In Auraiyya district, people are running langar that allows animals and humans to eat together. In Kanpur, people ensured that the monkeys continue to get two meals a day amid lockdown.
The biggest lockdown in the country has not only affected citizens and economies but stray animals too. They mostly rely on their friends, fellow humans, and are among the worst hit. In the face of such adversity, people across the state are trying everything they can to protect and provide food to stray animals.
People in Uttar Pradesh have come together to provide food and shelter to stray animals to protect them amid lockdown and heatwave across the state. In an attempt to feed migrant workers and stray animals, people of Auraiyya district have started a permanent ‘Langar’ where workers and animals all are welcomed.
“We’ve planned this langar for harried workers passing through the highway. When it started, we saw animals looking at us with the hope of getting fed, and that’s how we started feeding them as well on the same table”, says Sanjeev, a BJP leader who is among the organizers.
“Not only workers but animals who’ve not been getting anything to eat due to lockdown are now permanent visitors at our stalls,” added Sanjeev.
Restaurants, temples, and other social establishments or the people who were the main source of food for stray animals have been unavailable due to lockdown for more than months now. The heatwave across the state has started wreaking havoc on birds, monkeys, dogs, and cows.
Another such act of humanity came to light in Kanpur, where monkeys near the Panki Hanuman temple had started acting violently due to hunger during the lockdown. After noticing their plight, Good Samaritans of the area have collaborated with Chakarpur wholesale vegetable and fruits market for the leftovers and produce that they give away to feed the animals.
“Even during the lockdown, tons of vegetables and fruits were going to waste in the wholesale market. After taking permission from district administration, we have started collecting it and feeding to the monkeys near the temple”, told Anoop Mishra, a devotee.
Hundreds of monkeys who were dependent only on the visitors and shops near the temple are getting to eat twice a day now.
Apart from these, a right-wing outfit dedicated to cow conservation has started a statewide drive to feed stray cows in different pockets of the state. “Stray cows were starving across the state due to lockdown; people who offer food and water to them regularly are locked in their houses. We started this drive to feed them and give them water”, says Gaurav Trivedi, who is associated with the organization.
“These are the testing times for humanity, and as a privileged member of the food chain, we must take care of dependents. City’s public establishments, eateries, markets are closed due to lockdown, hence the strays are completely dependent on us now,” told BS Tiwari, retired army personnel who has been feeding stray animals in his locality every morning during the lockdown.
Have a positive story about COVID heroes who’ve been making significant contributions during the pandemic? Publish your story with #EveryOneCounts, a campaign by Save the Children India and the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees, with YKA.