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Khichdi with dog food served to street canines in Noida

Photo for representation

In the time of coronavirus, the focus is on human lives—how many people have been infected, how many deaths, plight of the poor, loss of, and so on. Not many have spared any thought for the street animals—scores of dogs, cats, cows. As people have locked themselves up in their homes since March 25, street animals have been suffering quietly.

Dost Animal Care, an initiative of the Democratic Outreach for Social Transformation (Dost), has come up with a unique programme to feed street animals in the national capital region of Noida. The NGO, under the aegis of Gopal Krishna Agarwal, BJP’s spokesperson for economic affairs, has been running a few kitchens, including one which is in his own house. The NGO has been feeding street animals since April, just after the nationwide lockdown was imposed.

Members of the NGO have been preparing 15-20 kg of khichdi every day to feed the street dogs in the satellite town. Interestingly, the khichdi—typically a mix of daal or lentils and rice—has dog food too mixed in it, to provide nutrition to the canines. “The khichdi is made with dog food, this is important as they need protein and other nutrients.

So, while we make about 15-20 kg of khichdi, there is a good mix of dog food added to the khichdi. The khichdi is then taken to different parts of Noida for street dogs,” Agarwal said. Beside feeding dogs and cats which live on the streets, the NGO also helps a few gaushalas or cow shelters where about 1,100 street cows are given shelter.

Their food and care is separately provided. “It is heart-breaking to see their plight, they have gone without food and while most of us do not bother about their psychology, they are suffering from anxiety and depression as streets which have been their homes have suddenly gone deserted,” a practising vet told IN. Agarwal, meanwhile said that the NGO has also set up helplines to ensure that food is available at any time of the day.