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Animal Lives Matter Too—International Dogs Day March

Madhwaraj Animal Care Trust, a prominent animal welfare organisation based in Malpe, led a crowd of roughly a hundred people in an ‘Animal Lovers’ march on 29th August. Commemorating International Dogs Day, the demonstration was a salient show of support towards animals rights and gross unawareness of the infringement of these rights.

The congregation consisted of people from various backgrounds coming together for a common cause. Team 100 of Manipal, a local volunteer service organisation, collaborated in organising and publicising the march. People gathered at the Syndicate Circle at 5:30 PM and walked en masse towards the End Point Circle, covering a distance of about three kilometres, passing through some of the most bustling routes in Manipal. The gathering drew attention to the prevalent violence against stray dogs, with signs that read, “I Love Desi Dogs”, “Animal Lives Matter”, “We Love Strays” and many others in local languages. “This march isn’t a single show of support but a consolidated one. We need to stop violence against animals and push for better treatment”, said Rahul, a participant in the march. 

In light of the recent killings of stray dogs near Mandavi Emerald, the march comes as a reminder of the impending justice yet to be served to the perpetrators of this heinous act. “This march is all about making people aware of animal rights and giving those who care for animals, a platform to participate in animal welfare and take action. We have to be the voice for them”, said Babita Madhwaraj, the founder and trustee of Madhwaraj Animal Care Trust.

Answering our question on how college students can contribute, she emphasised on avoiding taking in stray dogs into our rooms or houses, unless we plan on adopting them. This is important because once a stray gets used to the easy-living life indoors, they are unable to adapt themselves in the streets again and this could be very dangerous for them.

The Trust has a major contribution towards making Manipal a better place for dogs. Over the years, they have conducted neutering sessions for stray animals to limit overpopulation of litters, set-up animal shelters, hosted adoption drives, offered treatment for injured dogs, and put on reflective collars on the dogs to prevent road accidents, among other endeavours. The struggle to ensure the welfare of animals requires an organised flow of support and a community effort. This march was a step in the right direction towards the greater goal of upholding animal rights in the country.

Image Credits: Mrs Babita Madhwaraj

For assistance in animal care: 9845720254