Ishwar Bhandari

Relating with stray animals and their bare necessities

There are a few things about stray animals that I have often pondered on. When I watch the TV, I many a times see people putting in so much effort into rehabilitating animals and sending them back into the wild. I have always thought that people never take a step further other than in serving themselves. Then I came across nature lovers, conservationist and animal lovers and I thought to myself, well all is not least not yet. While surfing through the internet, I came across the SEWA website and I was soon filled with a good feeling after reading about you guys and your purpose. I am reminded of a few stories, which I would like to share with you all. Well I come from the Jat Taluka of Sangli district in Maharashtra, this area is known for being hit by drought especially during the summers. I have seen cattle dying simply because there is not water available for them drink. As for the people, it mostly so happens that people consider themselves fortunate when there is enough drinking water just for the family. When my family moved to Mumbai, I saw such a change in people's attitude especially towards water. Here water is more a right than a privilege. I know many of my neighbours who have so much water at their disposal that they can afford to have their vehicles washed each morning with buckets full of water. However like SEWA, I too have noticed the plight of the street animals in my area. The only water source available here are mud-puddles and open gutters. When I look at these animals, I think I can understand what their life might be like. My aunt in Nashik, would keep a bowl of water outside her garden gate for stray animals and birds and the joke that went around the neighbourhood was that it was more of animals and birds than people who visited her doorstep. Believe me, when I say she does have a lot of friends but because she made water available to stray animals and birds, the garden gate was frequented by many nearby strays, who associated her house as a free source of water.