Again it’s another day, another 20 mouths for Navya Kumari to feed. Every day, this 24-year-old prepares 5 kg rice and chicken to feed street dogs in and around the Madhurawada area. Navya Kumari is among one the several animal lovers who have been moved by seeing furry four-legged creatures scouting for tidbits of food here and there during the lockdown. As usual, she ventures out every evening to drop off the meals at various spots.
“I started feeding the dogs even before coronavirus induced lockdown. For the past four years, I am feeding them curd rice, chicken and dog food. Spending half of my salary on their food gives me priceless happiness and satisfaction,” says Navya, adding that feeding hungry street animals is not universally accepted yet.
The Vizag city is home to approximately 2.5 lakh street dogs. Many roadside eateries and butcher shops being closed or opened for a limited time during the lockdown, most of the street dogs, who are dependent on leftover food from eateries, are struggling to find their sustenance.
After all most of the city’s residents are staying home, the dogs are more relaxed and sprawled over the streets. Still, most of them are suffering from starvation. Normally people who used to feed the street dogs are not venturing out of their homes due to the pandemic, believes Sravan Kumar, who has been feeding the speechless buddies every day ever since the lockdown began in the KRM colony.
A 30-year-old Usha cooks a bucket full of rice and chicken and feeds around 30 stray dogs every day at Murali Nagar. “Of course, the four-legged animals also deserve respect. During the initial period, I was told by neighbours not to feed the dogs as it was a nuisance, according to them. In fact, I was questioned why I was wasting so much money to feed the dogs, Usha says.
Of late, the number of people coming forward to feed street dogs in different parts of the city has increased. Many animal lovers also working for animal welfare, is providing medicines for dogs that have fallen sick during the lockdown period. Some collect dog feed from good samaritans and animal lovers to mitigate their hunger.