Hundreds and thousands of stray dogs live on the streets of almost every Indian city. There is a general fear associated with them as some of them may carry the dreaded rabies virus. The fear of dog-bite, dog poop and littering remain another concern, which is the cause of the hostility of humans against them. Though most of them are harmless and do not attack unless provoked.
As unfortunate as it can be, the ignorance and fear associated with them have led to people viewing them as nothing but a nuisance. Some people even go to the extent of getting rid of them by beating and poisoning them. In the light of such negativity, there is a bright positive example of a Mumbai-based couple, which will help people reduce their hostility towards street dogs.
Mumbai-based couple Amit and Dr Sarita Basu are very passionate about animals and believe that this is something to do with genetics. His mother was very fond of animals and had a strong liking towards street dogs. A Reader at a Dental college, Mrs. Basu, despite the societal pressure, continues taking care of the street dogs in her area like a doting mother. Witnessing the separation of three tiny puppies from their mother was a turning point in her life, which pushed her towards feeding and taking care of street dogs.
Despite changing their residence to another locality in Mumbai, they didn't abandon the cause initiated by them near their previous residence. Come rain, come sun, come storm, they continue to feed 100s of dogs cooked food twice a day. They haven't let anything get in the way of their cause though the hours when they venture out are unsafe for them being bullied by drunkards.They deprive themselves of their sleep and leave the comforts of their home in the middle of the night to feed these dogs despite opposition from the community. They have committed their personal resources to feed the dogs and even hired domestic help to assist with the cooking and caring for the dogs. Over the years, they have taken care of dogs that have met with road accidents and even rescued them from dangers and found them foster homes with the help of other activists. They are also adept at treating street dogs for Maggot infestations, Gastro related diseases, fever and blindness caused due to dust at construction sites.
At an age where one thinks of slowing the pace of activity and stress, this awe inspiring couple takes on more on their plate in order to ensure that these dogs don't go hungry. Moreover, it is not a smooth-sailing ride for them, as they continue to face opposition from people. Despite this their determination to feed these speechless souls and grow their cause remains undeterred. They feel that there is a lack of general education and empathy among people towards street dogs. According to them, some people had even put banners, asking people not to feed stray dogs. Keeping the dog satiated keeps it calm and reduces the nuisance otherwise caused to the residents during the night.
Having said that the opposition of certain people isn't uncalled for, which stem from concerns relating to hygiene, littering and dog bites. As the dog population increases and numbers multiply rapidly, issues like sanitization, sterilization, and vaccination remain a concern. The couple feels that there is a need for more and more people to come forward and understand the plight of the street dogs and their problems. As change-makers, they want to make a long term meaningful impact which is possible when all factors relating to dog welfare are worked upon. Thus it is their appeal that veterinarians come forward to help with vaccinations and sterilization, housekeeping business owners come forward to help clean the surroundings, etc. such that a holistic approach can be adopted in this direction.
For any cause to grow and flourish, it needs a collaborative approach, involving people from different segments of the society. It is on this thought that Giving Circle was founded to give wings to the ideas of change-makers. It provides a support system and platform for people to come forward with their cause and invite collaborative support from like-minded people. A cause has many facets and you can contribute in numerous ways. The opportunities are endless when you step up to bring about a change in the society.
Hence Mr. and Mrs. Basu, through Giving Circle are making an appeal to the people to come forward and work for this cause together by coming forward to support the feeding, sanitization, sterilization and vaccination of the dogs. Their act of goodness is not only inspiring but also presents a living example that all you need is the intent to make a change, and the rest will follow.
The society we live in belongs to humans as much as it belongs to other living creatures like animals. We can live and co-exist in harmony with our four-legged friends if we accept them as a fundamental part of nature. All we need to do is become more empathetic towards the plight of animals and contribute to their cause wholeheartedly. After all, Mahatma Gandhi had once rightly said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”