By Ivan Saldanha-Shet.
Mangaluru, April 18, 2020: The lockdown has thrown up trails galore for man in all circumstances we note daily. It is but natural that humans and animals want to be rooted in their home habitat in such uncertain and trying situations. The pangs of hunger and want of the marginalized are now visibly surfacing in our cities as rebellion/mutiny, as we know. One uncomplaining section of life that is tolerating everything with the lockdown are the bewildered and voiceless animals, birds and such on the streets. Without the normal traffic of humans and business and eating houses closed down and life at a standstill, the street smart dogs, cats, birds are at a dead end. The worst off are street dogs, and aggression forces a danger as they could turn wild and attack anybody.
It is worth knowing that the local administration with volunteers from ’Animal Care Trust’ (ACT) are caring by feeding the life on the streets as best as they can regularly which is a great humanitarian effort and it is indeed good to know the reality in this unimaginable crises. Shamith a volunteer of the ACT told this us, " ACT is the only Animal welfare NGO recognised by Animal Wefare Board of India (AWBI), in Mangalore City with a fully facilitated shelter for sick/injured Community animals. Its been 20 years since ACT was started in M’lore City and ever since then ACT is into non-stop efforts to change minds and hearts to adopt and help rescued injured Animals. ACT is conducting Animal Birth Control programs, approximately 40 to 50 Animals are rescued every week, ARV programs, Adoption Camps and several other programs for the welfare of the community animals."
In this Corona pandemic, we noticed that the community animals who rely on the fast foods and restaurants were starving, Animal Care Trust along with its volunteers have put in initiative to feed community animals in and around the city and spread as wide as possible to help our community animals. We got together with community feeders and listed out many areas in and around the city, which required feeders to cover, ACT volunteers and community feeders are around 65 in number. All the feeders are doing an excellent job by feeding in various parts of the city individually. We request our citizens to Keep food and water for our community animals, using waste plastic bottles and cans is a good option now.
Animal Care Trust Mangalore, has eight (8) full time personnel and two (2) dedicated veterinarians. Veterinarians and staff members are involved in all activities pertaining to medical treatment. Staff members are also involved in catching dogs for surgery, rescuing animals in distress and complete care of all animals. Animal Care Trust is managed by a board of trustees. They are responsible for Animal Care Trust operations and maintenance. Trustees are: Dr Ganesh S. Pai, Managing Trustee Mr Charles C. I. Paul, Hon. Secretary, Ms Suma R. Nayak, Hon. Treasurer, Dr Manohar Upadhyaya, Veterinary Surgeon, Mr Giridhar Kamath, Chartered Accountant, Dr Shivaram Karikal and Mr. Bharat.Jain. Most of the good works is by animal lovers who pool in their goodwill and are helped by generous people, even if there is no support from Government, the authorities understand and give permission to move around at fixed times of day. Also, nature lovers in groups go around watering plants along roads in this time of lockdown and the heat is killing the nascent plants.
At this time, in the middle of serious suffering PM Modi has led the country well and citizens are falling in line fast. On April 14, the PM after due consultations and so on has very well ordered that the lock down will continue till May 3 as per current needs. Indications from the PMO are that it is vital in most places, if things are better there will be special privileges after April 20 as per dire need. Not only is the lockdown and social distancing vital to prevent run away infection of large number of people; but, it is more vital to stagger the number of those needing hospitalization in the next few months. It is the only way to control the optimum use of hospital facilities in this critical pandemic attack, whose end is neither in site and course is uncertain as of now; only humanity can save..