Nidhitha Kothapalli: Aspiring Animal Rights Supporter | Aga Khan Academies

Nidhitha Kothapalli: Aspiring Animal Rights Supporter

Nidhitha is currently in grade 11 at the Aga Khan Academy. She joined the Academy in 2012 and, in a short period, has become an active member of the campus community.

In addition to being President of the Photography Club, Nidhitha has participated in many treks, loves playing basketball, and volunteers for Blue Cross, an organization that helps street animals. She is also helping to start organic farming on campus so that the Academy can grow its own produce.

Nidhitha joined the Academy because of its unique educational approach. She didn’t want to go to any other school after she met the teachers and saw the curriculum. She has found it a thoroughly enriching experience. While her family lives in Hyderabad, she chose to board on campus. As an only child, she particularly enjoys living on campus because she is constantly surrounded by her peers.

She also values the diversity of the student body, as it has provided an opportunity for her to learn about different religions and cultures. Her two roommates, who come from different cultural backgrounds to her own, have challenged her to think from different perspectives. They have also given her insights into religious debates, as one is quite religious, while the second is not.

After graduating, Nidhitha hopes to study veterinary science abroad. “I think I’d most probably take my camera, travel around the world, and help promote ethical treatment of animals,” she said of her future plans. She eventually plans to return to India and change negative perceptions of animals.

Her goals have been shaped by her concerns about the treatment of street animals in India.

“I was walking on the road once and I saw this boy and he picked up a stone because he saw the stray dog in front of him.... The stray dog did nothing, but then he walked back, threw the stone on the dog, and then he walked away,” she said. “And I was wondering, ‘Why would he even do that?’ It’s because his parents brought him up in such a way. His culture, everything around him, tells him that stray dogs might attack him... which is actually not true. They don’t do anything unless you hurt them.”