Pawsitive homes

A few good Samaritans in the city made it their mission to offer a haven for strays during the harsh winter months in Delhi.

Published: 19th February 2022 07:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2022 07:30 AM   |  A+A-

Stray dogs having a cosy nap in the shelters made by Stray Talk India

Stray dogs having a cosy nap in the shelters made by Stray Talk India

Express News Service

The cold spell in Delhi was at its harshest in the depths of winter this time, with temperatures dropping to as low as five degrees. While most people stayed cosy and comfortable indoors, many stray animals, especially dogs, suffered in algid winters. The months between November and February can be difficult for stray dogs, with no clothes to keep them warm or blankets to protect them from the bone-chilling cold.

In such times, a few good Samaritans in the city made it their mission to offer a haven for strays. Jagjit Singh (54) from Gurugram is one among those. Singh mentions that he draws inspiration from others who stay occupied with similar charitable causes. “I have 26 stray dogs that live in my factory, but it is nothing compared to the stories I have heard. I know a lady who regularly takes care of almost 1,200 strays; I am in awe of her dedication,” he shares. Singh is determined to make the world a better place for strays. To do this, he launched Stray Talk India—a community initiative that builds shelters for strays—in 2021. Operating through their Instagram page @straytalkindia, Singh builds and gives away dog houses in Delhi-NCR.

Member of Singh’s team making a dog house

Furever happy spaces
A dedicated Singh has been crafting shelters out of empty fibre wood barrels for the past three years. As a paint manufacturer, he imports raw materials regularly, which are packed and sent in fibre drums.“Once we empty the materials, we don’t have any use for the drums. Earlier we would either sell these to the scrap dealer. It was when I noticed a stray dog in the factory, peacefully sleeping inside one of the barrels that this idea of a shelter struck me,” shares Singh. He was intrigued by how comfortable the dog seemed, so he decided to experiment with this idea on strays near his home. He lined mattresses inside the drums so that the dogs were more comfortable and left four drums outside his house. He noticed that all four shelters were occupied the next morning. Since then, Singh has been regularly crafting these shelters, and offering them for free to many citizens of Delhi-NCR who lookout for stray dogs. 

Simply pawfect

Singh and his team—his factory staff and others who work along with Singh—have constructed as many as 1,700 shelters between October and early February. “I was amazed to see the rush every Sunday morning. So many people came with cars and mini trucks to take these shelters with them,” he says.

He also shares that people have travelled from Meerut to collect his dog house. “The good thing about Sunday is that I would also get to interact with the people who would come to collect the shelters,” he adds.

Commenting on the dedication of people to helping stray animals, he shares, “I believe the people who came to collect these houses are doing more than me in terms of stray rehabilitation. I only make these houses. It is amazing to see so many concerned citizens travelling for hours just to collect it and help the strays out.” 

To benefit those who cannot travel to Gurugram to collect these shelters, Singh also posted a do-it-yourself video on the Stray Talk India page. 


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