Standing on the street helplessly staring at the little creature whose life was draining out of it with each passing moment – no one to see or care, hundreds of people walking by and seeing, yet no one actually seeing…sweat dripped down my forehead as I once again tried calling, though yet again was unsuccessful in getting a helpful reply. There wasn’t enough time left now. The sound of the cars going by was almost infuriating. I asked myself, ‘are people really that blind or are they just pretending to be?’ As a slight breeze went by and with it the last breath of the poor animal who lay limp and lifeless finally put it out of its misery.
This wasn’t new for me. Sadly this was the second case I had witnessed which made me realize the true apathetic nature of people. I had tried reaching several organisations who claimed to do so much for animals but when it was actually required they failed to show up. With the last breath of the poor animal, I got a response. Dhyan Yog Society, as they called themselves, sent an ambulance but it was too late by then. I remember feeling angry at myself for not being able to do anything but it also sparked something in me. A will. I wanted to do something to help animals like dogs and cats who roamed on the streets alone and unloved, some abandoned by their families due to various reasons. I started volunteering at this organisation. Going in a van around streets putting food and water bowls for these animals, providing them with warm coats in winters and medicine for the wounded ones.
I still remember my first day going around. After putting my first bowl on the ground, a little malnourished puppy came trotting towards me, its tail tucked between its legs, looking afraid of me yet coming close with thirst scorching its throat. The happiness it gave me to see it drink and eat happily was something I had never experienced before. The next day when I returned the tiny thing was ecstatic to see me. Wagging its tiny tail as it came running towards me. From then on, that pup and its friends waited for me, knowing that each weekend they would see me, and this made my interest in looking after them peak even higher. I got on to make sure that no call for an injured dog was ever ignored and that someone actually did care.
I knew I wasn’t making much of a difference in the world if you consider the number of hungry people there actually are, but it means the world to the being who has to fight to survive each day. I wanted to feed people also, but my resources are limited and there is complete government apathy to animals and I found out that there is no policy to help save or feed animals in India. It is so bad that they put to sleep even the well trained army dogs after retirement!
I have teamed up with like-minded people and we are now even approaching the Indian Army to give us their old dogs….and would you believe it, they have replied in the positive. I intend to, with the help of my friends and this organisation (which I later found out has no government funding and they also manage by their own resources), over a period of three years, wherever I might be in the world by then, put an end to the misery of these animals and find them homes.
Author: Tarangini Wadera