Anushka Christina

"My tryst with the voiceless began, I should say right from the time I was born, as I grew up in a house where four dogs ruled the roost, each in its own right. We had a Lhasa Apso, a Tibetan terrier and their litter. Over the years, they grew old and passed away one by one, and out of the blue arrived a puppy at our doorstep on a bleak rainy day, abandoned by somebody. The puppy was just a few days old, and somebody had callously separated it from its mother. Despite our untiring efforts to find the puppy's mother and reuniting them, we were not able to do so and as days went on, she became the apple of everyone's eyes at home. Our family vet told us that the chances of her survival were very less as she was malnourished and was also severely injured after being run over by a vehicle. By God's grace, she underwent a miraculous and speedy recovery. Bunty was a pure white mongrel with honey-coloured eyes and she romped into everybody's heart the minute they set their eyes on her. As days passed into years, our house became a safe haven and a regular stopover for water for horses and cows who knew that they would never be allowed to leave thirsty and would confidently bump their heads on our gate mooing and neighing as I would run to quench their thirst.

I have to thank my mother for all my endeavors as she steadfastly stood behind each of my efforts no matter how unreasonable they would be and was always an ardent supporter protecting me whenever there were complaints from anti-animal people around us.

I am at the threshold of beginning a new chapter in my life where I will be commencing my graduation course in Bachelor of Business Administration and I aim to be a guiding force in playing an active role in many more ventures which will lead to the initiation of several "safe homes" for the helpless and voiceless.

Just as the saying goes—"The journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step", my journey with the Humane Animal Society began with a single phone call. One evening as I was feeding a few furry strays in my neighbourhood, a woman—a doctor by profession spoke ill about the little ones and threatened me with dire consequences, demanding that I stop feeding the strays, else she would kill them, as their lives were of no significance to her. This inhumane threat by her infuriated me and urged me to take immediate steps whereby I got the number of Humane Animal Society from their Facebook page. HAS Staff answered the call and briefly explained to me about the steps that could be taken from our side. This phone call changed the complete scenario of events and they offered to vaccinate and sterilize these furry companions. Thus began my journey with the Humane Animal Society. Thanks to the ardent support and able guidance of Team HAS, I am currently pursuing an internship there.

As part of my internship program, I am involved in helping the furry beings adjust and feel secure in their present living establishments. On a daily basis, my work at the centre is to provide support to the abandoned strays, helping them to socialise so that this exercise will help them move comfortably with their adoptive parents in their forever homes. I share a close bond with all the little ones at the shelter, coaxing them to eat and play with them as they are bewildered when they come to a new environment.

Each day I spent at the shelter made me realise how much more relentless effort is needed to nurture these loved ones who come in scared, bruised and helpless. A few dogs come into the shelter labelled aggressive as a result of years of hatred and abuse. They need to be treated with more love and attention as we need to rebuild their confidence and trust.

During the course of my internship I was able to observe a few dogs who were lucky enough to find their forever homes, but unfortunately what tips the scales of the balance is the sad plight of those souls who spend the last days of their lonely lives in the shelter yearning for love and care.

It would be heartening if more and more people are made aware that it is equally important to provide homes for old dogs too…so that they can at least spend the last few cherished days of their loveless existence in the comfort and warmth of a loving home.

As an intern, I do write-ups on dogs that are yet to be adopted, looking for stable homes. I also actively help out in finding these kids a loving and safe home as part of the adoption campaign. Apart from this, I also make time to educate like-minded people on how best they can contribute in aiding the voiceless."