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Tails Of Compassion: Providing Love And Shelter To Animals In Need

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The right thing is one of the hardest things to do, and setting up the Tails of Compassion (ToC) animal home was no doubt the best and the toughest thing I did.

The journey has definitely not been a cakewalk. It is demanding – physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. It is not easy to be surrounded by pain and death all the time.

But somehow, the feeling of going to bed knowing that another animal lives today and their cries for help didn’t go unheeded is beyond compare.

Each dog at ToC comes with a traumatic past.

Tuppy was one of the most wounded dogs that I have ever had to rescue – he was wounded physically and emotionally.

It was a horrific case of brutality inflicted by man out of sheer heartlessness and hatred towards street dogs. This man had smashed his body really hard, causing excessive internal damage – a breakage to his spine, paralysis, damage to his intestines, intussusception and prolapse of the rectum.

Today, multiple surgeries and weeks of care later, Tuppy has turned into a gorgeous, happy dog. His wounds can never heal. But his spirit has.

There are several such animals, especially street dogs, that are victims of accidents, cruelty and bad luck. Imagine lying motionless for days with your body parts rotting and your organs damaged. Imagine sending out muffled cries for help only to be overlooked because you are a dog!

I am working towards closing their past and giving them a beautiful present. I am working towards giving them a fair chance at life. All of these rescued animals are my kids. I think the only thing that I haven’t done as a mother was give birth to them.

Why Was ToC Founded?

My special connection with animals goes way back in time – since I was a young girl. While I had always wanted to do something significant for them, this abstract idea took shape only recently after a series of unsettling experiences.

Euthanasia seemed like a quick fix in most places for all the problems – injury, disease, paralysis, old age, lack of space. Yes, shocking, but true.

I could never come to terms with the concept of euthanasia. Why shut the timer off without trying to fix them first just because we have the power to do so or just because there isn’t enough space? I decided to have my own place where these animals could live fearless and freely.

ToC’s Core Focus

Founded in 2017, ToC provides a compassionate home to senior and special-needs dogs and other animals in need of care and shelter, but most importantly, love.

We have rescued over 200 animals (dogs, cats, goats and birds) in the last two years and are currently home to 50 animals including aged, paralyzed, amputated and deaf dogs, and goats and chickens.

In addition to the shelter animals, we also feed several animals in and around our vicinity. We pick up injured animals from the streets and provide them with necessary medical care. We also conduct sterilization drives regularly.

Our purpose is not just to help animals in need, but also to instill in people and children a sense of compassion towards our great Indian/desi dogs through education and adoptions.

Challenges

Because we focus on serving senior and special-needs dogs that completely rely on us for their care and survival, everything we do is double the normal – double the efforts, double the man power, double the time, and, therefore, double the bills.

These dogs are more susceptible to injuries and infections compared to able-bodied dogs and need constant attention. Most of our cases stay with us permanently, which leads to a perpetual increase in the number of ToC members.

How You Can Help

Animal welfare is an extremely neglected cause. Most individuals are aware of the importance of preservation of the environment and its people, but miss out on an essential fact that animals too are a part of the ecosystem and need as much compassion and care. They too feel just like us. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility to protect and help the voiceless. Sensitising people and children from a very young age and educating them about the cause is half the job done.

A common misconception among people is that all animal NGOs are funded by the government, and, therefore, they are in a position to provide free service. However, that is not the case. We rely on donations from kind Samaritans like you.

ToC is not backed by the government or any corporate. We decided to put up a fundraiser to give ToC an opportunity to make its voice be heard. We decided to put up a fundraiser as crowdfunding would give ToC an opportunity to make its voice be heard. So far, over ₹1.31 lakh has been raised through crowdfunding and more is required to meet the ₹5 lakh target. Your donations can help us power through tough times. Please click here to contribute.

Not everyone gets an opportunity to save lives. We invite you to support our work.

Featured image provided by author.
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  1. Connie Bombaci

    May I re-post your wonderful story as a “guest” blog? Thank you, Connie Bombaci Award-winning author of Hogan’s Hope

    1. Divya Parthasarathy

      @connie yes please. You can connect with me on facebok or insta or directly on 9650650044

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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