Pets make your family picture perfect, and remain your companion for life. They are the best friends you can dote on and share your worries with whenever you feel lonely. But why is it that most of us are scared to show our love to the same animals when we see them on streets?
A workshop was organised in the city recently where volunteers urged parents to get their children to join a camp where they will help children to get familiarised with stray animals and birds. There are many adults who are scared of animals and try to keep their children far away from their reach. Said Monisha Pandit, Centre Head of Indus Early Learning Centre, Koregaon Park, “There are so many children as well as adults who feel uncomfortable whenever they see a stray animal passing by. But what they don’t realise is that like every living soul, they too, are hungry for love and need our care and support. And our workshop aims at solving these issues by giving them a platform where they can come, see, touch and pet animals such as cats, dogs, puppies, birds, and rabbits and get friendly with them.”
For Naesha, who attended the camp for the first time with her son, it was a day full of joy. “Me and my son were very reluctant about touching stray animals, until we came here. But once we got in, we realised how easy it was to befriend these creatures,” she said.
Aishwarya Vishwanathan, who along with a group of students volunteers and organises adoption camps across the city where they provide homes to stray animals said, “Street animals can be great pets if you train them correctly. There are so many stray dogs and cats which live around us whom we care for but are not able to give full attention due to time restraint. Our camp invites people to come and adopt from us.”
Clearing the misconception that stray dogs are unhealthy and dangerous, Aishwarya said, “We have a vet who checks these animals and then approves them for adoption, whereas animals which are found unfit are given treatment till the time they are fit for adoption.”
Shraddha Zende, who was one of the visitors at the camp, has adopted three dogs from here. “I adopted mixed breed dogs from this camp, and they are completely healthy and playful. They have become a part of my life now.”
According to Aishwarya, many foreigners volunteered to adopt street animals in Koregaon Park who now have their homes even in countries like Sweden and Germany. Cats and Brats, an organisation that does animal sensitisation, holds various awareness programmmes regularly to help change the mindsets of peoplewho fear or hate animals. They believe that education at a tender age can develop child’s compatibility with animals.
Manoj Oswal, unit head of People For Animals, country’s largest animal welfare organisation, expressed his worry over street animals’ condition in summers. “Our bird rescues multiply five times in summer season. There are some basic steps by which we can make sure the birds and animals in our locality stay healthy. For instance, place water-filled containers in the exteriors of your house so that birds and animals can escape dehydration. If you find an injured or sick bird or animal, don’t just turn your head, call on helpline numbers immediately for aid and assistance,” he suggested.
People for Animals- 09890044455
Resq organisation- 09373888500
Sushma Date (For animal sterilisation)- 09822061155