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Hey kids, welcome to the jungle

Sunday, 23 April 2006 - 9:06pm IST

NGO’s free summer camp will have children walking in the wild, watching flamingos

NGO’s free summer camp will have children walking in the wild, watching flamingos


MUMBAI: Six-year-old Sonu Nangia can’t help but babble non-stop about the camp she will be enrolling into this summer. And why not, considering this isn’t one of those ‘boring’ trips her school organises.


Instead, Sonu will be one of the few kids who’ll get to cuddle up with cute critters, watch the flamingos migrate and even walk in the wild at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali.


All this, while she learns how to care for animals at the Compassionate Kids Club event being organised by In Defense of Animals (IDA), a non-profit animal protection organisation.


“Summer vacation is the ideal time to teach young children about the environment and our animal friends. Besides, it is imperative to teach them how to care for animals, the weaker form of God’s creations, in their formative years,” said Fiza Shah, vice president, IDA.


Born in October 1996, IDA started out by neutering street dogs, mostly working out of garages and make-shift spaces. In 1999, with the intervention of the Bombay High Court, a municipal premises was handed over to them, which is now their centre at Deonar.


Today, IDA not only manages sterilisation camps, but also renders treatment to several ill or injured animals brought in by their ambulance, helps rehabilitate rescued animals in their natural habitats and also facilitates adoption of abandoned dogs.


But what sets them apart from other animal welfare NGOs is the Compassionate Kids Club which holds free awareness workshops. “We try to make children understand that animals are living beings too. Like us, they feel hunger, pain, fear and isolation. It’s when kids realise their responsibility towards these animals, they grow up to be compassionate human beings,” says Shah.


So, kids who love animals and all those future veterinarians don’t have to venture far or have their parents shell out a penny — just sign up!


Animal farm


The camp will sensitise children to the problems of animals and teach them how to care for the “weaker form of god’s creation”.


Kids will be taken for a walk in the National Park at Borivali


They will also learn migratory patterns of birds


IDA hopes by being responsible towards animals, kids will grow up to be compassionate human beings

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