CHENNAI: In 1998, Narasimhamoorthy and his wife Padmavathy woke up to kittens crying outside their flat in Thiruvanmiyur. They rescued the orphaned kittens, took them home and fed them. Thus began the incredible journey of the couple who have been rescuing and treating pet animals like dogs, cats, monkeys, squirrels and birds with the help of their trust — Animal Welfare and Protection Trust (AWPT).
“Witnessing cruelty faced by dogs and with our compassion for animals, we decided to set up the trust,” says Narasimhamoorthy, a 80-year-old retired banker. The trust has partnered with Animal Welfare Board for the rescue and treatment of stray animals. He stresses on the need for animal birth control (ABC) surgeries as it could help in reducing the population of street dogs.
Recalling an incident, he says, “One day, I received a call from a group of students from a college in Nungambakkam who informed that stray dogs were being killed by narikuravas hired by their principal. When the principal came to know that the matter was taken to the police, he apologised profusely and even offered to sterilise the dogs.”
Showing the pictures of rescued kittens, Padmavathy (73) says the orphaned kittens are fed a milk-medicine mixture through a syringe as they don’t get mother’s milk. “We have about 15 animals at our house including puppies and kittens while the rest of them are sheltered at various places,” says the retired banker.
Rescued kittens and puppies are left to roam around freely in their house as the couple does not believe in caging the animals. With the help of police, the couple has been successful in driving out narikuravas who were hired to kill the stray cats in the neighbourhood. Every day, Narasimhamoorthy spends `150 to feed dogs in his locality during his morning walk. The trust has placed a water bowl for animals — attracting cattle, dogs, crows and pigeons from far-flung places.
However, the couple is yet to get the support of neighbours who are afraid of the four-legged visitors at the trust. Each and every rescue mission is an experience for the couple, who are receiving funds from individuals and organisations. AWPT conducts birth control surgeries and free vaccination camps, besides taking action against those involved in animal abuse.
When asked about the funding part, Narasimhamoorthy is overwhelmed by the response. “I got a call from Milaap.org for starting a fund-raising campaign. I receive several e-mails everyday about donations made,” he says. “We are dependent on each other and they (animals) need us to take care of them.”
Kitten And Puppies Coexist in Harmony
Kittens and puppies coexist in harmony at their house and are fed with commercially available pet foods. Recently, the couple received three cats which are being kept in a cage as they are yet to get accustomed to the new environment. “They are quite cautious of their surroundings now and they will be let out once they get used to the place,” says Narasimhamoorthy.
Annual Grant of `3 Lakh from Jayalalithaa
The couple was invited by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2006 and granted an annual aid of `3 lakh with an Omni van for AWPT. The same year the Governor Surjit Singh Barnala gave them`20,000. The trust has a team of doctors at a nearby hospital who do birth control surgeries and treat the injured animals.
To get in touch with couple visit awptrust.org or mail email@example.com.