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Creature comfort

The human-animal relationship is complicated. Love and companionship go hand-in-paw with cruelty and exploitation. India's record on animal care is particularly poor, and this despite cultural traditions celebrating, even venerating, creatures that are less — some would say more — than human. But the country does not lack for people who have the wellbeing of animals at heart. The Tata Trusts are a votary of the cause, supporting organisations that work for animal welfare in a variety of ways, with different species and in different states. These are their stories:

Animals Matter To Me

About AMTM

Animals Matter To Me (AMTM) was set up in 2010 to provide medical help, food and shelter to stray, abandoned and mistreated animals. Its rehabilitation centre in Malad in Mumbai houses more than 300 animals, including dogs, cats, birds and goats. The organisation's focus area is sterilisation and vaccination programmes for strays, but it also handles critical medical cases. AMTM conducts animal sensitisation programmes in municipal and private schools and is setting up a 17-acre sanctuary in Kolad in Maharashtra to provide refuge to around 1,500 old and disabled animals.
From skin and bones to a majestic, fluffy presence, War's survival is nothing short of a miracle. When the Saint Bernard was rescued from a garbage dump in Mumbai and brought to the Animals Matter To Me (AMTM) rehabilitation centre in 2014, he weighed less than 20kg and had maggot wounds all over. It took months of tender care to nurse him back to health. War was AMTM's mascot till he passed away in 2019.
Mary relaxes at the rehabilitation centre, where she shares space with 100 dogs. The six-year-old stray was rescued after being run over by a train. She underwent a four-hour surgery on her leg but the limb had to be amputated to save her life. The loss has not dampened Mary's spirit or her enthusiasm for the schoolchildren who visit the centre.

People for the Respect and Care of Animals

About PRCA

People for the Respect and Care of Animals (PRCA) is a charitable trust that runs Chhaya, an animal hospital and shelter, around 20km from Kolkata. Set up in 2008, Chhaya is home at any given time to about 200 animals, the majority of them dogs. The shelter takes injured animals and provides a space for them to recover. It also runs a neutering programme under which some 9,800 animals have been spayed or neutered. Chhaya has trained about 30 young men as caregivers to help local villagers with injections and saline drips for their animals and to assist in the births of goats and cows.
Millie is a golden retriever who was found roaming the streets of Kolkata. Abandoned by her family, she became malnourished as she did not know how to survive on the street. The five-year-old Millie has now joined the pack of 150 dogs who are permanent residents of Chhaya, an animal hospital and shelter set up by People for the Respect and Care of Animals (PRCA). Photo: Worthycanvas Photography.
Staff at Chhaya fix a prosthetic limb on Shivaji, a young horse whose leg had to be amputated after he broke it during a race. Unlike most animals, it is difficult for horses to survive even one leg short. The team at Chhaya worked with Tapesh Mathur, a veterinarian, to get Shivaji a prosthetic limb. The stallion now leads an almost - normal life and is always looking for someone to feed him bananas. Shivaji will spend the rest of his days at Chhaya. Photo: Worthycanvas Photography

People For Animals

About PFA

Human-wildlife conflict is common in villages close to the Bor Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. Farmers are particularly affected when their crops get destroyed by wild animals. The team at People For Animals (PFA) works towards minimising such conflicts. The team helps educate farmers about techniques to protect crops without hurting wild animals. This has led to a significant reduction in the damage of crops by wildlife. PFA also spearheads the formation of Vanyajiv Mitra Mandals, teams that build awareness among villagers about the importance of wildlife and work with forest officers in conflict situations. Additionally, it works to create safer livelihood opportunities for villagers, who are at risk every time they enter the reserve to procure forest produce.
Mana, a female blackbuck, nuzzles a staff member at the People For Animals (PFA) centre in Wardha in Maharashtra. Part of an endangered species, she was being raised, illegally, as a pet in a village close by. In 2017, Mana was rescued by forest department officials and brought to Karunashram, the PFA shelter (also a government-approved wildlife rescue centre). The doe resides with Shambhu, a rescued male blackbuck. Mana gave birth to a fawn, named Shiva, in February 2020. Mana, Shambhu and Shiva will eventually be released into the wild. Photo: Worthycanvas Photography
An injured porcupine receiving treatment at the Wardha centre. In February 2020, the animal was found in a well by residents of Paloti village and pulled out with the help of nylon ropes. The rope got stuck in the quills and hurt the animal, which had to be sedated before it could be freed. That porcupine remained at the centre under watchful eyes for a month, before being released into the wild. Photo: Worthycanvas Photography

World For All

About WFA

World For All (WFA) is a Mumbai-based organisation that focuses on the rescue and adoption of stray animals, especially infant, old or disabled dogs and cats. Since 2010, WFA has facilitated the adoption of more than 7,500 Indian-breed puppies and kittens. The organisation relies on social media and word of mouth to find homes for its rescued animals and it works with stray animals through sterilisation, care and vaccination programmes. Through its cat sterilisation programme — Happy Mews — WFA spays at least 100 cats every month and it also has a facility for dog rescues and sterilisation. WFA runs Teach Co-Exist — an awareness programme in schools to sensitise children about strays. The WFA office is always home to a bevy of lively puppies and kittens, all jousting for their share of attention.
Mia found her 'furever' home in 2019 through Adoptathon, an adoption camp organised by World For All (WFA) in Mumbai. The playful kitten is one of the many 'indie' (or Indian breed) animals who find themselves at WFA's adoption camps, the hope being that they will find a loving home. Mia was lucky: she caught the attention of the adopting family and became a companion for their first cat, her best friend now.
WFA's ambulance team treats a stray dog during their daily rounds in Mumbai. This is one of the three ambulances that run daily for WFA, which in 2019 was involved in more than 8,000 rescues.

Indian Herpetological Society

About IHS

The Indian Herpetological Society (IHS) was set up in 1986 and it has since then rescued and rehabilitated nearly 2,000 wild animals, including reptiles (snakes, crocodiles, turtles); mammals (leopards, monkeys, sambar, hyenas); and protected birds. The Society works in the areas of education, research and conservation and it also runs the Pune Snake Park and the Wild Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. IHS is involved with local communities — whose traditional livelihood activities depend on wildlife but are deemed illegal — in livelihood training.
Rani, a female leopard abandoned by her mother as a cub, was rescued by the Indian Herpetological
Society (IHS).
IHS staff rescue a sick monkey from the MIDC industrial area near Pune.

Welfare of Stray Dogs

About WSD

Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD) is a Mumbai-based organisation that was set up in 1985 to help street dogs. It works to eradicate rabies and control the street dog population through mass sterilisation programmes, and to get abandoned pets and strays adopted. WSD, which follows the World Health Organisation's recommendations on rabies eradication and dog population control, has helped more than 170,000 street dogs and cats since its inception. WSD pioneered the adoption of street dogs through its 'adopt a street dog' campaign in 2000.
Sterilised and vaccinated by Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD), Periappa was a common sight in King's Circle in Mumbai for over 15 years. He was adored in the locality and he relished eating idlis and dosas (he was a regular outside the South Indian restaurants that dot the area). Periappa passed away in December 2019 but locals still have fond memories of him.
Fifteen-year-old Meena sits comfortable in the arms of Mayur Jadhav, the centre manager at WSD.

Friends of the Family

As with the Tata Trusts, so too with Tata employees. Featured here are four dogs and two cats — all rescued — who are part of the families of four Tata people. If they could talk, they would tell tales of care and companionship, love and belonging.
  • Eddie is part of Amita Ramachandran's family
  • Peggy is the apple of everyone's eye in Delnaz Bhathena's household
  • Elsa in the home she shares with Oindrilla Roy and her family
  • (clockwise from above left) Dora, Angu and Djinji complete the picture in Paroma Sadhana's extended household