Author – Rhea Gadiyar
We all love animals; most of us like to pet and pamper the animals we come across. Although we all are animal lovers, due to our hectic city-lifestyle in an ever expanding concrete jungle, it is becoming increasingly difficult to actually own a pet. It would be a struggle for us to take care of wounded or ill animals. In times like these, a few of us choose to lend a helping hand by supporting NGOs and charities that go out of their way to help rescue and rehabilitate animals in distress.
Here are a few animal lover individuals and NGOs in India, who have dedicated their work to help as many lives as they can to showcase that humanity need not be limited to fellow humans.
Rakesh Shukla from Bengaluru
Professionally a software engineer Rakesh Shukla has now dedicated all of his life savings to take care of over 850 stray dogs. Rakesh initially began by bringing home any stray dog that needed medical help or was abandoned. After a few protests from his wife, he then turned his office into a home for these little furry ones. As the numbers kept growing, he eventually sold all his wealth to buy a piece of land in Doddaballapur, outside Bengaluru, where he built a farm to shelter all his dogs. This farm is built in such a way that all of these dogs can run around and take a swim whenever they want to.
Rakesh takes care of over 50 dogs each day that are medically ill and is doing his best to make sure the ones rejected by society get the love that they clearly deserve. At least 3 new dogs come in every week at his farm from all over India. He has registered an NGO named “Voice of Stray Dogs”, through which you can help him save more lives by doing your bit.
Amte Animal Ark
Prakash Amte is a renowned personality who pioneered the work of animal care way back in 1973. Taking inspiration from his father Baba Amte’s social work, Prakash and his wife Mandakini started an asylum for injured wild animals that humans are generally taught to fear. It all began the day they saved a tiny baby monkey that was clinging to it’s dead mother who had been hunted by the Madia-Gond tribes in Hemalkasa village of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra. However, when they realized that the tribe did it for survival and not for leisure, they made a deal with them to bring all the young and orphaned animals to him at his place in return for some food and clothes.
And thus began the journey of Amte Animal Ark, expanding from a household with a single dog to a vast household that held over 115 wild animals in their courtyard! These animals, even though they were in cages, were treated with the utmost love and affection. At one point, there was also a lion that took shelter in their asylum. Prakash Amte taught people around him that if you have the right intentions then there was no need for you to fear these animals. Further, protecting these wild animals also ensures protection for the environment too!
Bombay House by Tata Sons
Bombay House is the iconic building in Mumbai, that serves as the head office of the Tata Group. The building was reopened after some renovations this year. In the process of modernizing the place to fit in with the aspirations of their current employees, Tata Sons remodelled this office by adding a special kennel that provides a safe haven to the strays in and around the area. Previously, Bombay House was known to be ‘pet-friendly’ as it allowed the local strays to seek shelter inside the building during the monsoons. However, by making a special place to accommodate strays in need of shelter or medical attention, they have gone beyond our expectations.
Charity Bird Hospital
Located inside the Shri Digambar Jain Mandir at Chandni Chowk, Delhi is an interesting hospital that follows the doctrines of Jainism and treats all the birds that are brought there by rescuers. The Charity Bird Hospital takes in almost 60 birds every day ranging from crows, parrots, koels and various species of eagles. At a time, the Charity Bird Hospital has multiple falcons and eagles along with other species of birds under treatment from places all over India.
The Charity Bird Hospital treats these birds for free and every Saturday, a part of the roof is opened to allow healthy feathered flock to fly away to their natural homes. The birds are not returned to their rescuers/ owners for the fear of captivity. People are encouraged to volunteer either physically or donate financially.
PFA Pet Cemetery
People for All (PFA) is one of the largest organisations in India that work for the rehabilitation of animals that need rehoming or treatment. They have 26 hospitals and over 2.5 lakh members all over the country. Curiously, they also have a Pet Cemetery in Bengaluru! The pain of losing a pet that was like family is always a very difficult phase in a person’s life.
PFA’s Pet Cemetery make sure that your loss is heard and your loved one is treated with the love and respect that they deserve even in the afterlife. Along with this, the finances generated through pet-lovers opting to have graves for their deceased pets is used towards helping other rescued animals who are in need of medical attention and care. This cemetery allows you to make sure your pet help save many more lives of animals in need.
Animal Aid Unlimited
Started by a family of animal lovers comprising Erika, Jim and Claire Abrams-Myers, Animal Aid Unlimited was opened in 2003 after they noticed the urgent need to provide medical attention to so many animals in Rajasthan. They rescue injured and ill street dogs, cows, donkeys and other animals that need urgent medical care. By 2015, this organisation treated over 50,000 animals ranging from cattle, wildlife rescues and other strays. They also regularly engage in neutering and spaying off stray cats and dogs in the area. Their goal is to treat all lives with compassion while spreading the word through their various educational drives that tackle the issues of animal cruelty.