A week before joining ConnectFor as Associate for Operations and Outreach, I perceived Mumbai to be a junkyard of human feces and had a rather uninformed perspective but on the 8th of February 2017, only two days into joining, I was presented with the opportunity to accompany Dharmaraj Solanki, Senior Associate of Operations, to NGOs around Mumbai. The first one was Thane, SPCA and the second one was in Bhandup, known as VAS Foundation. I was inspired to write about the experiences I had that day.
I was pretty nervous about arriving late and keeping Dharmaraj waiting at Thane station so I left on time and followed the schedule as planned, However, after buying ticket I realised that the city doesn’t really work like that.
The train came on a different platform than indicated on M-indicator app and I caught myself running with a herd of people to jump on the 10:02 am train, I got on safely, found a stop and I thought with a smile “this is not as bad as I thought” and faded away, woke up at Thane station, where we met and moved towards our first meeting destination.
TSPCA is profoundly aware of the value of each animal, they aim at living their mission everyday by serving their community animals with compassion and helping them cope with their suffering. We spent a good amount of time exploring and understanding how things work around the hospital so that the volunteers can have a “value for their time” kind of experience at our event on the 18th of February called Date With Dogs from 11am to 1pm.
However, it came to my attention while one of the staff members gave us a tour and mentioned that we were witnessing the extent of animal cruelty in humanity, he mentioned two very specific dogs that were injured by humans with weapons. The injuries were far worse than I imagined and I couldn’t understand that people were capable of such violence.
I felt completely helpless and disappointed in the lack of awareness in our society and world. I knew then, that it is not only my responsibility to take action but everybody’s; as individuals, we have to realise that these animals also feel pain and go through suffering, just like humans do. Spreading awareness about animal welfare issues in only one of the many steps towards creating a better, safer life for these animals. Volunteering at places that require your care would go a long way and a simple act of kindness would inspire many others to do the same.
After we wound up the day, I reflected on everything that had happened and felt extremely grateful to be a part of the ConnectFor team, to be able to play my part in society and to inspire people to play their own.
Manna Kanuga has recently joined the ConnectFor Team as an associate for operations and outreach.