“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Recently I met a young chap, Mridul, who is involved in rescuing, vaccinating and treating stray dogs and puppies. He came along with a compounder to treat a stray dog who wasn’t well in our lane. A neighbour who had been giving shelter to the puppies provided an old sheet to Mridul. He sat with the dog in his lap. Though the dog, Biscuit, named by the children, was averse to the treatment but the duo, worked hard to give him a drip as the Biscuit’s temperature was 104 F.
I was impressed with the way this boy was dedicated to a stray dog. As I spoke to him, I realised that very few people are interested in treating and saving dogs. As I chatted with him, I found myself on the list of those unconcerned people.
Dogs have been living with human beings. This is the reason they are considered man’s best friend. But as people moved to bungalows, the high breeds became the status symbol and local stray dogs were forgotten and ignored.
FCTB decided to have a tete-a-tete with Mridul.
FCTB: What motivates you to work for these street dogs?
Mridul: Love and compassion for these voiceless souls motivate me to do better for them every day. I work with a team towards animal welfare. We have been working on a small level for the past 3 years but as I completed my graduation last year, I got full time engaged in the process of working towards the betterment of animals.
Mridul: We visit nearby areas in Noida to provide help to any injured and sick animal that is reported on the animal welfare groups.
FCTB: Your message to residents of sectors.
Mridul: Please keep an open eye and heart to animals around you and be compassionate towards them.
FCTB: What help do u need from the public?
Mridul: Please don’t keep a blind eye towards any animal that they feel might need help. Please report it to the correct platforms so that more lives can be saved.
Mridul: To open an animal shelter that provides the best aid, treatment and foster facility to these voiceless babies and to be able to feed every stray we come across.
FCTB: So there is something like animal welfare groups in Noida.
Mridul: Not in Noida but people who are passionate about helping animals have created such groups on WhatsApp which includes members from different places and states.
FCTB: So I can inform u even if a cow, bull or some bird is unwell nearby?
Mridul: Yes you can. My no. is 9717491949. We have treated such cases in the past.
FCTB: Tell us about your team and how do work?
Mridul: Although we have a team but everyone work at their convenience. Some work at night while some during the day as per the requirement and need.
As far as our work is concerned, first and foremost, I am grateful to the vet Santosh and compounder Vikas who are always available for treatment at Dr Kumar Pet Clinic, near Vishal Mega Mart, Khoda Colony, Noida. Then the team members Ankush and Sujeet, who always accompany in rescue work.
FCTB: Why don’t you get your organization registered and raise funds?
Mridul: Registration requires money. As of now, it is difficult for us to even treat these stray animals. There are only 3-4 ladies who help us, that’s it but that money is utilised in treatment only.
FCTB: Are treatment and your rescue work so costly?
Mridul: Let me tell you a story. For four days, we were involved in rescue work. A female dog had given birth to puppies in a narrow drain. Water was seeping into the drain and it was difficult for us to rescue the puppies. Construction work was going on, in the house above that drain. Then we called the earth mover from the government department to get rid of the debris. My team also got involved in removing the wet mud. Then we hired a small boy to rescue the dog and its puppies. At last, we prepared a cage and placed the dog and its puppies in the park.
FCTB: Amazing! You guys are doing a commendable job. But how do you get the information?
Mridul: The poor kids, young boys and local vendors around give us the information. Most of them doesn’t have money for their treatment, how will they pay for stray animals’ treatment?
I couldn’t answer his question and so I am passing the ball in your court, my dear readers. Who, do you all think, should pay for the treatment? Although people have been taking care of the stray dogs and animals around them yet not everyone is ready to take responsibility. Then some have long stories of dog menace too.
It has been truly said by Kinky Friedman “Money can buy you a fine dog but only love can make him wag his tail.”