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Show some love to birds, stray animals, give them food, water, urge celebs in this pandemic

The Covid-19 crisis is far from over and it has not just affected human lives, but stray animals are suffering, too. Animal lovers, activists and even celebrities have been feeding them in their neighbourhood and urging everyone to extend support.

Singer Mohit Chauhan, rapper Raftaar, actors Esha Gupta, Jaya Bhattacharya, Sambhavna Seth, Daisy Shah and Sonnalli Seygall, among others are feeding strays. Some are also in touch with feeders and making donations for the cause. 

Gupta, on a lighter note, shares that now these stray cats and dogs in her neighbourhood identify her as the feeder who wears a mask, gloves, and carries a backpack. “It makes me feel so happy feeding these furry friends. Nowadays they eagerly wait for me,” says Gupta, who also leaves bowls of water and grains for birds.

Much like Gupta, who usually ventures out in the evening, Seth and her husband, Avinash Dwivedi, too go out to feed strays. 

“I have three dogs at home and they are like my children. Unlike us humans, they can’t say when they are hungry. The thought of so many of them going without food, breaks my heart. I know a few feeders. I go out with them to feed the strays. There are other places where these animals are going hungry. Since we shouldn’t move around much, I also buy food for these animals and give it to the feeders,” adds Seth.

While Chauhan is feeding 60-70 stray dogs daily, Raftaar and his NGO has been taking care of 200 dogs during this lockdown. “We are not only feeding them, but also taking care of their medical conditions,” adds Raftaar.

Animal welfare worker Amritika Phool lauds the celebrities who are taking care of stray animals, and adds that when they talk about it on social media, others get encouraged. 

Grab from a video showing actor Daisy Shah feeding stray dogs.

Grab from a video showing actor Daisy Shah feeding stray dogs.

 “These initiatives by celebrities do make a difference. I even see how some of them are adopting local breeds and also encouraging others to do the same. I hope people draw inspiration from these acts of kindness,” says Phool, who feels early morning or late in the evening are the best times to feed the hungry animals.

Stressing on the need for proper coordination, she adds, “Over feeding is happening in certain areas, while in other places, animals are dying due to starvation. There are many hungry strays near food joints, construction sites and office areas which earlier would be buzzing with people. They need to be fed. Also, this feeding work can be divided, like the way we have families separately contributing one day at a time, so that the burden isn’t on a few people.”

Bhattacharya, who has been taking care of strays for many years now, says it hurts to see how some stray animals are treated.

“How can we not be compassionate towards animals? If you can’t take care of them, don’t hurt them please! Even feeders are harassed. A friend’s husband was harassed when he was feeding strays near his house. Please understand that this crisis has affected animals too. Giving these birds and animals some food and water won’t burn your pockets,” she says.

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