A few days back, Paul and I were going to Child Care Home. On our way, the usual road was closed so we took another route. Suddenly we saw a dog lying on the road and growling in pain. We went near him and tried finding out what had happened. We could make out it was an accident. Unfortunately no one paid any heed to him. He tried moving but failed. I could see a group of people standing on the opposite side but they were more inquisitive to find about the foreigner with me rather than helping the dog.
A rickshaw puller came and gave some water to the dog. We asked the locals there if they knew any nearby animal hospital. The puller knew the place and he decided to help us only if we agreed take a ride on his rickshaw. So he took us to the State Animal Hospital. To our utter disappointment, we discovered that the hospital was closed due to Guru Nanak’s birthday. There was only a single person in the Emergency section who casually informed us that it was a national holiday and so everything even a hospital was on a holiday. Hearing that, I was so shocked and furious.
Then we searched for another in the internet and found one near Mukundupur which was quite a distance from Chingrighata. We got hold of a cab but the driver denied taking a stray dog inside his car. Giving him some extra money, we somehow managed to reach Ashari (animal hospital). The dog was given medicine and the treatment begun immediately. I saw Paul’s face and I was really amazed. He is such a caring and a soft hearted person. He proved that humanity still exists. He asked in sheer surprise that why people are not concerned about stray animals? I do not think that I can ever properly explain it to him but a country where poverty is the common problem, where people are getting poor to poorer, where they are struggling to meet their basic needs; can they really help the animals even if they want to? To survive, to sustain a family, these people have no choice but to be self centred. In this fight for life, they cannot spare any money for others but themselves.
There is no proper treatment in government hospital. Lack of education, lack of sufficient food, drinking water is the major issue in India. There is no guarantee for a secured future for the children. Child labour is the available option. Every year the political parties keep promising to give a better life but end up making their own lives way comfortable and happier. So a majority of people in India cannot possibly lend a helping hand because of their incapability. Some people who have pets, who love animals might show kindness and love to these stray animals. But how many of them can really do that?
But I am still hopeful. With the increasing initiatives taken by different organisations, maybe India can reach a position where the poor people will not be suffering anymore, the stray animals would get love and care from others, and even they would have shelter and loved ones to look after them.
Paul named him Dosti (hindi word) meaning Friendship. Precisely that’s what we want between people of different status, between humans and animals. Dosti could not survive but for me, this incident taught me a great lesson.
Written by Soma Seal.
Edited and Translated by Dolon Basu.