New Delhi: Life is tough, for 56-year-old Pratima Devi, who lives in a parking lot in the national capital and earns a living as a ragpicker. Yet, she's doing her bit to help street dogs. She has literally played mother to over 70 stray dogs.
"I have been here for the past 28 years and I have been taking care of these dogs... I stay awake the whole night to ensure that no harm comes upon them," says Devi with a glint in her eye.
Devi just has a tarpouline on her head but the gutsy lady makes sure that her friends get their two proper meals.
"Nowadays I am giving them light food. We manage to get rice, 10-12 kg of milk and 5-6 chapatis a day," she says.
She says that her love-hungry dogs have not bitten anyone ever. In fact, she has found her family in them.
"I love my dogs. I want to live with them... I want to take care of them, feed them as long as I am alive."
The innocent creatures often suffer from malnourishment and cruel treatment at the hands of hostile civilians. But thanks to Pratima Devi, her pack of dogs is not living a dog's life anymore.
Then there is Jayanthi Iyengar, a marketing professional. She came up with the novel idea of designing cement water bowls for animals. Her group of volunteers identifies spots to fix the bowls. Once filled with water, they attract thirsty animals instantly. So far they have placed over 300 bowls of water, all of which are self-financed.
"Animals also have the right to clean drinking water just like humans do. How tough is it for us to live even for an hour without water... and these animals live without water for so many hours..." says Iyengar.
Thanks to these two individuals, life on the streets is a bit easier for the four-legged creatures.