Mahi Priyanka Kulvekar, a vegan model who won India’s Best Model in 2022, had a very strong story. Born and raised in the small town of Karnataka, Hubli, she says, “I hold an absolute love of animals and have brought kittens and small dogs into my home since childhood to feed them.”
An athletic out-of-the-ordinary child who spent time with her grandparents in a shawl, Mahi was always high on emotional quotient straight from the juvenile stage and used to feed her lunch to stray animals without wasting a single morsel. “I feed unused food to homeless animals and I may cultivate this habit over time. I can feel the pain and emotions of these animals due to the heightened emotional empathy I bear. Even while out with my friends, I always teach people the importance of feeding street animals,” she explains.
Despite being a professional in mechanical engineering, Mahi wanted to become a voice for the voiceless and thus began rescuing animals from the street. Remembering flashbacks when I started calling for help from local cars and people driving around to take injured animals to the hospital, “No one cared enough to help and sometimes nicknames wouldn’t let me bring injured animals inside cabins or cars. People used to beat me in the street just because Feed the animals or ask for help. The happiness she gets after helping the animals, however, turns out to be a grueling task when people legally accuse her. “Even the police didn’t support me at all, they even told me to stop feeding the animals if people were getting distracted,” Mahi said.
Mahi then decided to buy her own car and turn it into an ambulance to rescue homeless animals. “I used to do juveniles in my early twenties with a part-time job and bought a car with whatever savings I made in my younger age to transport injured animals to hospitals. Then after realizing that doctors were not available and not receiving enough support from the staff of many government hospitals I decided to learn veterinary services … I myself began to practice basic training in assisting vets and there I learned everything right from kinds of animal diseases, first aid to treatment and injections.”
Her journey was filled with anxiety as she had to overcome both physical, mental and emotional battles to help the voiceless animals. I do what I want. “When you do something outside the box, people will judge you, but you have to stand up for the voiceless,” Belle said proudly.
Mahi is a certified animal aid specialist from an NGO for animal and animal assistance in Udaipur, Rajasthan, and WVS HICKS INTERNATIONAL, Goa. “When I was studying, my family members used to make fun of me a lot saying, focus on studies, feeding the animals is not going to take you anywhere. There was the same quarrel every day in my house because we weren’t that financially strong and we didn’t have a place to keep stray animals,” As reveal.
While most of us are keeping up with our emotional and mental state during the unprecedented period of COVID-19, Mahi has been helping animals in different areas, “The number of animal deaths rose to 3 thousand during the pandemic period. I worked tirelessly for the safety of the animals at that time and was working to provide shelter For at least 9-10 stray animals in my house every day.” Courage has saved more than five hundred animals from nearby places including Hubli, Dharwad and Gokarna in the past five years.
However, Mahi faced a critical moment in her life when she started experiencing depression and anxiety after watching videos of cruel slaughterhouse and the torture of dairy animals. That’s when I decided to turn vegan. Talking about her vegan journey, she revealed, “The transition has been very difficult because I have been a meat consumer since I was born. Although it has been 7-8 years since I started my vegan journey.
“I only use animal-free products and have been promoting a vegan lifestyle. I don’t want thousands of people to change, but people need to understand me and walk with me to make society a better place. If the meat industry continues to serve people, there will be a major disaster by 2050. Transformation To vegan alternatives like vegan cheese, vegan ham, and vegan skins will make the world a better place where everyone has the opportunity to live without harming each other, Mahi adds.
She shares a quote that truly represents the need of the hour “Every kind act makes the world a better and more peaceful place to live in” and continues, “My only vision is to get rid of animal abuse and it’s something that encourages me to keep going all these years. Vegetarian food is like Satvik food that is environmentally friendly. Not only animals and the surroundings, but also improves my health a lot. I used to weigh 90 kg, but vegetarianism helped me lose weight,” she smiles sweetly.
Mahi, who holds several beauty titles under her belt including Miss Mangalore 2012, Manappuram Miss South India 2014, Miss Bharat Earth 2018 keeps a simple minimalist demeanor and aspires to fulfill her passion for fashion by representing India at the international level. “For anyone, there is always a passion, a career, and a mission that makes them successful. My profession has always been helping animals, my passion has always been fashion and my mission is to make the world a better place,”