Is this the largest lock down ever? 1.3 billion human beings told to stay at home. How does that work in a country where estimates put homelessness at 4 million people.
Lock downs our current global reality. In the grip of a pandemic, there are 2 types of people, those who retreat to look after themselves and those who make themselves available to help – human and animal.
India is on lock down, two months ago the term didn’t exist in our daily vocabulary. Now the second most populous county in the world has made a reality what is likely to the be largest containment of human beings in the history if the world.
India’s streets are home to millions of people and animals. They cannot socially distance, or stay at home. The streets are their home. Street dog, streetie, pariah…. they go by various names , they’re the Indian pariah dog. Local tea sellers and eateries are their kitchens, they rely on hand outs, scraps and a community across the country, known as feeders.
These dedicated people remain active in the middle of a lock down feeding the street animals of India. (The Government of India has mandated the activity as essential/allowed) Making sure the animals of India get what they need, or at least as much as they can scrape together to keep them going.
If you’ve retreated into a lockdown shell, think about the hundreds of animals & human beings who do not have the privilege of passing their time with Instagram challenges and reading books. All this whilst your refrigerators remain stocked.
Countries may lock down, however, shelters, rescue centers and animal aid centers don not have the luxury. If you are unwilling or unable to step out during the lock down, call your local shelters aid workers and ask how you can help. It may be as simple as managing phone lines from the safety of your home.
Along with the homeless animals in India scores of daily wage labourers and workers cannot wait it out. Instead of stockpiling supplies, make sure you share. Online campaigns, community initiatives and local NGO’s will help you do more this lock down than “catch up on your reading”
The simplest way to help, make a care package carry it with you when you go out for essentials. The first needy person or animal you see. Give it to them.
What can you put in a human care package? A bottle of water, biscuits, bread, get creative, any food that will not spoil soon and provides sustenance for a minimum of two people. If you know of homeless or less fortunate people in your immediate vicinity, keep them fed for the next few weeks.
What do you put in a dog care package? Dry easy to feed food, if you have the facility to provide cooked food fantastic. There are scores of ideas online and Facebook groups you can reach out to for advice. Put Facebook to good use, let people know your location and ability to help. Your skill may be coordinating groups to feed animals, or help group administrators create databases. No skill is insignificant, this is not the time to be shy!
Any skill you possess, it is needed, volunteer!
If your skill is baking cupcakes with smiley faces- do it- send them to hospitals for doctors, nurses, janitors, administrators who do not see their families until the Corona Calamity ends. Volunteer with common sense, follow government rules and directives. Be mindful of what you volunteer to do if you have elderly people to care for, or infants. ensure you and your team stay well protected, do not defy your local authority, they, like you are following rules.