“I know you are in love with the strays in your campus, but does that mean you debar her from getting into colours?’’ asks a friend on having been confronted after getting the poor stray smeared with colours in the name of ‘Holi hai!’
Festivals, which we overtly consider to be ‘colourful’ in nature, are usually the rough times for animals on the streets. Campaigns by welfare groups to save the animals on certain occasions like Diwali, Holi, have been missing from the scene this year. Just like how Diwali is bad for dogs, Holi too, is horrible for them. The culprit? Colors.
These powerful substances under the facade of colour are no less worse than acid that could cause a detrimental effect on their bodies. Strays are already struggling with the search for food, surviving fleas and ticks, and other forms of parasites on their innocent furs. By smearing such toxic agents on strays, it becomes more and more difficult for them to endure both external as well as internal infections.
Unlike the lucky pets who stay within four walls during the festival, strays, go without taking a bath their entire life and are almost malnourished, are significantly the worst-hit victims of deadly calamities in the hands of nature as well as humans to face the ugliest brunt of living in utmost vulnerability.
Last year’s Holi too didn’t shoulder any good memories as I witnessed some seniors in their frenzy state of ‘Holi hai!’, covered our campus-dog in green and purple only to find it struggling the next day to get the coloured-substance off her fur through the process of licking.
Obviously, the toxins she licked didn’t add nutritive value to her food-deprived body, but rather brought her closer to death. There were times she frantically howled in utter agony looking for torment-free space that could heal her internal abrasions caused by the toxins. We had friends and family who could take her to the vet. Otherwise, she may have died a long, painful death.