• Adyar Times

Volunteers go extra mile to feed the voiceless

Many of the homeless animals are left to fend for themselves after the lock down as they depend on the food discarded by hotels, restaurants and local eateries. Understanding the situation, many good Samaritans and community feeders have come forward to feed the voiceless.

Blue Cross of India, a well-known animal welfare organisation in India, is feeding around 1500 stray animals a day, through their community feeders.

Vinodh Kumar, General Manager, Administration says, “After the implementation of the lock down, we reached out to our volunteers and shared a questionnaire to analyse the situation. We came to understand that the lock down has been disproportionately harsh on them as humans have retreated and restaurants, roadside eateries and tea shops have shut, leaving the 'streeties' no option but to scavenge their last refuge - the quintessential garbage bins of Chennai. Our flash survey revealed that the garbage bins were no longer abundant for the animals. Most of the homeless animals are now starving, confused, restless and moving outside their territories searching for food and water.”

"After mapping out the important areas, the volunteers visited each location to feed the poor souls. They started off by feeding 200-300 street dogs. Then they reached out to the community feeders who readily accepted the offer. The food cooked at the Blue Cross facility will be delivered to the feeder’s location who will then feed the animals in the locality. Some volunteers feed the animals at the non-residential areas like the marina beach, industrial estates and gated office complexes, while other teams drive off to cover far corners to deliver food.

“We are making sure to mobilise food items to feed the cattle as we cannot feed them cooked food and the volunteers are directed to do so. With processed food in short supply, our kitchen runs without a break now to cook as many fresh meals as possible every hour of every day. Our back-end team has creatively mobilised grains and ingredients and arranged in-house and outsourced cooking, thus reducing the dependence on scarce and expensive processed foods,” adds Vinod.

Green Park has come forward to provide food for 750 stray animals and the Animal Husbandry Department, Govt. Tamilnadu has donated 3 tons of rice and 300 kg of toor dhal.

The crisis has restored our faith in humanity. Everyday, we see more people coming forward to lend their support, says Vinod. They are raising funds to feed the animals through the crowdfunding site Ketto at https://bit.ly/2Uxyduo.

Similarly, Muralidharan of Indian Center for Animal Rights and Education (INCARE) in Chennai is feeding the dogs at Anna University campus, IIT Campus, Marina Beach, Secretariat, Guindy Industrial Estate, Madras Race Club, Taramani Film Institute upto Tidel Park, High Court, Madral Central Station, Nehru Stadium, DMS, DPI campus, Kotturpuram and Manapakkam. Muralidharan says that there are around 300 dogs at Anna University and IIT campus and over 400 dogs at Marina Beach. Many of the institutes are gated which makes it difficult for the volunteers to feed the animals.They are raising funds through Milaap - https://milaap.org/…/support-indian-center-for-animal-right…

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