Kadam Chhota, Change Bada!!!
We lived in a housing colony of a small town in Uttar Pradesh. The locality was a bit far from the main city, in the outskirts of the town. There was a dense forest that connected our locality with the town. That forest was the shelter to many dogs, dears, snakes and even robbers, so people were always cautious while crossing that area especially during the nights because most of the times, those wild creatures used to attack in the dark hours. Gradually, those stray dogs entered our colony too. Those hungry and thirsty homeless creatures were always in search of food and water and used to snatch eatables from people if they find any prey.
Another problem we faced in our colony was that all the houses were interconnected to each other through the terraces which made it easier for the thieves to rob. Every now and then, there were cases of robbery even in the daylight. In the summer afternoons, when ladies and kids were alone at home, sleeping or taking rest away from the scorching heat, those robbers used to attack. Also, they used to target the families which were out for summer vacations and ransacked their nests.
One of my friends also used to live in the same locality who was a dog lover. She and her husband owned an Event Management Company and were also working voluntarily towards helping the stray dogs. They had adopted many such dogs and used to take utmost care of them like their own kids. She was out of town when those stray dogs entered our area and started perpetrating terror. Everyone in the society was scared to death and people were reluctant to send their children outside to play in the park or even schools.
The day my friend Anshu returned from her vacations, I told her about the situation and requested her to help. The first initiative she took was to start putting some food and water outside her house for those dogs. She encouraged everyone in the area to come forward and join her but initially people found her idea insane and life threatening. They thought those wild dogs will attack and bite them so why to unnecessarily get involved. They preferred to stay away. Gradually, people noticed the dogs were well fed and happy. They used to sleep under the tree after eating the food and stopped harming anyone. Then other neighbours also came forward and started leaving food outside their houses.
The same dogs which were causing troubles for the masses and hurting them earlier became not just calm and friendly but also the “protectors”. They were always alert and helped the people in catching a thief also while he attempted robbery one night. After that, there were no cases of theft in our locality.
Anshu, parallelly contacted an NGO that helped people to adopt homeless animals. 2 of the dogs were adopted by Anshu herself, 7 were adopted by the neighbors and rest were sent to the NGO and were adopted by other people over a period of time. All of them got a family. They were well fed, loved and cared.
It was such a satisfying feeling to see those creatures being loved like a kid,
and living happily with their new family. Indeed, its true that small steps sometimes can lead to a bigger change.
PS: Anshu Jagwani, my friend, left for her heavenly abode last year due to sudden kidney failure at an early age of 33 years. She is no more with us physically but will always remain alive in the hearts of not just her family and friends but also with those little ones whom she had loved unconditionally. This article is an ode to her, to the golden heart she had and to the noble deeds she did.
Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family, or the whole country! India’s hero, Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, only on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe now. For every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.