Every day we see stray dogs roaming around our locality. Most of them either run around dustbins or some of them occasionally get food from some houses. But not every day. These dogs need our support and care which we can easily provide, though we neglect to do so.
Jasleen Chadha is a dedicated animal welfare activist, who resides in Punjabi Bagh West. She is 39 and work as a Senior Flight Attendant.
Chadha feeds over 500 strays on a daily basis. “During my daily feeding rounds I often come across sweet and salty food such as ladoos, rusks, biscuits, stale home cooked food, and other things which people keep out to feed the strays,” she said.
“Dogs have a different digestive system than humans. This means that many food items which are safe for human consumption can be harmful or even very dangerous for dogs and cause a lot of health problems like skin ailments, diabetes, dental problems, obesity and other diseases which can either shorten their lifespan or sometimes be fatal too. Too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination in dogs. Please remember one thing that the stale food which is unfit for our consumption is also unhealthy for them and can cause severe health issues. The food which we offer to them could be the only food of their day. We can at least keep it healthy and fit for consumption,” Chadha adds.
Chadha started feeding the strays in July 2016 when she saw a dog on the side of a trash can in a miserable condition. The dog was very weak and did not have any teeth. Chadha picked up the dog and took her to the nearest vet. “The minute I held her in my arms, I named her Choti,” she says.
After getting Choti examined by the vet, Chadha started a treatment plan for her. The vet had told Chadha that Choti was very old and wouldn’t be able to survive for long. informed that Choti was very old and would not survive for long.
Daily treatment was given to Choti along with warm milk, and healthy food. With Chadha’s help, love and care, Choti was getting better and healthier with each passing day.
Choti was not the same dog that Chadha had found on the street months ago. She was now an energetic dog with a strong personality and an alpha on her street.
A year later, on October 30 in 2017, Choti breathed her last. “I thought of the first day when I had met Choti on that street. Seeing her leave the world after more than a year was overwhelming. But I was also contended to see that Choti had lived her last year to the fullest,” Chadha says.
Choti gave Chadha a new direction in her life and inspired her to do more, especially for the ones like her — alone, homeless and desolate.
Chadha says, “Choti made me see life with a new perspective and had it not been for her, I wouldn’t have been able to see the plight of the strays and take this decision. She is the inspiration and fuel behind the Jeevshakti Foundation, which is a registered trust with an 80G Income Tax certificate.
She adds, “Our eyes and ears on the road are the local milk vendors, laundry guys, fruit sellers, guards, shopkeepers and underprivileged children”. Often, Chadha is informed of medical emergencies, animal cruelty, newborn puppies and illegal relocation of dogs via her local contacts.
She not only feeds dogs but also gets them sterilised, vaccinated and de-wormed. Chadha makes sure to keep water bowls in summers and puts coats and reflective bands on the strays to prevent them from accidents.
Not only this, Chadha takes care of her hardworking volunteers as well. She has distributed more than 2,400 BPA bottles to volunteers, steel lunch boxes, shawls and caps to guards and gives out special rewards for best volunteers.
The animal activist has divided the Punjabi Bagh locality into 4 zones and has an active team of volunteers working for the welfare of street animals. Day in and day out, Chadha and her team makes sure that no dog goes to bed with an empty stomach.