Published: 20th November 2019
This 24-year-old Odia youth has rescued more than 10,000 animals. This is how
The Bhubaneswar-based rescuer dropped out of school and even went to the extent of leaving home when his parents didn't want him to be a full-time animal rescuer
It is obvious that a child who cut his finger trying to save a grasshopper when he was just two years old would grow up to be an animal rescuer. What is not obvious is that he would not just drop out of college to do so, but also leave home when his parents expressed their displeasure with his chosen path. But all is well because the youngster we are talking about, Kusal Biswas, has rescued more than 10,000 animals, including dogs, birds, cows and even buffaloes, visits his parents often and has his own 2,000 sqft shelter on Puri Canal Road, Naharakanta.
The 24-year-old has been a part of several NGOs, but it was in March 2016 that he started and registered Speak For Animals, his own NGO. "It's actually quite funny how we started. The fee was Rs 7,000 and we paid in monthly installments. I even purchased a fourth-hand bike to rescue animals," he shares and cracks up.
I have rescued all kinds of animals including langurs, eagles and owls, mostly, with my bare hands
Kusal Biswas, Animal rescuer | (Pic: Kusal Biswas)
Very soon, people started noticing their work and at any time of the day, or even the night, calls to rescue animals would start. Dogs stuck on the seventh floor or inside tunnels — there's no telling where the next emergency will spring from. What's more, he uses no equipment to rescue any animal. "The kind of equipment I want to use is not available in India and moreover, in my experience, equipment tends to alienate and traumatise the already distressed animals," says the youngster who was born in Kolkata and brought up in Bhubaneswar.
One of the rescue cases which really propelled Kusal into the limelight was when a car had hit a bull and they tried desperately to save it before it died the next day morning. Eventually, the driver’s license was seized. In his experience, another rather sad fact to note, is that sometimes, the police are not aware of the laws pertaining to animals. "That's why I carry a copy of the laws in my bag at all times," shares the jovial youngster. He gives us one such instance of rescuing puppies who were illegally being sold in an open market in Satya Nagar. He had recorded the incident on his phone and rushed to the police station and the police were unsure of what to do. With the help of lawyers from Utkal University, he managed to convince the police and eventually the breeders were charged.
Kusal helping out | (Pic: Kusal Biswas)
Talking about funds, Kusal says they get a lot of support from social media to not only help rescue animals, but also nurse them back to health and leave them back into the wild. "I would like to start rescue services which also work after 10 pm because no one is available during that time," he expresses.
These are some tales from Kusal's rescue diaries
- Jungle cat: After chasing what he thought was a cat in Cuttack, Kusal caught hold of it only to realise it was a huge jungle cat. With great difficulty, he captured it
- Dog: Another case he is famous for is when a man ruthlessly was beating up a dog with his belt. The police was pressured to take action and the man was dragged to the court
A few pictures from his rescues
For more on him, check out facebook.com/sfabbsr