Dr. Nandita Shah
Dr Nandita Shah, the recipient of the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskaar in 2016, is the Founder, Director, and trustee of SHARAN.
She founded SHARAN in 2005 with the aim of helping people to heal themselves, and the planet, by connecting to animals and nature.
SHARAN is now a vibrant and growing social enterprise, whose vision is to build a culture of health, and has already positively impacted more than 100,000 lives in India and overseas.
A homeopath and a teacher
Dr Shah is a registered medical doctor, specialised in homeopathy from the CMP Homeopathic Medical College in Mumbai. Having always been interested in natural health she chose homeopathy because it was the treatment which did the least harm.
Graduating in 1981, she had a thriving practice in Mumbai and also regularly taught all over the world at seminars and conferences.
The journey to SHARAN
Dr Shah turned vegan, in 1985, because of ethical issues. She says, “I became a doctor to reduce suffering and when I became aware of the tremendous suffering that we inflict on fellow creatures used for food, I had to make the connection.”
Brought up as a vegetarian, her vegan journey began when she learned the truth about dairy: the suffering that a cow undergoes due to repeated impregnations and loss of her offspring just so that we humans can have her milk. Shocked, and amazed about the lies we are told as a culture just so that the dairy industry can sell its products, she changed her diet and also began reading medical journals about health.
One of the turning points was Dr Dean Ornish’s book Reversing Heart Disease. Dr Ornish conducted long term studies where patients were able to reverse their need for bypass surgery on an almost plant-based diet! He stated that his book was about healing mind, body and spirit, in short holistic. Other authors like Drs John McDougall and Neal Barnard, T Colin Campbell stated the same. A plant-based diet has been repeatedly proven to be the most healthful.
In 1997, Dr Shah suffered from Guillain Barre, an acute auto-immune disease. She decided to heal without the use of any modern medical treatment or hospitalisation, but instead with helpers at home. She describes the long and difficult journey as a path to personal and professional growth which taught her at a very personal level about health and healing. After experiencing changes through a whole plant-based diet in her own health and that of several serious patients, it became clear that treating with only good, healthy food was not only faster and more consistent in reversing diseases than homeopathy, but also less subjective.
In 1999 Dr Shah moved to Auroville. It was an opportunity to be with nature and closer to animals. Dr Shah also did an internship at Farm Sanctuary in New York to learn more about farm animals and their relation to us. This was the inspiration to start SHARAN.
She says “I believe that everyone can become vegan if they have the opportunity to make an initial connection. Over the years I have seen people go from cynics to passionate vegan advocates once they had made the switch to a plant-based diet. I think it’s because just one initial shift can help people go beyond denial and justifications to then go onto making the complete connection. Veganism aligns us with our true values, which are compassion and oneness.”
Building a culture of health
Currently, Dr Shah heads SHARAN, where she does individualized personal consultations and phone/online consultations. She also conducts 21-Day Residential Health Retreats, One-Day Seminars, Cooking Classes, and Training Programmes for Doctors, Nutritionists and Facilitators.
Dr Shah is supported by a team of doctors, nutritionists, health coaches, facilitators and volunteers who share her passion for helping people attain their highest health potential, through lifestyle and without medicines.
She is the author of the immensely successful book ‘Reversing Diabetes in 21 Days’, which has helped hundreds of readers reverse their diabetes just by following the simple lifestyle changes suggested in it.