Rakesh Shukla (animal welfare activist)
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Rakesh Shukla is a Bangalore-based entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and animal welfare activist who runs a home for over 700 rescued dogs. He received a Bachelors of Engineering degree Electronics and Communications, then a Masters n Business Administration degree, and then worked in various telecom companies[specify] in India, the US, and Singapore before becoming an entrepreneur.
Shukla pioneered technology content creation by creating The Writers Block (TWB) in 2006 and grew his bootstrapped personally funded company into a worldwide leader. He went on to create the first content automation solution in India and led to TWB to become the largest India-based pure-play technical publications vendor.
Through TWB, Shukla has focused on creating opportunities for women in the workforce by employing a large proportion and speaking for them. He later institutionalized health care and opportunities for rural women through his non-profit VOSD (Voice of Stray Dogs)[definition needed] for People.
Labeled "The Dogfather of India" or “Dog Whisperer”, he set about creating VOSD after the press reported the death of a two-year-old boy named Sandeep in July 2011, reportedly killed and eaten by stray dogs. Alarmed by calls to cull what are lawfully protected animals since 2001, Shukla carried out independent investigations including a second autopsy, and came away with evidence that shifted the blame away from the dogs. These were first published on the VOSD website in July 2010, and since then VOSD has conducted hundreds of investigations leading to the closure of rogue NGOs. Shukla resigned from the board of the Animal Welfare Board of India in 2012, citing pressure from within the board to change many investigations carried out as a member. With the eventual death of Cookie, a paralyzed St. Bernard found in garbage in Bangalore in September 2012, he set about creating the largest rescue of its kind in any city of the world. To ensure that no pressure is brought by government agencies to kill or remove dogs, VOSD is not funded by any government agency directly or indirectly.
Rakesh Shukla was named one of Bangalore's Heroes in 2013. He speaks on behalf of dogs on television, radio, Internet radio, and newspaper interviews, including the BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN IBN, NDTV, and TED. Shukla features in the book Real Inspiring Stories by Pradeep Khare.
One of the recent VOSD campaigns, called "Patriotdogs", providing homes for dogs retiring from the Indian security and military forces, got widespread support from celebrities like Virat Kohli and Soha Ali Khan Patuadi, and it was featured in publications including the Times of India, the New Indian Express, Sportstartlive, MTV India, and the Deccan Chronicle.
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