Indra Lahiri, PhD is “a storyteller, dreamer, and friend of the animals,” according to the Anishinaabe Medicine Man who adopted her into the tribe of the White Earth Nation, naming her “Ishkudeikwe” (Woman of the Fire). She has rescued thousands of animals from dire circumstances around the world. She tells their stories in her writing and speaking, and lives amongst them between her travels. In the course of her decades of learning from the animals, Indra founded Indraloka Animal Sanctuary (2005) and co-organized the newly forming Global Coalition of Farm Sanctuaries. In addition, she has taught, mentored, coached and keynote addressed tens of thousands of people on a range of topics that are always, at their core, based on ethical leadership and compassion for all. Indra has spoken at the Animal Rights National Conference and International Animal Rights Conference annually for the past several years. Her award-winning blog, which chronicles sacred moments with rescued animals, is followed by tens of thousands of readers on every continent. Indra is grateful have the opportunity to dedicate her life to helping traumatized animals rediscover joy, love, and trust.
Before devoting herself full-time to animal rescue, as the founder of Global Inclusion Strategies Indra provided expert coaching and consulting on communicating across differences. She is the author of an academic book chapter, a critically acclaimed manager’s guidebook, several research reports, and numerous articles on cultural competence and leadership.
Having experienced firsthand the benefits of close friendships with animals, Indra has expanded her focus to helping other humans reap the same rewards. Indra is now combining her two loves by offering inspirational keynote talks, one-on-one coaching, workshops, and retreats to help humans better understand and communicate with other animals.
The sanctuary is not named after Indra, but rather she is named after the Hindu God Indra who created Indraloka (Sanskrit name for the heaven for the Gods).
About Indraloka Sanctuary
Indraloka provides “heaven on earth” for farm animals that have nowhere else to turn. We inform, inspire, and empower the community, especially children, on ways in which we can better care for ourselves and the environment while helping animals in need. We advocate for a kind and compassionate diet and lifestyle that protects animals, the earth, and our own health.
Since our inception, Indraloka has provided educational programs to thousands of children adults while rescuing and caring for close to 1,000 animals through their natural lifespans. All of these animals would otherwise have had nowhere else to turn. Today, over 200 animals, of 13 species, call the sanctuary home and enjoy their roles in teaching children about topics as varied as ecology, health and wellness, biology, compassion, and even interpersonal skills and conflict resolution.
Founded in 2005, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit, charitable (501c3) organization. Indraloka is unique in that, as an animal sanctuary with multiple species and environmental education center, it connects the dots between environmental responsibility, personal health and wellbeing, and compassion.
Founder Indra Lahiri always loved animals and nature. When she was young, she often found and took home injured animals, nursed them back to health, and released them back into the wild. As soon as she was old enough, Indra began volunteering with various rescue groups. Over the years, she saw a recurring problem: certain animals, due to medical or behavioral issues, were often unnecessarily euthanized due to lack of an appropriate home, even when they could have lived a long and happy life. Indra founded the sanctuary for these animals.
It soon became clear that the animals in most need were farm animals. There are many places for dogs, cats, and horses to turn, however, what happens to pigs, cows, chickens, or turkeys who find themselves in dire circumstances? Thus, Indraloka turned its primary focus to farm animals, although we continue to provide safe haven for animals of all species.
With our increased focus on farm animals, we quickly realized the importance of environmental concerns to the well-being of both wild and domestic animals as well as to farming communities, whose livelihoods are entirely dependent on the health and vitality of our ecosystem. Indraloka began offering educational programs for children, helping them to make the connection between their own health and well-being to that of the environment and animals. Thousands of children have participated and are now protecting the environment and making educated choices as compassionate, responsible, and healthy citizens.
Our values: Indraloka Animal Sanctuary is named after the Sanskrit “heaven for the Gods”, and is founded on two principles: 1) the earth herself and all life is sacred and 2) we are all related. Our five core values are central to our work: –
- Mitakuye Oyasin (Lakota for “We are all related, we pray for all of our relatives”)
We take animals from anywhere in the world. Right now, we are based on a 30 acre farm in Mehoopany, a small town in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania, in the United States.