When 13-year-old Parikshit Doshi saw six horses rummaging through a dustbin below his house on Sarat Bose Road, he was taken aback. The horses looked hungry, desperate and were bleeding from their wounds. The boy immediately raised an alarm, called his father and three other classmates, whom he is close to. They wanted to get to the bottom of the story.
More than 150 horses have been abandoned by their owners, who operate horse chaise around Maidan. They are now out of work because no one has been visiting them during the lockdown. So, with no money to feed the horses, they have let them loose. Even as they move around aimlessly, searching for food, they sometimes get hit by speeding vehicles.
The most heart-wrenching part is, after dark, they navigate back to their erstwhile homes below Vidyasagar Setu off Hastings, to stay close to their owners.
It is from the owners that the group got to know that immediately after the lockdown, animal shelter ‘Ashari’ was feeding these horses with donations that animal lovers were pooling in after they found the horses loitering. This, however, stopped from June 15 after donors gradually pulled out.
With his three friends, Meghansh Sahariya, Aarav Rajgarhia and Aryan Malhotra, all Class-VIII students at La Martiniere for Boys, Parikshit wrote an appeal to mothers of all the sections of Class-VIII WhatsApp group. The appeal described the plight of these animals and said that Rs 8,000 is required in a day to feed 150 horses. Each horse needs a diet of 2.5kg of wheat bran or bhusi and some straw. While Rs 7,500 is needed to buy a day’s wheat bran, 100 kilograms of straw can be bought for Rs 500.
“My father helped us get in touch with Ashari, from where we got this break up and decided to collect funds accordingly. Mothers have not only donated but also forwarded our request and in two days, we collected Rs 1.3 lakh. This has directly been put in the Ashari fund. The volunteers of Ashari started feeding the hrses from Friday,” said Parikshit.
Ajay Daga of Ashari has already collaborated with the Mounted Police, who have agreed to oversee the feeding.
Source:Times of India