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Posted at: Jul 7, 2018, 12:50 AM; last updated: Jul 7, 2018, 12:50 AM (IST)

Serving stray animals in distress

Serving stray animals in distress
A volunteer of Vande Mataram Dal treats an injured horse in Ambala City. Photo courtesy the writer

Sakshi Aneja

“You have not lived today until you've done something for someone who can never repay you,” — John Bunyan, English writer.

There’s joy in the act of helping; joy which is unmatched. People do help fellow human beings but helping animals in distress is still a higher pursuit. In Ambala City, the Vande Mataram Dal started by two friends Davinder Jassal and Bharat Singh in 2013 is working in this direction. The story of how it came into existence is amusing and explains how doing little good deeds can make a huge difference. 

Davinder, president of the Ambala branch of the organisation, says, “I founded the Vande Mataram Dal by chance, but perhaps it was the best thing I had ever done. One night, I saw a Facebook post requesting for O +ve blood for an emergency case in Ambala City. I have the same blood group; so I contacted the person on the phone number given on the Facebook post and donated blood. The next day I was surprised to see a number of comments on the same post, appreciating my humane gesture of donating blood. It was then that I realised how grandeur and important it is to be generous and helpful. 

“After a few days, I and my friend Bharat found an injured cow writhing in pain. We gave her first aid, helping her recover from the injury. This is when we started helping stray animals by giving them first aid. Unfortunately, this also created problems for us as somebody filed a police complaint, accusing us of harming street animals. The police investigated the case and the truth was revealed. The police then helped us get our organisation registered. Gradually, people joined us in this noble task and today, after five years, we have a number of volunteers working in various cities of Haryana (Ambala, Kaithal, Yamunanagar, Ganaur) and Punjab (Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala). Every city has about 10 to 12 volunteers who provide medical aid to stray animals 24 hours a day. Around 25 volunteers are women, while 10 to 15 of them regularly donate money to the organisation”. 

Till date, they have helped around 1.5 lakh animals, namely cows, dogs, birds, monkeys, nil gai, deer, and peacocks. They have got letters of appreciation from the government for treating injured peacocks and deer on the request of the Forest Department. Besides, the Vande Mataram Dal is also involved in plantation campaigns and organising ‘langar’. Last year, it had provided food to attendants of a large number of dengue patients at the Civil Hospital, Ambala City. The Dal has formed a Whatsapp group of the presidents of all branches of social organisations involved in voluntary blood donation. On getting a request, the president of the relevant branch is informed who in turn informs volunteers to arrange blood within 30 minutes of getting the information. They have created a Facebook page on which the contact numbers of all branches are mentioned. They now have a team of professional veterinary doctors, working for free. They have also started an ambulance service in Ambala.  

(The writer is a student of Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar)


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