“Every time it rained, little puppies used to die. I stopped believing in God ever since.” If this does not question one’s perception of nature, then nothing will. Selma Pinto, 62-year-old animal lover from the city has been feeding and providing shelter to stray animals from 15 years and even today there is no match for those bright eyes that light up when she talks about animals.
People who throw stones at stray dogs, people who amuse themselves by throwing crackers at innocent cats, people who slaughter cows illegally, people who treat horses mercilessly and people who think they can get away with whatever they do to animals, beware. Next time you better think twice before you pick up a stone because Care For Animals (CFA) is here.
CFA, a team of animal lovers, comprising more than 30 members are in the town to ensure that every living being gets its due of love. Basically, CFA does animal rescues, adoptions, awareness programs, deals with cruelty cases, house boarding for pets, sell water pots and what not. CFA is a diverse group of people ranging from house makers to students, to working professionals to doctors. The age is no matter and they are unified by their love for animals.
Meet Namitha, the 20-year-old lionhearted girl, also the architect of CFA and soon- to –be certified animal welfare officer, flashing her proud ‘mercy for animals’ badge on her shirt and sporting a tattoo of wings on her wrist, showcasing the free spiritedness of herself.
“Love is love and everyone deserves it equally,’ the air of confidence with which Namitha speaks can make every single person listen to her. “The main aim of CFA is to keep the animals and also people safe from a few idiots”, Namitha says, looking at her partner and the co-founder of CFA, Avni Sharma.
Avni Sharma, a technical trainer at a prestigious IT firm, has been in love with animals from ever since she can remember. “I basically grew up amongst animals. My parents were animal lovers and as a result I had many animals like dogs, cats and varieties of fishes. After coming to Mysuru, I am just continuing what I learnt in my childhood,” says Avni who hails from Meerut.
CFA which first began as a group of three members has now increased to almost 30 within a span of 2 months. The members for the group are selected based on their real interest, the previous records of animal welfare, their purpose and they are constantly monitored for their involvement in the group’s activities.
“We want to be the animal welfare group in Mysuru,” Namitha says. “People don’t know where to go when it comes to animal welfare. We want to become that group that is backed by police as well as the government to ensure that every animal is safe in our city,” she adds with a gleam of hope in her eyes.
But what about those pack of vicious dogs that sit on the road at late nights and stares at the on-goers, ready to pounce and bite off a pound of flesh? How can that be stopped? “Just put a biscuit whenever you pass by them and trust me they will be loyal to you for the rest of their life,” Avni replies. “The secret is, by doing so they also become your security. There is no need to fear any chain snatchers or perverts while walking on the street at late nights because you have your pack of ‘security’ covering for you. Trust me no one has the guts to approach you when you have free dogs accompanying to you,” says Avni. “In case any dog comes chasing you, don’t run. Just stand firmly and scream on top of your voice. This will scare the dogs away,” advises Namitha.
Namitha, a vegan from heart also discourages the use of meat, milk, butter, cheese or any form of eatables that comes from the animals. “The meat mafia is bigger than anyone can imagine,” she gushes. “Just take away the violence from your plate,” is the mutual belief of the members of CFA.
“I have had more than 25 dogs at my house and all of them were fed with vegetarian food for their entire life,” exclaims Avni. “My mom also fed the baby piranhas in the aquarium with vegetarian food,” she says.
Meanwhile, the CFA has been selling pots for people who can fill it with water and keep near the gates. “It will be very helpful for the stray animals especially in the summer” says Namitha.
It is remarkable how the entire team comes together when a stray animal meets with an accident. The message gets passed on so quickly that within minutes the volunteers reach the scene and rescue the animal. Without any funding, the group members contribute from their own pockets to save a life, which in other’s eyes is ‘just’ a homeless animal. When the entire city is busy in minding its own business, gaining more money for themselves, filling fuels for their vehicles, travelling for their own needs, eating to fill their own stomachs, cutting many more trees to build their own houses, beating animals because it is fun, when the faith in humanity was depleting, a selfless group of people who take pride in saving another life, putting animals before themselves has shown up.
Though the group is young and taking its baby steps, with every new member joining the group, the hope for those helpless souls lying on the ground without a shelter or food, gets bigger.
CFA can be contacted through: @cfamysore – Facebook
- Pushya Rag