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Chandi Heffner has led the nonprofit charitable foundations CDHIF USA and CDHIFI India for more than a decade. Stressing respectful interaction with the communities in India that it serves, CDHIFI provides people in poor villages with medical care and also offers veterinary services for their animals. Chandi Heffner operates the charitable organizations as nongovernmental, nonsectarian entities that distribute medicine, food, and basic shelter to people regardless of age, ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation.
Ms. Heffner is passionate about the welfare of all animals, and she cares for many rescued horses, dogs, pigs, and birds on her ranch in the United States. Preventing and treating diseases that are transmittable between humans and animals is also a vital part of the CDHIFI mission, which reflects the organization’s awareness of the important role that animals play in the lives and livelihoods of India's rural poor. CDHIFI is involved in diagnostic research and education about these types of diseases. Founded on a grassroots scale through intensive field work, Chandi Heffner’s organization has grown over the years to assist more than 130,000 human and animal patients each year.
Another core component of CDHIFI’s mission involves working to preserve traditional aspects of culture in India, including performance arts and ancient skills such as stone and wood carving. Chandi Heffner and the CDHIFI network of volunteers also promote sustainable, environmentally responsible farming practices and eco-friendly communities. In addition, CDHIFI's restoration projects have provided valuable work opportunities and a source of income for those in need. Chandi Heffner led a successful community employment program involving the four-month cleanup of the Jamuna River, which employed between 500-600 people on a daily basis.