ROHINI FERNANDES, 30, AND RADHIKA NAIR, 29, Owners, Animal Angels-foundation
Clinical psychologists Rohini Fernandes and Radhika Nair started their organisation, Animal Angels Foundation in 2005, which uses Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) to help overcome developmental disorders like Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Down Syndrome. They practice in various schools, orphanages and rehabilitation centres across the country. “It has been proven that when patients are visited by a therapy dog, they respond better as against those visited by people,” explains Fernandes. Both the girls were chosen for the Paragon 100 Fellowship (2009-2010) organised by The Foundation for Youth Social Entrepreneurship (FYSE) and have been listed as one of the Top 25 innovations in India in 2008 by the Marico Innovation Foundation.
THE CHALLENGE When they started out, ATT was nearly unheard of in India. This meant they had to face a lot of apprehension. “We had to really prove ourselves before people started taking us seriously,” says Nair.
second opinion “Rohini and Radhika’s work is fantastic. It’s a miracle to see how
an autistic child instantly responds to an animal.”
ENID D'SOUZA, REMEDIAL TEACHER, ST XAVIER’S HIGH SCHOOL, BHANDUP
“People are less apprehensive of our therapy as there is an animal involved” - Rohini
(left) and Radhika Nair