Around 190 residents across Bengaluru have taken the initiative to purchase food for these stray dogs and are taking time off every day to feed them.

These Bengaluru residents are making sure strays dont go hungry amid the lockdownRepresentation photo
Coronavirus Coronavirus Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 15:34

We have all seen stray dogs near food stalls, grocery stores and smaller eateries as these are the places they try to get food from. In cities like Bengaluru, there are animal rescuers and concerned individuals, who would feed the stray dogs. But with the entire country under lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, some of these regular feeders are braving the odds to make trips across their localities every day and feed the strays, who face the threat of starvation. 

Around 190 residents across Bengaluru have taken the initiative to purchase food for these stray dogs and are taking time off every day to feed them. Vikash Bafan, a distributor for Red Bull, feeds around 50-60 dogs twice a day in and around Frazer Town. 

Vikash spends around Rs 1,500 - 2,000 per day to buy supplies to feed the dogs in his locality. “I raise funds by asking friends and family for donations. I raise around Rs 30,000 per month and use it for supplies,” Vikash says. 

He buys rice, curd and biscuits for the stray dogs near his house. He leaves home in his Maruti Omni with his sister Suman at around 7.30 am every day and stop by when they see the dogs and feed one packet of biscuit to each dog. 

“I go around St Francis Xavier’s Church, Coles Park, Ulsoor, RBMS Grounds and the surrounding areas. In the mornings, I give them biscuits. In the night at around 8.30 pm, I feed them curd rice,” Vikash says, while adding that he was initially stopped by the police on the first day of the lockdown. But when he showed  them the food and said he was a feeder, he was allowed to proceed. 

“I don’t stop for long. If people in the area object to it, I take the dogs to a secluded spot and feed them and then bring them back to where they were,” Vikash says. 

Vikash and other dog feeders in the city have created a WhatsApp group. If dogs in a certain area require food, then feeders who are closest to the location of the dogs go and feed them. 

Like Vikas, Jaswanth, a techie employed with Accenture in Bengaluru, feeds around 70-80 dogs along with another animal rescuer Reshma in and around Madiwala, Silk Board and BTM Layout. 

Jaswanth feeds the dogs in his area once in a day and spends around Rs 5,000 to 6,000 per month for food supplies. He pays out of his own pocket. Every night after work, he sets off on foot with the bag of food and feeds every stray in the area. “I feed them boiled chicken and boiled eggs. We get pet food at meat shops that are cheaper and dogs love chicken,” he says. 

Jaswant, who is from Andhra Pradesh’s Dharmavaram, came to the city four years ago after he got a job. He started rescuing stray dogs and feeding them over a year ago. 

“Initially, the police would stop me and ask why I am walking around. It’s understandable that they are doing their job but to be on the safer side, I got a pass from the Koramangala DCP’s office. I start from my house, then walk up to Silk Board and then towards the Ayyappa Temple in Madiwala and later BTM Layout. Since there is a lockdown, even the strays must not go hungry,” he adds. 

Commissioner of Police Bhaskar Rao (9480801001) is helping those who want to feed stray animals. On March 26, Maneka Gandhi issued a statement that all animal welfare workers could feed animals during the lockdown period, TNM had earlier reported. The Animal Welfare Board of India had issued a letter, which could be shown to law enforcement personnel, in case they were stopped.