The maxim of Jainism is ‘Live and let live!’ It preaches non-violence and reiterates that ‘peaceful co-existence of all living ones’ should be the watchword of one and all for global welfare.
It is against this background that the Vepery Swetamber Murti Pujak Jain Sangh, a sub-sect of the Jains, recently organised Ahimsa Summit, an exhibition of posters, 3D models and videos by Vinesh Vasanji Mamania in Chennai.
A businessman turned crusader, the Kutch-born and Mumbai-bred Mamania has a clear mission: “To rid society of vice; to create a beautiful, peaceful and love filled environment for all living beings.”
Ahimsa, animal welfare and vegetarianism are Mamania’s mantras, as is evident from activities which include exhibitions, rallies, freeing captive animals, saving cows from slaughter and holding medical camps for cattle. He propagates vegetarianism, opposes abortion and works to create an awareness against fatal diseases. Camps involving blood and eye donation are regular affairs.
Drawing inspiration from the Bhoodan leader, Vinobha Bhave, Mamania has made ‘Vande Gou Matharam’ (“Salute to mother, mother cow and mother land”) his motto.
Some of the posters which Mamania has worked on have interesting captions. Sample this: “Our pleasure, their pain. Why visit zoos?”
Says Mamania, “Normally it takes approximately four months to prepare for an exhibition on a subject like this, as this involves interacting with experts and doing plenty of research. But the outcomes gives me great satisfaction.” He has a permanent place to store the materials.
His shows have impressed people from all walks of life, and many have been influenced by his philosophy, have reportedly turned vegetarian, and stopped using cosmetics, silk, and other such animal based products.
Recipient of several accolades, Mamani is happy with the response he has been receiving for his shows. But he is clear about his goal… social work is and will be the purpose of his life.