By Medha Bhagwat/Sandhya Chauhan, INN/Gwalior, @Infodeaofficial
Her childhood grew up amidst the canines, giving care to them was an integral part of her life. This has motivated Sukanya Ray to do something for their wellbeing. Being a clinical psychologist by profession, she has turned into a crusader for animal welfare. She is a president of Humane for Animals that is not just a volunteers group, but a means that raises voice for the good of animals. Infodea spoke to the animal rights activist to know more.
Q: What inspired you to become an Animal Rights Activist?
A: After the demise of my parents I was in a dire state to get through the loss. I needed a silent support and trustworthy presence. And that came to me disguised as my dog, whose presence and mien alone comforted me so much as to make me realise that he did that all selflessly.It was difficult indeed to get through that terrible loss but with my dog’s unwavering support I got over it eventually. And somehow at that time my attention was captured a lot by the lone pups by the side of the streets soI started rescuing them without a second thought. I rescued about 7- 8 dogs during 2014-15. That’s when I decided that I will do something that benefits them immensely. So, I made up my mind to work for and towards the establishment of a better society
for animals. Where they would feel protected and loved.
Q: You initially began your work by offering shelter to stray dogs, but over the years you’ve also began providing them a safe home and a protected environment to live in. Can you please let us in, as to how you started your organization as well as all the facilities you
provide for the stray?
A: We first began our journey by forming a Whatsapp group and started operating as a one, we rescued, took care of accident cases and side by side learned techniques of catching animals namely dogs at that time and how to deal with them, seeing as not every dog we came across would be cooperating. As our work expanded with time we took it upon ourselves and registered the organisation by August 2016 thus started calling it “Humane for animals society.”
As for the facilities, by 2017 we had bigger shelter built for a few dogs that were let off by the government veterinary centres and couldn’t go back on the streets along with a few accident cases. But now we have two, as well as staffs who trains these animals and takes care of them. We have provided various options to the general citizensas well who because of their certain issues cannot adopt these dogs butwho wish to help them and are not a part of this organisation by becoming virtual parents to them. This process of ‘virtual adoption’ allows them to pay for the food and other necessities of the said dog and once they receive the pet parent certificate from us, we keep them posted by sending them pictures and videos of their virtual pets whenever they ask for it. HFA in fact is the first organization in Bhopal to start virtual adoption.
Q: What are your views on the increasing intolerance towards animals in the current scenario?
A: See I being a psychologist consider this intolerance as a sign of depicting the mental health of an individual. I understand that not everybody is a dog lover or an animal lover for the same, but the fact that you inflict violence on some innocent being just because you do not like them is a serious issue indeed that needs to be looked into. Most of our population does not get it but saving animals and forming a bond with them also plays quite a crucial role in developing empathy in humans especially children for that matter. It saddens me a lot whenever I come across any incident or issue that involves mistreatment of any animal, which unfortunately is a recurring incident nowadays. And it’s not just the stray that being subject to such torture the cattle also has to go through a lot.
Q: How do your volunteers contribute to the welfare activities under-taken by your organisation?
A: Our volunteers apart from rescuing and treating the animals also provide food on a regular basis based on our feed, newspaper and funds for the regular running of the shelter. They donate with cash or in kind. Our volunteers have been doing excellent work in raising awareness in administrative wings of the government. about animal protection laws too. On quite a regular basis they organise vaccination and awareness camps too. Every drop of their compassion counts.
Q: As a student, how can one contribute in ensuring a healthy and prosperous environment for animals in the present times?
A: As Mahatma Gandhi said “be the change you wish to see in the world” it’s not necessary for you to be part of some organization to work for this cause, the least you can do is help some dog or animal that is within your reach first. Whether that help is feeding them or vaccinating them is totally up you.by taking these small steps in your locality and surroundings you’ll contribute a whole lot into making the dog feel more comfortable with the environment as well as he’ll feel more safe that in turn also reduces any dangers of the dog biting or attacking the civilians there. So, as a student the best you can do is start at the ground level first and then gradually find your way up. And while doing so another option for you is that you can join HFA, volunteers who are compassionate towards animals are always welcome here.