A resident from Chennai, Tamil Nadu named Devi Maragatham and her brothers have been feeding around 150 strays in the area for the last two months. They had first taken this initiative of feeding the strays last year during the lockdown, they decided to continue doing it even after the lockdown during the second wave was announced.
Devi and her brothers had several volunteers from Blue Cross India (BCI) that helped them by donating food every evening. During the lockdown, last year, BCI had initiated a feeding programme named “Karuna-I”. Through this programme several citizens volunteered and fed around 11 lakh stray animals within the state.
During the second wave lockdown this year, BCI initiated “Karuna-II” and through this program, they have managed to feed around 72,000 stray animals. According to Devi Maragatham, she stated that she along with the BCI is one of the largest community feeders in the state of Tamil Nadu.
When the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi emphasized the importance of feeding the animals in the community, the state governments had also addressed the same issue. The Madras High Court passed an order that a constitution of a committee including the Blue Cross, animal husbandry department and other NGOs should work together in order to ensure there is a proper supply of food and water for the stray animals.
While speaking to Times of India, honorary joint secretary of BCI, Tyagarajan Krishnamurthy stated that last year it took some time for them to start the process. They had to do a survey to understand the issue in a much better way. Since it is a bit difficult for the BCI team to cover the entire city every day, hiring community feeders that have taken care of strays in their locality was much more helpful to them.
Since the system was already in place this year, they were able to reactivate the “Karuna-II” programme immediately. Green Park, Park Hyatt and Tail Tale are some of the hotels that have been helping with cooking meals for the strays.