“Millions of stray animals are suffering. They do not have enough food and water to survive. People who used to feed them, cannot move out because of the lockdown. To celebrate the heritage and the giving culture of India, I request people to take care of the stray animals in their area. They must do that while taking the necessary precautions advised by the government,” said Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection, India.
The culture of giving
New Delhi (18th April, 2020) – Today is World Heritage Day and it offers a perfect platform to re-energise our traditions and celebrate the “Culture of Giving”. India has been under lockdown for nearly a month and it will continue for the coming days. COVID-19 has effected the very fabric of our lives and made irrevocable changes. Considering the damage COVID-19 has caused to our lives, international animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection is urging Indians to celebrate the culture of giving on World Heritage Day.
(Picture credit: Maneesh Ranjan)
The value of heritage
Heritage is an inheritance given by past, valued in present and preserved for future generations. It could be tangible like historical sites, monuments and artefacts. It is also natural like native wildlife, trees, birds, animals and also intangible like customs, sports, music, dance, folklore and crafts. One of the exceptional heritage of India is its strong tradition of giving. This is rooted in the historical, social and religious traditions of India. Mahatma Gandhi stated that the “best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Swami Vivekananda emphasised - For one’s liberation, one should serve the society. The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.”
Great leaders inspire people
Millions of people are still inspired by the great leaders and their teachings. “Millions of stray animals are suffering. They do not have enough food and water to survive. People who used to feed them, cannot move out because of the lockdown. To celebrate the heritage and the giving culture of India, I request people to take care of the stray animals in their area. They must do that while taking the necessary precautions advised by the government,” said Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection, India
World Animal Protection also understands the collective power of people to handle any crisis bravely. Believing in the power of Indians, the organisation has been promoting a specific campaign on helping stray animals during the lockdown. We are actively guiding youth to help strays and voiceless animals during this COVID-19 crisis. The campaign is also focussed on sharing stories to inspire other to follow the same footprints.
Here are few words from our volunteers and supporters:
“The animals can’t speak for themselves, but they are needed to be fed just like us. At a time of such adversity, feeding stray animals is the least I could do as an animal lover and a responsible citizen” – Bhavesh Agrawal
“Animals are a gift from above for they truly define the words unconditional love” – Sanjay Bajaj
“In this difficult time, I am doing my bit” – Sushant Sethi
“I can’t find a difference between my pets and strays. I always felt this amazing connection and great love for strays. So, I try to feed strays, play with them as much as possible. That makes me feel happy and alive” – Aishwarya Guatam