BENGALURU: While Chennaites are coping with the devastation caused by the flood, Bangaloreans are pitching in to supply relief material for animals and helping rescue them.
“Around 40,000 animals have been hit by the Chennai floods,” says Levin N Dasan, an activist from the city. Levin found out about the animals’ plight from the NDRF and army and navy officials part of the rescue operations.
“I have collaborated with Sarvodaya Sevabhavi Samstha so that we can collect as much relief material as possible. We are focusing on medicines as NGOs in Chennai are running short of it,” he adds.
They depend on social media or word of mouth to get the message out, he says.
Help from Chennai
NGOs in Chennai are also working tirelessly to help animals affected by the floods. Dawn William, general manager of Blue Cross of India, has been on field since the flooding began.
“We have rescued more than 10,000 animals till now. We use a big fibre glass boat and five inflatable rubber boats to get to different villages in around Chennai,” he says. Three veterinarians from Humane Society of India are part of the team. “We keep the animals on high land, give them shelter and feed them. The ones injured are taken to our shelter,” he says.
Apart from dogs, cats and cattle, rescued animals include donkeys, horses, pigs and around 800 venomous and non-venomous snakes. Is the last dangerous?
“I come from an Army background and I am also trained in handling animals like these,” Dawn said. “Most animals are suffering from swollen feet, dehydration and starvation.”
Dawn is thankful that none of the 25 volunteers have been affected by the weather conditions in Chennai. “Whenever we take our boats out, we load them with enough food and blankets.”
He and his team are helping animals as well as people. “A woman with a six-month-old baby came to us asking for food,” he recalled.
Vinay Moray, founder-trustee of Sarvodaya Sevabhavi Samstha, is preparing to leave for Chennai on Wednesday with relief material he has been receiving from across the world. “I have received a lot of contributions from Kolkata. I don’t accept money,” he said.
People refer to a list of the items posted by the NGO on Facebook and dispatch them through various e-commerce sites. “We will distribute the material amongst the NGOs and shelters in Chennai,” he says.
Rachel John is one among the volunteers helping the NGO collect relief material. “Once we reach there, we will understand the requirements. We will plan another trip to Chennai again with more material,” she says.
Syeda Afzalina Wasi, who follows various NGOs on Facebook, is contributing through them to animal relief operations. Aditya Shanker, a pet parent, is also sending relief items to Chennai through the NGO.
For details, call 9845171495 or log on to www.facebook.com/SarvodayaVets/photos_stream