Forty-five-year-old Rakesh Shukla is a skilled software developer and manager of a successful IT company, but he is known in India above all for his passion for animals. Today he takes care of 735 abandoned dogs that cannot find an owner.
Ten years ago, Shukla and his wife founded “The Writers Block”, which immediately became a successful company and started working with giants like Intel, Microsoft and Oracle. But the money and travel did not entirely satisfy the man, who felt fulfilled only when Kavya, a beautiful golden retriever, arrived in their home in 2009.
“When we got home, she ran away and hid in a corner. I crouched on the floor and called her. She looked at me. She was scared, but I saw she wanted to trust. And that was the moment: it was a physical sensation, I could feel a warmth inside. And from that time I never asked myself ‘Why am I here?’ ” Tells the entrepreneur.
Three months later, Shukla adopted another dog. Then every time he saw an abandoned dog he took it and brought it home. Soon the dogs became too many to keep them at home, and the two readjusted the top floor of their company in a kennel.
In 2011, after the authorities of Bangalore had decided to clean up the city from strays, by putting them to sleep, Shukla founded ‘Voice of Stray Dogs’, an organisation that takes care of assisting stray dogs, exploiting the latest technologies with which the entrepreneur works daily. “My vehicles and people are tracked with GPS. Every dog has a code and all data is stored in a database,” explains the man.
In 2012 Shukla bought land in a nearby town to build a more animal-friendly shelter. The last time he counted them, the dogs were 735: many of them are old or sick.