Subscribe to our weekly newsletter


Rajdeep Mahant and Lisa Dutta become messiahs for stray dogs - GetBengal story

6 December, 2023 10:33:23
Rajdeep Mahant and Lisa Dutta become messiahs for stray dogs - GetBengal story

Rajdeep Mahant: The messiah of stray dogs, Siliguri

Officially, India has over 60 million stray dogs. The conflict between humans and stray dogs in India has crossed the threshold of tolerance. Unfortunately, most of the Indian streets are riled with blatant apathy towards animal lives. The Indian street dog has become that one animal which nobody wants, and is often hated to the extent that they suffer cruelty almost every day. Crime against animals, especially stray dogs, has been on the rise. Cases of puppies being flung from rooftops or being put on fire have been reported from various corners of the country in recent times. As per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001, killing stray dogs is illegal. Almost 4,230 dogs have been killed by mass culling drives across the country in the past five years alone.

Many citizens will certainly recollect the horrifying incident of 2019 when 16 puppies and a mother dog was beaten to death or poisoned in the campus of Nil Ratan Sircar (NRS) Medical College and Hospital in the heart of Kolkata. Beating stray dogs is the most common form of assault, followed by their confinement and maiming them. Those who cannot withstand the beating and die helplessly are recklessly dumped in the garbage vat by perpetrators of such heinous crime. It is a pity that despite a history of violence against animals, India does not have a formal record of this cruelty. 

The concept of dog “ownership” is nullified by most Indians, with only a small fraction of urban dwellers falling into the category of what is now called “pet parents”. Most dogs in rural areas are associated with households that feed them but do little else in terms of healthcare or welfare. In urban areas too, people from all walks of life feed dogs on the streets but very few take any direct responsibility. Yet, over the years a number of committed individuals and voluntary organizations have been working tirelessly for the welfare of stray dogs and cats and other abandoned animals.  

Rajdeep Mahant of Hakim Para in Siliguri has set an example by taking care of stray dogs and providing proper treatment and shelter for them. Stray dogs lead a miserable life and in most cases, scarcity of food and water force them to scavenge outside their habitats and this leads to fierce dog fights where humans are also attacked at times. They do not receive any treatment for their ailments. As soon as Rajdeep gets news about any injured or sick stray dog from any part of the city, he rushes to provide immediate medical aid and care. Taking care of ailing street dogs has become his life's sole mission now. His compassion and commitment are of a different level altogether and accolades and recognition for his labour of love have followed  him. His name has appeared in the ‘India Book of Records’ for setting a record and an example for the society by caring for street dogs. He has already received the published book along with a certificate and medal in recognition for his dedicated service. 

Rajdeep’s bonding with dogs started early in life when he was barely a toddler. He always dreamt of owning a furry friend and companion but owing to family problems, his wish remained unfulfilled. This was one regret that he had until the time he was moved by the plight of street dogs and decided to take care of these utterly helpless creatures on the streets. Since then, there has been no looking back for this youth, who is currently studying at Dabgram Polytechnic College. Along with studies, he is also engaged in providing first aid service to stray dogs. Rajdeep’s father, Ratan Mohant is also an ardent dog lover and encourages his son to carry on the noble work. Rajdeep is a member of an animal welfare organization and he believes this official recognition will provide a boost to his work and more people will be sensitized and join in the task to rescue and provide a better life for stray dogs and other animals. 

Another dedicated canine aficionado of Kolkata is Lisa Dutta, a lone ranger who travels the length and breadth of the city tending to ailing stray dogs. She is a familiar figure who can often be spotted on busy sidewalks of major thoroughfares of the city tending to sick dogs, cleaning their wounds and applying medicines with love and care, all the while whispering sweet nothings to distract them while she continues to work with finesse. After her preliminary work is over, she ensures a safe space for the pups before she leaves the spot. She continues to visit her furry friends daily from her home in Naktola at one end of the city whenever she hears about sick or injured pups and rushes to rescues them regularly. 

The reason for Lisa’s steadfast devotion to her duty stems from the memory of her loving Labrador retriever whom she lost due to wrong treatment. However, his premature death not only shattered Lisa but also left a deep and indelible mark in her mind. Lisa cannot rest at home when she remembers the plight of stray dogs on the streets. The urge to provide treatment and find a safe haven for them keeps her going. 

Every morning, she takes out her medical kit, checks the contents and then gets ready to hit the road to tend to her furry babies. Since Lisa had pet dogs at home ever since the time she can recollect, she is familiar with their behavior and understands instinctively their requirements. She is also familiar about first aid medicines and line of treatment but if she detects something that is beyond her abilities, she immediately calls up vets for suggestions. However, one of the major impediments that she often faces while working with stray dogs is the uncontrollable crowd that gathers around her whenever she tries to befriend a scared puppy. This makes her task difficult but nothing deters her from carrying out her job. People like Rajdeep and Lisa are messiahs for all those unfortunate stray dogs whose entire life is one of strife and struggle for survival. Their selfless love goes a long way to sensitize a society that is used to cruelty and apathy towards these hapless stray animals. 

Leave a Comments

Related Post