Every once in a while we receive a story that moves us deeply! Recently, we got in touch with Anjali Kakati, who works as a Manager (Business Analytics) in Gurgaon and hails from Assam. In her spare time, she feeds over 60 dogs daily in Delhi. Here is her story in her own words. Get ready to feel inspired!
Story of my charity – Each One Feed One
In 2004, we adopted a street pup named Sweetie when she was 2.5 months old, from the streets of Malviya Nagar. Sweetie came into our lives and gradually changed our perspective on dogs. Earlier, I would not even notice the dogs who passed by me. But after Sweetie came, I started noticing everyone of them. And with that, I started noticing how they would look at you if you were eating something on the road. Their eyes would be filled with hunger. I started noticing how their skin was bad, scratching, sometimes full of ticks, mange, and other diseases. More I got to know Sweetie, more I was getting to know all the other dogs too.
By 2006, My love & empathy level for strays was sky high. I genuinely wanted to do something to ease their pain and make their lives slightly better and ease their hunger. So the natural thing to do was to give them food. It started with 2 dogs in the colony and slowly exploded to 40 times more.
A lot of times I get asked why I feed dogs far from my house?
My earlier office was in ITT Tower 6th Floor, Nehru Place. I started working there from 2007. Now there is a Metro Station there, earlier there were slums & a slum dweller called Rangalal, who ran a cigarette shop and the caretaker of many dogs. So it started with giving them Rusks when we came down for a break & then it just continued & then I couldn’t leave them. So, when the Metro Station came up, the dogs there started making their base a little further down the road where there was still some jungle & slums. & hence this Nehru Place feeding point started. The ITT tower guards who are still employed since 2007, will vouch for me & are a witness to the daily round of feeding that I do. Earlier my car used to come with my driver and a helper. Recently, I’ve taken the bike and the helper accompanies me. Back in 2008-2009, I used to come down to feed the dogs even at 11:30-12:00 pm on a Saturday night. At that time I couldn’t afford to keep a driver. Some of the guards there will tell you some of the adventurous stories of me saving some pups from under construction metro station site from a few drunkards & many other such stories. Those were the days when all I did was my office job & feeding the dogs.
Why the other points, Sirifort area dogs etc: I go for my exercise to Sirifort Sports Complex via that route from C.R.Park (my residence). So these are the points I cross daily & hence the dogs that I just could not ignore…
I manage the 80% of my funding through my salary. I get some help from some passionate dog lovers and friends of mine. My monthly expenses come to about 16,000-18000 just for food.
Last September I bought a delivery bike to reduce the cost. Earlier we used to distribute the food through my car which was an even more costly affair. I love this concept of feeding dogs via Delivery Bike.
Why Delivery Bike?
I think it’s an innovative concept to apply to a charity and that to an animal charity. The Supply Chain that successful companies employ like Pizza Hut, Dominos, McDonalds etc. to cut costs can also be replicated for an animal charity, isn’t it? Just requires some observation to understand how beautifully we can implement & integrate these successful ways to a charity. That’s what I did too.
The Bike: It’s cheaper, can easily stock food for 50-60 dogs if not more, can easily be replicated by all Dog lovers individually or group of few dog lovers getting together. If I can pull this entire charity by myself, a group of even 5 dog lovers can easily do it. Also, my charity concept & model can be carried along with a full time regular job too.
I do a full-time corporate job.
Each one of us wants to help and do something for the welfare of the less fortunate. But sometimes we are so terribly short of time, so exhausted by the daily chores of life that we have little or no energy to do welfare even if we have 100% intention to do it. So this concept is for a few people to get together and set up an independent unit and carry on doing welfare. If Each One of Us becomes a little kind & giving, no soul will go hungry to bed.
The food distribution is done by my part time employee whom I have employed in the morning. In the evening another woman comes to make the food for the dogs. And in the late evening, there is another employee who comes to give the food for the dogs in our colony and nearby area. So basically, we cover the far off areas in the morning and nearby areas by late evening.
I accompany my helper 4 days in a week to see the dogs, click some pics and videos and basically to see if everything is alright.
Currently, Each One Feed One is only functional in Delhi. But soon I would like to open another branch in Assam where many of my relatives stay and from where I originally belong to.
I have noticed the dogs in the NE requires help. Lots of help. Hopefully, I can do that soon.
I once got a message for help for a stray dog who was paralyzed in Shillong. I was surprised and disappointed to find that there were hardly any animal NGO there and even the one existing was not up to the standard to help that poor dog.
I advised the lady to get the dog transported to Guwahati where the medical facilities for dogs were slightly better.
Where do we cover & the number of dogs we feed?
It’s in South Delhi, and we cover a total of around 10 feeding points. We feed around 50-60 dogs daily. We have 3 employees (2 part-time helpers and a cook)
On my Future Plans
Recently, we have started ABC (Anti-Birth Control) drive or Sterilization as you would know. I have a partner Akrita Kalra, a Director of Jamboree Education who is helping me in this. Together, We have some big plans of sterilizing a lot of dogs across Delhi, & NCR. At the moment we are targeting only female dogs for cost effectiveness. We are also tying up with other NGO’s like Krishna Ashram for this drive. Each dog sent for sterilization is costing us 2,000 rupees which include pre-surgery blood tests (to check tick fever & platelet count) so that chances of casualty is lessened to a great extent, surgery cost, post-operative care cost and one shot of ARV: Anti Rabies Vaccination.
We would want to scale up our operations and drive very soon and would want people and organizations to come up and partner with us.
In 10 years I want at least 20 branches of my charity Each One Feed One across India. I have plans to start with Mini Ambulances too to cover Delhi & NCR areas along with continued Sterilization drive.
Earlier I was just concentrated with giving food. But over these years I have understood that medical Aid & Sterilization along with Food would be an ideal set up to lessen the miseries of these innocent 4 legged babies.
If each one of us takes the responsibility to feed just one stray, look after medical needs of just one stray and sterilize just one stray, imagine how happy this would be. Compared to Human population in any state, dog population is very low. If each one of us participates in this setupp, very soon there will be no more street dogs on the road. This is the most Humane way of controlling stray dog population.
Highlighting one of my successful case
A little about EM: The Paralysed Stray dog who started running and walking & was covered on front page Times of India
EM: He was a stray dog who survived an accident in 2008 but was paralysed from both his hind legs. Not paying heed to many vet’s advise of putting him down, I found a shelter for him and started exercising him and taking care of him. As a result he started running and walking on his own. His successful case was covered on front page Times of India in Jan 2010.
DISCLAIMER: DogExpress does not endorse or take responsibility for the content in the guest post.
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