In light of this recent pandemic, the world has come to a standstill. People are flying back home, businesses are closing offices and people are working from home while students attend school from the comfort of their living room. As we all seek the comfort of our own home, we forget those who do not have a home and those who have been abandoned because of incorrect information, the stray.
India has around thirty million stray dogs with shelters underfunded and overpopulated. Ever since the news of COVID-19 affecting animals has come about, people have started abandoning their pets and violently attacking the stray even after researchers clarifying multiple times that dogs can not give humans the virus but can get the virus themselves because of humans.
In such troubling times, hotels and restaurants have closed which means these stray dogs are experiencing a shortage of food. While people all around the world are doing kind deeds to help their fellow neighbors, workers, and friends out- some have silently worked to help the stray.
People like Karishma Chatterjee and Sagun Bhatjiwale from Mumbai, Paul Goswami from Bangalore, Abhishek Boney Singha, and his NGO in Golaghat and Rohit Kumar Bondugula and his team, 80-year old Rajamma and K Kalyan Kumar from Hyderabad among many others have all played their role in feeding the stray. Even though some face violence, backlash, and ignorance while doing these selfless acts, they still get back on the street and show us what true humanity means. Other than people, foundations and shelters are working relentlessly to keep the stray on our street well fed and out of harm's way.
These people have put their lives on the line to help those who do not have the voice to complain and should be praised for their good deeds. Studies have found that stray dogs turn to hunt smaller animals, generally become more irritable, and will fall gravely ill if not fed. Other than the obvious negative impact of irritable strays, just on a humanitarian level, these animals expect nothing fancy or accidentally expensive. A few slices of bread and a roti will keep them satisfied until the end of the day. Look at it this way, if 80-year-old Rajamma can go out there and save a life why can’t you and I?
As this lockdown continues, one can only hope for the situation to get better and for everyone to stay safe, healthy, and comfortable but the same should be applied for those who have called the streets their homes and our throw away food as their meals . If possible, one should feed the strays around their area, foster dogs from shelters if possible or simply donate to the right foundations to better the lives of those who have never asked for anything and love endlessly.
Written by:Arya Kamble