One of the few people among us that understand the despairs of being held against one’s own will, is definitely Manohara Odelia; she transforms the energy to the welfare of other member of our ecosystem – the animal kingdom.
Hi Manohara! Can you share us about your works with animal right? how’s it all started?
Currently, I volunteer for JAAN (Jakarta Animal Aid Network) Wildlife. It started when I expressed interest in volunteering. I’ve always been passionate about animal welfare, but aside from going vegetarian then vegan 6 years ago, I didn’t feel as if I’ve done anything to help.
A friend introduced me to one of the founders of JAAN, Femke. Femke asked if I was interested in joining a relocation of a baby orangutan named Otan. I jumped at the chance and haven’t stopped since. The work that JAAN do is truly amazing.
What’s the most unforgettable experience that you’ve had when defending animal rights?
Probably when I looked into the Tapanuli orangutan in Batang Toru. The forest is the home of the newly-discovered Tapanuli Orangutan. There are only 800 Tapanuli Orangutans left in the wild and they’re threatened by a hydro dam project; if it continues, extinction is a looming reality for the species.
Then, there are many firsts volunteering for JAAN. First time relocating orangutan to Sumatra, cassowaries birds to Papua, dolphins in Bali, first time releasing ex-dancing monkeys back in the wild. Each of those firsts are all unforgettable. I can say what remains an unforgettable common thread in these relocations is the dedication of the amazing team at JAAN. They truly are real life heroes.
How do you define ‘independent woman’?
The common themes that pop up with the words ‘independent woman’ is the ability to provide for ones self and to feel confident in who you are. I don’t disagree, those are big traits in being independent but it’s also important to use those traits for good and be useful to the people around you and fight for the causes you believe in.
So, what keeps you busy these days?
My partners and I have a publishing company called Tiga Meja Kreasi. We specialize in corporate magazines, everything from the content providing to printing.
Can you share us what would be your upcoming projects?
In the future, I hope to be able to continue raising awareness that wild animals are not pets and should not be used for our entertainment. And I hope to continue to be part of a team that helps wild animals that unfortunately are already being exploited as pets or for “entertainment”.
Writer: Olivia Elena Hakim