Deb Jarrett

We are less than a month away from the conference that we all have been waiting for since June. So, we believe that it is high time that the TEDxDharamshala community is introduced to the inspiring personalities that would grace our stage on the 12th of November. In a series of blogs starting from this one, we’ll be dedicating one post to each of our speakers. Stay tuned as we take you through the astounding lives of the speakers of TEDxDharamshala 2017.


We all want to leave a mark on this world. While some do so by helping themselves, others reach out to those around them and change their lives. So, even though many of us dream and aspire to become Shah Rukh Khan or Madhuri Dixit when we grow up, the latter kind of people are the true heroes of this world. You won’t find these people on the cover of every magazine. But if you try and look for them, every town will have at least one human leaving an indelible mark on humanity.

We have once before spoken of Geshe Jamyang, one such hero of the Dharamshala city, who is changing the lives of slum children. Now, here we are to introduce you to another superhero, who flew in from the States to help those from the streets of Dharamshala, who found no friends among those they were living with. We are proud to introduce another one of our speakers for TEDxDharamshala 2017, Ms. Deb Jarrett, founder of Dharamshala Animal Rescue.


Chasing the Sun East

There isn’t a dearth of people going west looking for a better life. Pretty much, half the people who will read this blog dream of settling in the United States. Despite being born in the Land of Dreams, at the age of 40, Ms. Jarrett realized that she had to break through and go for something new, ‘shake things up’ as she likes to put it. She was done climbing the corporate ladder in the vicious society of the developing world. So, she came to India to volunteer local pre-school in Dharamshala.

The Indian culture didn’t fail at overwhelming Ms. Jarrett, but what changed her life was man’s best friend. After witnessing the plight of a gravely injured street dog near the school she was volunteering for, Deb was shocked at how people were passing by the poor thing without even trying to help. It was empathy for this poor fellow, that brought a new purpose to the life of Ms. Deb Jarrett.

Dharamshala Animal Rescue

With the help of a local man, Ms. Jarrett was able to restore the dog, Tommy to good health. When she returned to America, Deb realized that what she was looking for had been found. It wasn’t in the materialistic pleasures that most of us seek that she would find happiness. Her true joy was in helping those who cannot hope to survive without her help. Thus, the Dharamshala Animal Rescue came to be. The DAR is a home to many street animals who were lucky enough to be found by the volunteers at DAR or by people who brought them to this shelter.

DAR was started to raise awareness about the animals of Dharamshala and fund local projects. They welcome volunteers from around the world to help these poor animals get a better life. Those that aren’t fit to go back to the street environment are given permanent shelter. Not only does the DAR look after these animals, but also helps them find families. The dogs are available for adoption. For those who can’t adopt, DAR provides to them the opportunity to sponsor these furry friends for a year.

Leaving a Mark

Many spend their entire life looking for the reason of their existence. Why were we put on this planet, you ask? It was to help those who aren’t as fortunate as you are. Whenever we look at an animal in the street most of us don’t think twice about them since we believe that they are probably capable of looking after themselves. That doesn’t change the fact that they need the care and attention that your pet does. It’s easy to love what’s considered perfect. The real testament of character lies in going beyond your capabilities to love those who others won’t touch.

Deb Jarrett’s life has been about going above and beyond her limits to help those in need. For those who believe in an afterlife, prayers won’t earn you a ticket to the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s the deeds that we do here that shape our path for the future and beyond. The satisfaction that comes with helping someone in need, is beyond compare. If you need proof for that, just visit Ms. Jarrett’s, Dharamshala Animal Rescue center and save a life.

Many cultures and religions around the world preach that it is when some human rises above themselves and lives for the service of others, is when they truly find god. While we don’t promise a meeting with the almighty, attend the TEDxDharamshala 2017 conference, to listen to Ms. Deb Jarrett talk about “What happens when you save a Life?”

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  • Madison Carmichael November 7, 2017   Reply →

    Your outlook on what it means to “help” others is a ridiculously shallow point of view. The fact that you came to Dharmashala to “volunteer” in schools is already indicative of your skewed perspective of what it means to truly be an agent of change. True, productive change doesn’t come from a privileged, westerner’s point of view of what you think is best for a community that you are so clearly not a part of.
    You seem to assume that people purposefully neglect the dogs on the streets here and choose not to “save” them due to lack of humanity, which you think you somehow possess at a more advanced level. This assumption comes from a severe state of ignorance. Your conviction that you alone are “saving” this community from whatever perils it would face without your help is blasphemous and unwarranted. Dharmashala has and will continue to thrive as a diverse and wonderful community with or without your contemptuous views of what it means to implement meaningful development.

    • Missy November 9, 2017   Reply →

      You’re a bitter woman who clearly has never done anything to help the world and you take out your frustrations of your own inadequacy by trolling online and attacking those who have actually made a difference. You are the very definition of “the problem”, here in India and in the world.

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