Source: Amar Ujala (06-May-2019)
I have seen my parents caring for animals since childhood. We then lived in Kolkata. Our house used to be a house of many animals and birds, which my mother often used to take home in an injured condition, and then we would take care of them. Just from them I got this love and sensitivity towards animals, ” Shakuntala Mazumdar, 55, is the President of ‘ Thane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ‘ (Thane SPCA) organization in Mumbai. In the year 2002, he started this society. Through this, they are working not only in the field of animal conservation, but also the purpose of bringing sensitivity and compassion to animals towards their animals.Talking to The Better India, he said, “I was in class VII and was going to school in my school bus. A garbage carrying car was going ahead of our bus. Behind that car they had tied a dog and dragging it, because people said that he was crazy. All the way I saw that innocent girl lying in blood and nobody did anything. This incident shook me and the worst was that I felt that at that time I could not do anything.Perhaps there was a great place to do something for the animals outside of my house. “In 1982, Shakuntala was 18 years old when she came to Mumbai. Always had a strong sense of social service in her mind and hence she joined Mother Teresa Charity Homes only during her studies. For many years, he worked with this organization to work for the poor and needy. Along with this, his love for animals remained the same as in Kolkata.But humans’ ridiculous and ridiculous behavior towards animals often shocked them.
“From the year 1992, I started working towards the local animal welfare in Mira-Bhayandar and then joined the Society for Protection of Animals and Nature (SPCA) in 1994. This is where I met many government officials, who are working in this area. “While working here, he got a lot of news about violence against animals in Thane area. To work on these, they decided to start the SPCA in this area.However, according to the government’s plan, it is necessary to have such an organization to protect the animals in each district of the state.But this plan is limited to just paperwork, just like many other plans. In this case, Shakuntala personally started Thane SPCA in the year 2002.The good thing was that in this work they got the help of ‘ Animal Welfare Board of India ‘, ‘One-Department’ and many other officials.Shakuntala points out that when SPCA started, people were not aware of atrocities against animals. Therefore, in the beginning, he had trouble in appointing staff for his organization. But today SPCA has staff of 25 people. They work for the rescue and conservation of all kinds of small animals such as dogs, cats, monkeys, buffaloes, cows, peacocks, eagles, horses, donkeys etc.
As the work of SPCA progressed, more people joined it as well. Given his work and dedication, another social worker Dr Nanjibhai Khimjeebhai Thakkar gave him land to start a hospital for animals. Then with the help of many animal lovers, in the year 2005, he started the Thane SPCA Emergency Animal Care Center.The motivation for starting a special hospital for animals also got them from an event that took place in their lives. Shakuntala used to feed a dog every day near his house. He had a lot of love for him. But he could not live much because of any disease. Shakuntala and her neighbors tried very hard to get the right treatment, but their illness was not known. This incident prompted them to work on health facilities for animals.“At this Care Center, we treat any animal without any delay. Today we have 3 ambulances and our center works 24 hours a day. All the animals or birds we save are kept here for treatment and they are cared for, the rest of the city residents also bring their pets here for check-up and treatment, “Shakuntala said.The journey of Shakuntala has not been so easy. They have faced many challenges to the voices of these weird living beings. Sometimes people do not get legal help, so many times they do not get them legal help.
Decades ago, in our constitution, the law against the violence against animals ( The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act – 1960 ) has happened and if anyone hurts any animal, there is also a provision for punishment for the culprit. But Shakuntala points out that even if many civilians do not know about this law, many police officers do not even know it.“For this reason, if I want to file a lawsuit against any person, then the police will send me back. Say, ‘What happened to Madam, it happens, the animal is only’. “And once more, they also threatened the phone that if they did not stop working for the animals then they would kidnap their daughter. They know what way their daughter comes to school from school. Any mother’s heart trembled after listening to such a thing.This happened to them for a few moments. But Shakuntala knew that they were not doing anything wrong and their fondness continued to grow instead of breaking. Because he had to get along with these nephews and cheer up.
“Animals in our country are not a priority for anyone. Rather they have the means to earn money. From their hair to their skin and flesh, people want to earn money by everything. Many people also use them for appearances and when their minds are filled or they can not take care of them, they leave the destitute on the streets. Such rare cases come to us, where the owners have carried out violence with their pets, “said Shakuntala.The second biggest question is, health facilities for animals. Shakuntala says that we have a huge shortage of trained nurses and other medical staff especially for animals. Also, getting a volunteer to work in this area is not an easy task. And most of the place is lacking because it is often challenging to keep so many different species of animals together.But in spite of all these challenges, Shakuntala and her team are moving forward in this field and without any hesitation. Their awareness campaign is showing their colors now, because they have succeeded in not only making changes in the thinking of ordinary people but also by the police.At first, where the police did not pay attention to their complaints, the same police on their phones are now immediately prosecuted against criminals. Officers from nearby police stations from Thane, from time to time visit SPCA and spend time with animals and birds. This change is the result of Shakuntala’s efforts. Many schools also bring children here on tour, so that children can be aware of animal conservation.For his unselfish work, he was awarded the ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ in the year 2016.
They give credit to the social media to make the change in the logo.Through The Better India, he gives this message only to people, “I do not say that every person loves animals or says that they are animal lovers. I would just urge so much that if you can not love animals, do not even hate them. And the biggest thing is that people who want to do something for these living creatures do not stop them from moving ahead. “
(Text Source:The Better India)