animal rescue. Zabi has been honoured with various titles for his marvellous contribution to the welfare of animals. So far, Khan has rehabilitated more than 3000 animals and rescued over 500 animals. In an interview, Zabi mentioned that animal rights are taken for granted, and the pain an animal deals with and their suffering is no less than that of human beings.

We all live a life, but Zabi Khan is the epitome of ‘living a life of purpose.’ It is believed that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Animal abuse in a country like India is so normalised that we often tend to ignore animal cruelty. Humans have downgraded to such an extent that we consider our control over these helpless, poor animals by abusing or torturing them. Most of us are not even aware of the animal protection laws in our constitution. Each year in India, over 52 million animals are killed for food, another 40 million animals are hunted down for fun, and about 30 million just give up their lives in laboratories for experimentation.

Hurting an animal is hurting all of us as a society. With this very thought, Khan and his organisation in December 2019 laid the foundation of Telangana’s first animal sanctuary and awareness centre. Zabi is 22 years old, speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. He is making the world understand that animal protection is education for humanity.

Zabi Khan’s journey concludes that we don’t have to set a bar of being old enough to stand strong for what we believe in or to make a dent in the world. If we can’t empathise with animals, that doesn’t give us the right to hurt them. Each of us has the power to make a difference in the lives of these mute creatures. All animals deserve dignity and care, just as all human beings do. The solutions are not so complicated but need the human race to pay attention to the peaceful and moral co-existence between all living creatures. We all have a voice, and we all together can make this earth a beautiful place. A place for every organism to live fearlessly.

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