It was 8 am and I had to rush to Kokuyo Camlin’s Office in Andheri where I was interning as an HR. It was an usual day, I dropped my brother to his office in NESCO and took the rickshaw to my office. As I went a little further, there it was ‘A TRAFFIC JAM’. Gosh! that’s when I knew I was late and the peak hour had begun. I knew I shouldn’t have accessorize that day, took a pretty good 20 mins extra to get ready. But wait! It was just 8:40 am and the peak hour doesn’t start until 9 am. So what was all the rush about? 5 mins later, when the rickshaw went a little ahead on the highway, that’s when I saw a dog crushed and his face was almost flat. The entire traffic was trying to go around it. How nice of them!! I was terrified and the thought that nobody stopped to atleast respectfully put him to the side of the highway killed me on the inside.
I got down from the rick in the middle of the highway where I don’t think I would have got another rickshaw soon, paid the rickshaw driver and walked towards the dead dog. I lay down 2 big rocks around the dog carcass and called ‘JUST DIAL’. I wanted numbers, Dog welfare people, BMC, somebody who could help or assist me take the dog to the side from the highway. The just dial executive gave me numbers of Animal Welfare groups/ NGOs located in Malad and Goregaon. Then started a series of “Ma’am we don’t provide an ambulance service there”, “Ma’am did you say the dog is dead? Well, we only attend strays if they are injured, Sorry!”, “I’ll give you a number, please see if they can send a few volunteers”! ENOUGH!
It was 9:05 am and still nobody had agreed to come and I was horribly late! That’s when the rickshaw driver of the rickshaw that I had taken 25 mins back came and said “Madam, hum hatay kya?” And to be honest I was shocked to see him waiting for almost 25 mins. He had parked his rickshaw to the side of the highway thinking I wouldn’t get another rickshaw easily and seeing me do something that he called “Aacha Kaam”.
It was then, 2 guys riding a bike stopped and a couple of more people got down from their vehicles and helped the rickshaw guy take the dog carcass to the side of the highway and I picked up the rocks that were earlier placed around the carcass.
A little Courtesy never hurts!
There are almost 66,000 stray dogs in Mumbai. A large number of these strays are run over every day. Dogs don’t really need to die by being run over by heavy and speeding vehicles, they don’t really have to suffer injuries or bleed to death. It needs to be stopped. It is time we act as responsible citizen and work towards welfare of our strays. It is time we collar our strays with reflective collars.
It was after the incident, that I read a few posts and initiatives, learnt about ‘Reflective collars’ and how they could decrease the number of roadkills. The very next day I started a Campaign called ‘Collar the Strays, Mumbai’, and it has been a success till now. It has helped in spreading awareness about increasing number of roadkills, it has helped dog lovers actually contribute and save life of a stray from being run over by a speeding vehicle just because of dimmer street lights.
Read more about the initiative on https://www.bitgiving.com/collarastray
Lastly, I would dedicate this post to all the contributors who have helped in the crowdfunding and all the potential volunteers who’ll be joining the campaign by end of December for its implementation.
Cheers and Drive safe, For the love of Dogs!