I’ve always wondered what the purpose of life is. Is it to enjoy our time here? Is it to help those who cannot enjoy as much as I can? Is there meaning to life only if struggle and accomplishment are involved? I have answers to none of these. What I do know, is that life is better for me when I try to achieve peace within me and in the external world. And for now, this peace is best achieved by being helping more dogs and surrounding myself with more dogs.
Along with dogs, a few humans also bring about peace in this disruptive world. These are those who work tirelessly for dogs. One such unique individual is Dr. Shivani Manda. Shivani thinks of herself as a doctor with a furry distraction. She grew up with many dogs all through her childhood and started regularly feeding strays at the age of 11.
As with anyone working in animal welfare, Shivani’s story is also emotional and inspiring. Her first stray dogs which she looked after were Pupu and Bhuru. From taking care of two strays, Shivani now looks after 40 strays. She decided to go the extra mile for strays when Pupu passed away in a road accident. Since then Shivani makes sure the strays in her neighbourhood and are well fed so they don’t have to wander around too much to fill their belly.
For Shivani, there are two dogs which mean the most to her - Dobi and Bala. Dobi and Bala were both found malnourished and barely had any hair on their bodies. Dobi was also bleeding and itching all over.
Shivani tends to Bala
After showering them with care, love and medicines, both made a full recovery. Moments like these are what drives Shivani to keep doing more. Their joyful gestures and love takes away all the sadness.
Shivani fights a constant battle with humans who want to relocate the strays. She keeps telling them that we share our earth with them, we do not control them and have encroached on their land. I hope Shivani’s efforts makes people realise how difficult it is to be on the streets and not knowing when your next meal is coming.
To fund her welfare activities, Shivani has decided to take a different, creative route. She is a brilliant sketch artist who raises funds through her art. Through her Facebook page ‘Sketch For Stray’, Shivani will create customised sketches and use the funds to help the strays in her neighbourhood.