Saving The Strays

Yatin Suryawanshi, India

Kushal Chand on October 23, 2018 in Animal Welfare

There are lots of dreams young people usually have. While one dreams of traveling the world, someone else dreams of receiving a Nobel Prize. The person I spoke to recently has a completely different dream, one which no one thinks about.

Mr. Yatin Suryawanshi is a singer and a guitarist by profession. Speaking to me he says that “I have never played with toys but I have always been surrounded by puppies in my home”. He has always had his love for dogs since his childhood. “One day when I was out on the roads during the night, I was about to witness a dog getting rammed by a car and that is when it occurred to me that why can’t I do something to save these dogs. Usually, it is during the night when people catch up speed and head to their homes faster and it is during this time, they are not able to spot stray dogs”. And that is the day when Mr. Yatin started this initiative of preparing reflective dog collars which glow in the night. This line may seem as simple as it is. But it takes a lot of courage in what Mr. Yatin has been doing.

I really like the idea that Mr. Yatin came up with. As kids, we used to play with radium bands fixed in the dials of our wrist watches. I hope we all remember how we would cover the watch with our hands and show off the light the radium would emit. It is Mr. Yatin who realized that these bands are there on the dial so that we could look at the watch during the night and tell what time it is.

Mr. Yatin has his own manufacturer for these special kinds of belts. The manufacturer agreed to work with Mr. Yatin after he proposed the idea of preparing the belts with those reflective radium bands on them. His love for pets doesn’t stop here, he also owns a Pet Shop and also feeds 30-40 dogs every night in Mahim and Dadar area of Mumbai. When I asked him, who helps him in attaching these collars, he credits his music teacher and his family is always with him for his support. “What we do is, we contact the person who regularly feeds the dog in a particular area we are targeting. Then we get the help of that person so that we can attach the collars. I don't require any money or for funds just need everyone's love and support.”

He has already covered more than 600 dogs in the suburbs of Mumbai. And what he dreams is that “One day I will fly over Mumbai in the night and I will see all those white reflective bands on the dogs’ necks and that moment is what will make me proud of myself.” We only imagine aerial views of the skyscrapers in the New York city, but listening to his wish, makes me realize there are so many good things which could be done than our materialistic wishes.

“I mentioned you about the pet shops but we sell pets only on customer’s special request other than that our main focus is on selling food, accessories, medicines for pets,” says Mr. Yatin. He tells that somewhere he feels that this would improve the safety of dogs at night and also requests no one to waste the belts which have already been tied on dogs as it requires a lot of effort in completing this task.

Every step makes a difference, let it start by feeding one stray. Every animal deserves love and support and if we cannot adopt every single one of them and provide them a house then the least we can do is be human, let them live happily. Let us support people like Mr. Yatin and help him achieve his extra ordinary dreams. We all have a lot to give back, let's start by taking one step at a time.

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