Mother to the homeless

“No stray is orphan,” says Sarita Chaturvedi, the woman behind Jeevalya, an organization for the welfare of stray dogs.

Moved by the plight of stray dogs and inspired by animal activist Maneka Gandhi, Sarita Chaturvedi, an entrepreneur by profession, has devoted her life for the welfare of man’s best companion, struggling hard to survive on the streets of Delhi. For her, a true worshipper of God is one who makes efforts to ease the suffering and pain of the poor animal in need.

Mother to the homeless

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals, said Immanuel Kant. How true are his words in today’s world where cash strapped individuals caught in the nitty and gritty of life don’t have time for God’s loved creation animals.

We all come across many insecure, poorly fed dogs, dodging traffi c to fi nd shelter against harsh summer sun or rain or fi ghting a lone battle to stay alive. These incidents fi ll our heart with pity for the poor animal. But how many of us are ready to spend money, time and energy to mitigate the pain and suffering of these creatures. Hardly any. There are not many philanthropists on this earth who stand up to defend those who cannot defend themselves.

“Dogs are man’s best friend, who love their owners more than themselves and are ready to sacrifi ce their lives happily for them. How can you turn a blind eye to the suffering of an animal writhing in pain on the street after being run over by the car,” questions Sarita Chaturvedi, the woman behind Jeevalya, an organization for the welfare of stray dogs.

Beginning of a noble cause…

Narrating the incident, which led to setting up of Jeevalya, Chaturvedi told, “A female dog who used to guard our locality developed a tumor on her back and was in dire pain. Her wound had got infested with maggots. Although my neighbours were of the view of giving her a mercy death, I believed that one should make all efforts to save a living being till there is last breath. So, I took her for treatment and saw that she turned hail and hearty. Today, she is a happy dog roaming freely on the streets and I tuned my energies towards an animal welfare organization.”

Chaturvedi had to face objections from her neighbours, who raised hue and cry when she built kennels initially at her terrace to salvage these poor animals who were either recuperating from injuries, or a female dog who had just laid pups.

Jeevalya, as of now…

The organization, which came to life in 1998, started with fi ve dogs and has now more than 50 dogs at Shiv Vihar shelter home, spread over 1500 sq feet. The dogs at the shelter home are vaccinated, spayed and undergo routine check up apart from being inspected for ticks. Sarita added that she has spayed 80 dogs so far. Even though Jeevalya is not registered, it is still fi ghting tooth and nail for the rights of these animals.

Finances… only personal money

Managed by the sister duo Sarita and Rita, the organization does not run on fi nancial aid or donations provided by government, it is the money, which the two earn from their business of shoe accessories that goes for the welfare of the dogs. They are not alone in their endeavour, they have fi rm support of their families who have stepped forward to lend a hand in their noble pursuit.

Personal life takes a backseat…

Sensitive and sentimental, Sarita has stopped going on family vacations, so that her dogs that she has reared as her own babies, are taken care off well. Lending a helping hand in her noble pursuits is Dr. Gautam Anand, who does not hesitate even from visiting an ailing dog in the middle of night and charges a very nominal fee for spaying and vaccination.

Let’s lend a helping hand…

According to Chaturvedi, if each family either adopts a stray dog or takes up the responsibility of feeding, vaccinating and spaying a stray animal, the menace caused by them on the streets could be curbed. She also advises that residential welfare organization should step in and collect donations from each house to construct four to fi ve kennels in the locality and entrust the responsibility of feeding the animals to the guards, and in turn these animals would ensure security of the locality… not a big cost to make your society safe!

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