Dog: *wags tail*
Me: I think the world is going to collapse
Dog: *wags tail*
Me: Did you know that you cannot fold a paper in half for more than 9 times.
Dog: *wags tail*
Isn’t it wonderful that no matter what you say, there are some beings who will be happy to have you exist. You don’t need to be well educated or highly skilled or super talented...you just have to have a heart and they will recognise you for it. Now if you can experience such a pure love from one dog, imagine what must be going on in the mind of Priyanka Singh Rathore, who gets to experience this from 150 dogs. Every. Single. Day.
When the lockdown first lockdown was announced, all the dog feeders across the country went into panic mode. Everyone was confused, worried and scared. But everyone wanted just one thing, to make sure as many stray animals as possible are able to sleep at night without an empty stomach. Slowly, as things began to settle down into the new normal, feeders managed to find their routine, and find new animals!
Priyanka meets several puppies on her usual route
Priyanka is a feeder in Pune who before the lockdown used to take care of the strays in her immediate locality. Now, while on her feeding drives, she finds new dogs every day. Within a few days, the number had gone up to 150 dogs! Crows, cats, and pigs followed suit. Today, Priyanka travels about 6kms feeding over 170 animals everyday. Priyanka’s love for animals is evident through her welfare work. It is very easy to be an animal lover and loving your pets. But to go out for 3 hours every day to feed stray animals is true dedication.
Feeding takes a heavy emotional and physical toll as she carries around 15 kilos of food and water from her place, down the steps, on to the scooter and around her locality. But the stress doesn’t end just there. Priyanka, a solo female feeder, often goes into non-residential and deserted areas which aren’t the safest. But since the dogs hang out in that specific area, she musters up the courage and goes and feeds them.
Priyanka feeding stray pigs
Even while feeding, it is not all fun and games. There are fights, timid dogs, dogs on heat, and injured dogs that cross her path. To make sure they all get food, she spends extra time and effort to break fights, feed the alphas away from the pack and wait for the timid dogs to eat peacefully. Sometimes, she doesn’t see her regular dog on her routine. It could well happen that they have stepped into a new territory or just hiding somewhere taking a nap. But for Priyanka, it is another stress because she doesn’t know if the dog has gotten food or if he is injured. It is difficult to imagine the stress Priyanka goes through every day. Although it affects her, Priyanka manages to cope and deal with it like a real superhero.
Priyanka also provides medical treatment to all the dogs she feeds
She says, “In the end I am satisfied and I go to bed as a happy soul. I am blessed with the best family in the world who support me and also feed strays back in my hometown in Patna.”
Priyanka said that she experiences new challenges while feeding. Right from picking up a large quantity of food to the vendor to carrying it around while people think you are a crazy person! She also wants to document her efforts, which becomes difficult when you are alone.
Priyanka is showered with love by an abandoned kiddo
A lot of times, Priyanka asks watchmen, shop owners, anyone on the road to take a photo so that she can keep track and update over social media. Priyanka’s effort is not only brilliant but also inspiring. After sharing images of her feeding on social media, she has inspired 14 people to feed stray animals near them!
Priyanka with one the pups she feeds
A finance professional and a digital marketing student, Priyanka manages her house work, studying and feeding, leaving her with no time to do anything else. But she says it is a small price to pay. The joy of knowing so many animals are sleeping without hunger keeps her going.
If you would like to help Prianka with her feeding, you can donate directly to her via Paytm on 8830059808 or via Google pay on 9871159377.