Published: 01st April 2020
In heartening gesture, students, samaritans and security guards keep feeding Anna University's stray dogs during lockdown
Now with no students, there can be no canteens, which means the dogs are left hungry. But not the ones at Anna University, who have these people to thank for their daily bread...uh...dog food
When the lockdown was announced, there were many animal lovers who remembered that there would be stray dogs that would go hungry and encouraged people to keep out water bowls and food for them. But not all strays are on the street, there also those in college campuses that are going hungry as the empty wind is the only occupant of the classrooms now.
Though they don't make it to the attendance rolls, colleges with large campuses are usually filled with dogs, some even attend the classes even if just for a nap. These dogs are largely reliant on the generosity of students and the canteen leftovers to keep themselves fed. Now with no students, there can be no canteens, which means the dogs are left hungry. However, the one campus where the dogs are being taken care of during this time is Anna University in Chennai.
Preethi Ramadoss, a PhD student on campus who has also been in the news before for taking care of the dogs was worried she might not be able to help this time. "Dogs on one part of the campus are getting taken care of by an animal welfare group but the other part of the campus, the Alagappa Chettiar campus, is pretty neglected and not easily accessible or visible. So people can easily miss that space. There are about 25 dogs in the area," she told us. Ramadoss said she was worried about stepping out of the house since the cops were being very strict and she might not have been allowed into campus. But when she finally visited the campuses she was pleasantly surprised to find that all the water bowls were full, "The security guards have been doing their bit to help the dogs survive. They filled up the bowls but they could only feed them very little because that was all that they could afford."
Preethi managed to buy six kilograms of pedigree for the dogs but knew that that it would not last for too long. That's when Shravan Krishnan, the popular animal activist who runs Hotel for Dogs and BMAD, ended up giving 25 kilograms of dry food for the dogs free of cost, so that animal lovers can feed the strays, "This morning I went in the car along with my mum so the cops did not stop us. Tomorrow I will be taking my bike, I hope I'm allowed to go to the University and feed the dogs," says a relieved Preethi.
However, this is only Anna University. Several other campuses also have dogs who have probably not been fed in the last one week. "In government colleges like Anna University, there are plenty of guards, so they may be able to feed the dogs atleast a little bit. But in private colleges, where not many security officers are present, dogs could still be starving. I worry for large campuses that will have no one to feed the dogs," she added.