Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” But do humans and animals in India really coexist in harmony? Not quite.
The plight of stray dogs in the country has been abysmal and is deteriorating by the day. This has resulted in the increase in the number of casualties due to a profound virus communicated by stray dogs called ‘rabies’. Due to lack of people’s active participation in adopting stray dogs and timely treatment with anti – rabies vaccination, rabies is killing 20,000 dogs every year.
Enactus Motilal Nehru College under its makeshift project – Project Parivartan – is working on eradicating rabies completely from Delhi, and eventually India. A team of roughly 60 students, Enactus MNC is working closely with PAWS, which is an NGO that works with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in sterilizing (controlling their population by removing internal reproductive organs) and vaccinating (anti-rabies) stray dogs under the Animal Birth Control programme devised by the WHO. In the last year they managed to get 12 and 24 stray dogs sterilised and vaccinated respectively and now their college is completely rabies free.
However due lack of government funding, organisations like PAWS that run on donations are being forced to shut down and hence cannot carry out their services to their full capabilities, much like Friendicoes had to shut down for a few days. Sterilisation and vaccination is expensive hence, Enactus MNC provides a sum of rupees 500 per stray dog to PAWS so that they can sustain their services.
To sustain these payments made to the NGO they have made different accessories which are sold in the market. However, these products are made by an informal cooperative of people from the underprivileged sections of the society. Handmade Dog accessories under the brand name – Be Desi – are made by orphans and unemployed women while wristbands are made by mentally disabled children of Asha School in the Delhi Cantonment region. They wish to expand their product line too. Currently 3 orphans, 2 unemployed women and 4 children are associated with the Project. Half of the proceeds from selling these products is provided to the NGO.
They’ve also been recognised by the Retd. Maj. Gen. AVSM R.M. Kharb, the Chairman of Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests for their efforts. This year, Enactus Motilal Nehru College aims for getting at least 200 stray dogs vaccinated, which is both ambitious and achievable, according to Abhijit Das, a member of the society. They also intend to employ 50 people.
DU Beat wishes them the very best in their endeavour.