Mother Of Dogs: She Rescues Paralysed, Injured & Handicapped Stray Dogs Sent For Mercy Killing

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One day, when Anuradha Mishra was travelling from Ghaziabad to Noida, she spotted a frail dog, helplessly stuck in a bog. With every passing second, the poor creature was sinking deeper and deeper in the mud. Anuradha knew if she doesn’t rescue him, he doesn’t stand a chance at surviving. Immediately, she stepped out of the car and ran into the bog, risking her own life. Standing dangerously in knee-deep mud, she finally managed to rescue the dog after a long struggle. She took him to her shelter – Hope 4 Speechless Souls – where he was named ‘Daldal’ (bog) and turned out to be the happiest, most playful dog among 80 other canines. For the past five years, Anuradha has been rescuing stray dogs – paralysed, injured, handicapped, comatose or senile – who are selected for ‘Put To Sleep’ (PTS), the watered down term for mercy killing.

Hope 4 Speechless Souls
The rescued dogs at the shelter

Anuradha, who fondly refers to the dogs as her ‘babies’, is truly a mother for these ‘speechless souls’, who otherwise would have perished in street corners or garbage dumps. “I have been rescuing and taking 24 x 7 care of my babies for the last few years. Many of them cannot even move on their own. Starting from their medical care, feeding them to cleaning their droppings, I do everything myself. My babies are everything for me,” shares Anuradha with Efforts For Good.

How ‘Hope 4 Speechless Souls’ started

Since sixteen, Anuradha has been rescuing stray dogs from the streets, taking them to doctors for treatment and creating a better life for them. “I used to see many dogs who are inborn blind or differently-abled or have been paralysed in accidents. The dog shelters thought it better to kill them off within seconds with an injection, in an attempt to relieve them from their pain and struggles. It really pained me,” shares Anuradha.

Hope 4 Speechless Souls
Anuradha with a dog who is blind

A staunch opposer of PTS, Anuradha decided to take these dogs in with herself. She booked a flat exclusively for her dog-babies who had been declared for ‘PTS’ by vets. She enrolled herself for a veterinary training course at Noida Animal Hospital and has been performing all surgeries and treatments of her dogs by herself. “I tell you, 90% of the dogs I have treated have gotten better and started walking and playing on their own. All they need is a little love and care from us,” she shares.
However, soon, neighbours started expressing their displeasure about having so many stray dogs in a residential complex, forcing Anuradha to move out with her babies. She bought a plot of land amidst the wilderness in Noida outskirts and set up a canine shelter. Dog lovers across the Delhi-NCR region rescue strays and bring them to her shelter. “They fear that government animal shelters or veterinary care centres would put these dogs to sleep. But, they know Anuradha Ma’am will accept them all in her care,” she smiles.

Hope 4 Speechless Souls
Warm and happy

Taking care of eighty dogs on her own

Giving eighty dogs the utmost love and care is no cakewalk, but Anuradha’s dedication overcomes all hurdles she encounters. Though her shelter has a few volunteers, no one else loves and nurses the dogs like her.
“Recently there was the hailstorm in Noida, my babies were so scared,” she says, adding how her shelter is located in an obscure location, where heavy rains, monsoon floods and high tides from the Yamuna are common. During such days, she stays day and night in a room with the terrified dogs, where water or rain cannot reach.

Hope 4 Speechless Souls
With her ‘babies’

Anuradha prefers not to offer her ‘babies’ up for adoption, as she has faced some bad experiences. “People adopt stray dogs, but I have seen many abandon them later, and opting for foreign breeds. I don’t want my babies to be treated that way,” she shares in a disheartened tone. She runs a skin-care product business and channelises all her savings towards her helpless ‘babies’. “I have grown very sceptical now. Once, fraudsters tried to raise money online using pictures of my pets. So I try to keep the management as much to myself as possible,” she informs.

Some heartwarming stories of rescued dogs

The unsung mother of countless street dogs shares some heartwarming stories. Courage was another dog whom she rescued in a dying condition from a dump yard, lying motionless beneath a heap of garbage. He spent the last four years of his life happily in Anuradha’s shelter.
“There was a mother, who faced an accident and went into a coma, after giving birth to her puppies. I was worried that if she dies, her newborn puppies will also perish. I gave her the best medication, rest and care for nearly a month. To my disbelief, she recovered from coma and became a doting mother,” she narrates.
“There was a menace in Delhi, where some miscreants were hammering stray dogs on their head, and killing them for meat. There was one dog, who was hit on the head and left to succumb to death in the cold. I spent sleepless night treating him, and now look how big and strong he has grown,” says Anuradha.

“I think that just because they cannot express themselves, we should not position ourselves as God and decide their life and death. If God has given them the chance to live even after accidents or birth anomalies, who are we to kill them?” she wants to ask everyone. “I will take care of my babies till my last breath,” she signs off.

Also Read: Mumbai: At India’s First Cat Cafe, Enjoy A Hot Cuppa In The Company Of Rescued Cats & May Be Take One Home

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A Group Of Karnataka Women Pushes Alcoholic, Abusive Husbands & Social Stigma Aside, Earns Through Recycling Workshop

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At thirteen, Neela was married off to a husband much older than her. At sixteen, she became a mother, and at nineteen, she was a widow. Despite having no regular income, she was faced with the daunting task of taking care of her in-laws, her own parents and of course, her little daughter. For young Neela, life has never known a trajectory where her voice is heard and her destiny is not blamed. That was until she came under the ambit of Hosa Belaku Artisan’s Foundation and discovered a new identity for herself. The taste of financial independence was indeed delightful for her, but her zeal to work hard for a newer, better life stood at the helm of it all.

No one has ever become poor by giving – Anne Frank

Founded by Kameshwari from Bengaluru, the foundation works with distressed women in three Karnataka villages, helping them to earn their livelihood by handcrafting a wide range of decorative or daily-use household items. Like Neela, nineteen women with struggles similar or worse, have found a new lease of life at Hosa Belaku Artisan’s Foundation. Every piece of item created at Hosa Belaku is recycled from leftover fabrics, paper, dry waste or scrap metals.

Hosa Belaku – a new dawn

“I have been working in the social sector for the past two decades. Since 2013, I got associated with Belaku Trust, who was working with rural women in Karnataka,” shares Kameshwari, a former legal executive. 

“Most of these women were victims of alcohol abuse and harassment on the domestic front. Some were widowed, single mothers or differently-abled – making life all the more hard for them in a patriarchal society. Unfortunately, circumstances led Belaku Trust to close their operations in 2015. The women were left in a lurch,” she narrates.

Some of these women desperately pleaded with Kameshwari to let them sustain their only source of income and independence. Moved by their plight, Kameshwari resolved to do her best to help as many women as possible. Investing a sizeable proportion of her own savings, she launched the Hosa Belaku Artisan’s Foundation in 2017.

At present, the foundation has active workshops in three villages in the suburbs of Bengaluru, namely, Halasuru, Achalu and Kadahalli. 

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The gritty women of Hosa Belaku

At the prime of her life, Pavithra’s husband left her for another woman. Heartbroken and devastated, she was clueless about how to earn her living. The story is similar for many other women in these villagers, with careless, abusive or estranged husbands, most being alcohol addicts. The pangs of poverty would sometimes become more unbearable than the constant physical abuse by their husbands. Yet, they had no way to have some respite from the ordeal. Few women did work seasonally as agricultural labourers. The backbreaking toil in the sun would take a toll on their health, while the deplorable situation at their homes would haunt them for the rest of the year.

Empower Poor Women To Rise Out Of Poverty

Kameshwari mortgaged her jewelery for Rs 6 lakh to start Hosa Belaku Artisian's Foundation. Most of the women employed in this foundation face domestic violence in their homes. Kindly donate here : bit.ly/hosabelaku

Posted by Efforts For Good on Sunday, July 21, 2019

Society, with its primitive doctrines, only made it worse for these women. For instance, nobody was willing to marry Shivlingi because she had a facial deformity. After a point, her own brothers abandoned her as if she had become a liability.

If one visits these women now, they would be found basking in their newfound success with Hosa Belaku. But, not only the women, Hosa Belaku’s workforce comprises a 19-year-old young man as well. All his life, Yogi, who is affected by Polio, had accompanied his mother everywhere. She used to work with the foundation until she recently passed away in an accident. Yogi’s father is visually-challenged, so the entire family received a major emotional and financial setback after his mother’s sudden demise. A helpless Yogi would painstakingly drag himself from door to door in search of work. “We took him in and trained him in toy-making. Now you would find him in a corner, making beautiful toys for children,” shares a proud Kameshwari.

Sunshine, Lamp and Dawn – Illuminating lives

The women groups at the three villages are designated with three unique names and assigned with a unique task each. Kirana (Sunshine), the group at Kadahalli is involved with paper products, making notepads, bags and jewellery.

The Halsuru group Deepa (Lamp) has adopted the art of block printing. Vibrant, stylish and beautiful handbags, cushion covers, stoles and notebooks are curated with the utmost care and precision by the women.

At Ushe (Dawn), needle and thread rules. Women who were already skilled in sewing and embroidery now earn by making stuffed toys, patchwork products and embroidered fabrics.

True to their names, the groups have indeed brought new light into the lives of their employees.

Suma and Jayamma are both senior workers at Kirana who have succeeded in constructing small concrete houses for themselves, a huge step up from the dilapidated huts they spent their youth in. Another aged lady in the same group has another compelling achievement to be proud of. Bearing the taunts and trauma from her drunkard husband all her life, she has single-handedly raised a son and a daughter with proper education. Her son, who is currently an aspiring engineer, was supported with a laptop from Hosa Belaku. Honamma, a young widow from the group Deepa is treading a similar path, raising her son all on her own.

The only solace

How much gratitude these women have towards Hosa Belaku is perhaps evident from Shri’s unwavering dedication. Diabetes is taking a toll on her eyesight yet she refuses to give up and continues etching her grit on the ornate block-printed fabrics.

The reason for such gratitude is manifold. For the conscious urban consumers, Hosa Belaku is striving to save the environment with their 100%-recycled policy. But, for the workers, it is the lifeline which not only offers them economic security but also allows them a place to voice, share and resolve the problems plaguing their lives.

“They come here and find a peaceful break from their household obligations. Some still face domestic violence regularly, the workshop is an escape for them. They discuss their issues and try to find feasible solutions. It takes the load off their tired minds. The work here is a breath of fresh air for them,” Kameshwari asserts.

“We have been assisted time and again by established non-profits and retail chains across Bengaluru, who have graciously showcased and marketed products made by our artisans. We would like more people to know about Hosa Belaku and its incredible women, and respect their brilliant spirit by purchasing their crafts,” Kameshwari expresses her wish.

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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