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How Organizations Like PFA Are Campaigning For The Welfare of Animals

The plight of animals can be blamed on ignorance, and lack of proper legislation concerning animal cruelty. Deforestation has destroyed the homes of many wild animals. Loss of habitant has resulted in the extinction of various animals, while others have been deprived of food and shelter. The situation is getting worse with every day, but there is a still a ray of hope for them.

Over the years, a number of animal-welfare organizations have come up to end their sufferings in India. Organizations like People for Animals, India’s largest animal welfare organization, are doing a fine job. PFA has a nationwide network of hospitals, rescuers, shelters, ambulance services, treatment camps and sterilization programs. Headed by Alpana Bhartia, it has made contributions to promote animal-related issues.

One such example of promoting and campaigning for the welfare of animals recently took place in Thiruvananthapuram, wherein a 6-month old baby elephant was quarantined instead of sending it back to the herd. This is when Sreedevi S Kartha, an activist of PFA came to the forefront and launched a campaign, naming it ‘Give Ponnunni His World Back’. The baby elephant was brought to Kottur Elephant Rehabilitation Centre after its mother was found dead.

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Ms Kartha visited the rehabilitation centre to see the baby elephant, along with Latha Indira, the trustee of PFA. She highlighted the issue on social networking sites and flagged off a campaign for ‘Ponnunni‘. She warned the authorities about the well-being of baby elephant, and requested them to send him back to the herd, before he succumbs like any other animal.

This is not the first time that the activists of PFA have highlighted the plight of animals and raised the campaign to create awareness about their sufferings. The founder of this welfare organization Alpana Bhartia has often played a big role to save a number of animals from abuse, cruelty, physical violence and sufferings. The organization has produced books and expert guides on animal care and related issues. Apart from this, they have conducted several programs across the country to put an end to the vicious cycle of ill-treatment of animals.

The efforts made by these organizations cannot be ignored. But, the need of the hour is to collectively recognize the sufferings of these creatures to make their life beautiful.

With Sankranti around, danger of manja looms large

Alpana Bhartia: With Sankranti around, danger of manja looms large

While Sankranti is a time when the popularity of kite-flying picks up, it is also a time when animal and avian welfare organizations in Bengaluru receive most number of bird rescue calls.

Despite a ban on the use of manja that has a glass coating and is imported from China, the practice continues. According to Avian and Reptile Rehabilitation Trust in Horamavu, there has been an increase in number of rescues of birds entangled in manja in Bengaluru in the last few months. In November 2017, the team rescued 27 birds from manja while in December, 31 were rescued.

In the first six days of January, 10 ‘manja rescues’ were conducted. These figures only represent East and North Bengaluru, where the Trust operates. The numbers could be higher, as many cases go unreported, and bird deaths are not recorded, say volunteers.

“Flying kites is not a problem. It is the string used that is a danger to birds. Manja gets entangled on trees and turns into bird traps. There is a lot of discarded manja out there. It does not degrade easily. Though normal thread can also pose a problem, it is not as harmful,” said Jayanthi Kallam, co-founder of the trust.

Non-governmental organization People for Animals (PfA) gets more calls in January. “The number of rescues go up during the breeding and hatching season – November and March. Fledglings face the greatest risks during the kite-flying season,” said Alpana Bhartia, founder-trustee, PfA.

Most of the rescued birds during this season are kites, crows and owls.

Most suffer severe injuries to the extent that they can never fly again.

Ban has not worked

Experts say that the ban has been ineffective as manja imported from China has been replaced by different varieties called ‘desi manja.’ Strings made of nylon and plastic are equally sharp and can cause bird fatalities.

Animal welfare organizations are trying to create awareness against the use of manja. The Trust has launched a social media campaign. PfA also conducts events and campaigns during Sankranti.

A bird-friendly festival

The Rotary Bangalore Lakeside will be organizing the third edition of the Bengaluru Kite Festival on January 21 at the BBMP Playground in HSR Layout. “It is an eco-friendly festival and we ensure that no harm is done to birds or the environment. Visitors must buy the kite kit from us, which has paper kite and a cotton thread,” said Nabin Roy, club member. Last year’s festival saw over 9,000 participants and the club expects the number to go up to 15,000 this year. “The proceeds from sales of the kite kit will be used to fund our programmes in rural Karnataka,” Mr. Roy added.

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Alpana Bhartia: Animal Cruelty Should be Taken More Seriously

UK strengthens animal cruelty laws. Animal lover Alpana Bhartia wants a similar framework in India.

While the United Kingdom has strengthened its already stringent laws against animal abuse, India will fine you a small amount. Alpana Bhartia, the co-founder of People for Animals (Bangalore), calls it a joke and it surely looks like one. The cost of an innocent and lovable creature’s life is as low as Rs 50 in the land where the cow is worshiped.

The Bangalore woman, who murdered eight helpless puppies while their mother kept crying, got off easy. A question rises, why are human lives not equal to animal lives? Why can’t the killing of an animal be treated as murder? We are not even at the top of the food chain!

Animal Cruelty Should be Taken More Seriously

Animal Cruelty Should be Taken More Seriously

The United Kingdom recently amended its animal cruelty law. The penalty of ‘insignificant’ abuse has been increased to five years in prison. In India, the penalty for torture and murder of hapless animals can go up to only three months. Sometimes you’ll only incur a fine between Rs 25 and Rs 100. Cows are the exception here. In the recent past, self-proclaimed gaurakshak shave lynched unarmed cow transporters to death.

The authorities are guilty in this matter too. An RTI application in Chennai revealed the callous euthanization of over 2,800 stray dogs. The screening process of stray dogs is sketchy enough to call it a mass-murder. The rule 9 of the Animal Birth Control Rules (Dogs), 2001, allows this Nazi move. Had the authorities actually invested time and money in the care of the dogs, they could have survived. Alpana Bhartia suggests such dogs should be open to adoption after adequate medical attention and affection is given to them.

“Our country needs a revolution of sorts to bring awareness. Instead of gimmicks, we need animal lovers to take an initiative against such abusers and expose them”, states Alpana Bhartia, while talking about what’s the need of the hour.

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Alpana Bhartia Says Rehabilitation of Circus Elephants is a Long Process

The classic Walt Disney feature Dumbo looks cute on the DVD cover, but reality speaks otherwise. Performing elephants in ‘cruelty-free’ circuses go through a heartbreaking ordeal to become ‘stars’ that circus-goers talk so fondly to their children about. As a matter of fact, ‘cruelty-free’ circus is an oxymoron. Newborn elephants are torn away from their mothers and are made to stand on hard concrete floor to break their spirit. Luckily, a recent communication made by Central Zoo Authority to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change will push circuses to stop the cruel subjugation of elephants. Animal rights activists like Alpana Bhartia from Bangalore-based People for Animals are lauding this spectacular move.

Even thought there are laws against animal cruelty, people are generally apathetic and ignorant when it comes to animal rights. Article 51A(g) states that it’s the fundamental duty of Indian citizens to be compassionate towards all living creatures, irrespective of their size or how dangerous they can be. Ill-treatment and physical abuse, including murder are punishable through IPC section 428 and 429. CZA figured that the water was too deep, as a result, they requested the state forest departments to cancel animal ownership license of circuses. As told by Alpana Bhartia, this will lay a strong foundation for the rehabilitation of elephants and other maltreated beasts-of-entertainment.

Alpana Bhartia(the wife of industrialist Alok Bhartia), is one of the founders of People for Animals, who believes animal rehabilitation is a difficult process since it’s not always possible to release the rescued into the wild. It’ll be a challenge for the Central Zoo Authority and state forest departments to breathe back in the spirit of these majestic creatures. Arpan Sharma, the director of Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization(FIAPO) thinks CZA’s initiative to be the most progressive move ever made by a government body.

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Animal shelters doing a commendable work, reckons Alpana Bhartia, a member of PFA

We often ignore the sufferings of animals, who are repeatedly bearing the brunt of our careless attitude towards Nature. Alpana Bhartia, a member of PFA (People for Animals) NGO, which works for the rescue and rehabilitation of animals and birds, says that it is our responsibility to end the sufferings and miseries of these animals.

At present, a lot of animals are being injured and tortured frequently. People are using them in circuses, putting them in cages and using them for their own benefit. But, in recent times, there has been a rise in the number of organizations which have come forward to help these animals. A member of one such organization, Alpana Bhartia is happy with the efforts put in by animal shelters across the country and hopes that they continue to put in the hard yards.

Animal shelters and NGOs across the country have been running a number of campaigns across India to educate people about the malpractices against animals and birds. A lot of seminars are conducted in various cities to bring this issue to the fore.

Apart from spreading awareness, these NGOs are actively rescuing injured animals, and ensuring their complete rehabilitation. Sometimes our own activities are causing injuries to these animals. But organizations like PFA have changed the scenario to quite an extent.

However, there are some issues faced by these rescuers themselves. One cannot overlook the need of funds. The requirement of funds keeps increasing with every day, and it is very important for these shelters to arrange money in advance. According to Alpana Bhartia, apart from funds, one of the major issues faced by these shelters is the continuity of volunteers. The network of volunteers keeps changing, as majority of them move on with their lives after spending some time with the organization.

In spite of all these problems, these organizations are doing a commendable job. A lot of animals are treated by these shelters daily. They have shared phone numbers for emergency cases and have their own network of logistics to bring these distressed and injured animals to the shelters.

Alpana Bhartia, an active member of PFA, believes that the network of these shelters can expand if people come forward and lend a helping hand to these NGOs for the betterment of our society.