The ITC was an idea that formed during the middle of the night, bouncing around in the cab of Nigel’s lorry. We were helping transport a rescued temple elephant on a 12 hour journey to it’s new home, it was a mission to stay awake, let along navigate through the darkness. As we drove, we agonised about how best we could work together, to implement sustainable help to the many inspirational and motivating charities in India that champion animal welfare. It was a job to figure out how to best to support so many wonderful organisations with such limited time, and as we bounced back and forth, plans to design an International Training Centre took hold. Amazingly, both the thoughts we shared, and the draft plan I scrawled down in my notebook as Nigel weaved us expertly along rutted roads in seemingly total darkness, began to take shape, and 12months later, the ITC was opened. There is no predicting when good ideas happen, the challenge is to seize the day with them and strive to make them great, in this instance, we managed it.
Nigel’s wife, Dr Ilona Otter, agreed to take on the directorship of the ITC, and with such a super capable person running the show in Ooty, coupled with support from generous sponsors and friends, we were able to launch what rapidly has become one of India’s most comprehensive post graduate training centres, working on not-for -profit principles to ensure that it benefits the animal welfare and animal charity fields. This is a feat that would have been impossible without the fantastic backing of the AWBI who steered and guided our vision. My role, from so many thousands of miles away, is a small one in that I only have to encourage, support and be totally inspired by the team that have made this idle dream a reality — in short, it is a privilege to be involved with Nigel and Ilona in building the ITC into all it can be and whilst we still have great plans to fulfill, we have got off to a cracking start!