Love for the little Paws
Gurgaon is well own for its Samaritans who are going all out to extend warmth and comfort to the street dogs in the city. SUBURB speaks to two such compassionate ladies who are passionate and selflessly dedicated towards the well-being of the strays.
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated,” said Mahatma Gandhi. Indeed, humanity is in its purest form when it showers love and comfort on the helpless animals. Gurugram has a large number of unaccounted stray dogs who struggle to survive each day on the road.
Deepika Agrawal Chaudhary has been an animal right crusader since her younger years. She is a pet mother to a gorgeous Labrador ‘Toffee’, but her love for dogs extends to many who are found on the roads, helpless and injured.
“When I was studying in middle school, I had enrolled myself as a volunteer with Maenka Gandhi’s organisation ‘People for Animals.’ As volunteers, it was our duty to keep a close watch over street animals and reported about the injured dogs to the organisation. Then the team would ferry the wounded animal for treatment and more’’ says Deepika, a resident of Sector 56 in Gurgaon.
Remembering an incident which she still remembers fresh, says, “It is unfortunate that people consider street dogs and stray animals as non-living things. In 2014, a stray dog was badly hit by a speeding car which ended up in him getting a huge gash on his leg. I took him to SPCA Noida where he was treated for a month before I got him back and placed him back in the colony where the dog belonged. I developed a different kind of a bond, especially since then. The dog would recognise me and come forward to greet. He showed me all the possible gratitude that he could. Unfortunately, humans lack basic human instincts sometimes, sadly,’’ she continues.
She got home her first pet in 2008. She started feeding two stray dogs near her building with milk and biscuits every day. Her husband soon suggested cooking a small meal for them that will offer them better nutrition.
In 2010 she started with feeding two dogs and by 2017 it had become almost 30 dogs that they fed in their sector.
“It started with two dogs, then became five dogs. The other dogs watched when we fed our adopted strays, and soon we started to feed them too. I looked after their dinner meal, medical care and even got them all neutered and vaccinated. It became a happy routine for us every night. My husband & I would load four buckets full of food and feed our various packs of dogs in the sector. A typical meal would be a Khichdi which would have dal, rice, chicken, vegetable scraps like potato skins, carrot peels, spinach stems, etc., which we would otherwise throw away but is quite nutritious for the stray animals.’’
Gurgaon’s Attitude towards Strays
Talking about the scenario of strays in the city, it is quite sad, opines Deepika. A general lack of empathy and sensitivity is missing among the people. “People need to be educated and aware. Many parents don’t let their children touch dogs out of fear; they will bite when this is not the case. We have to raise sensitive kids who understand that animals and humans have to co-exist. Unfortunately, there are several pet abandonment instances which are genuinely very sad and is emotionally tough on the pets.’’