CHENNAI CORPORATION TO PROVIDE
ADDITIONAL ABC FACILITY
The Chennai Corporation has allotted for a three year period space and facilities at its Lloyds Road Depot to enable the Blue Cross to take up more ABC operations. A sum of Rupees six lakhs has also been allocated by them for making the necessary modifications to convert some of the existing rooms to a surgery and six post-operative rooms. The civil work is almost complete and it is expected that the operations can commence from March 2000. It is hoped that the formal handing over can be done on February 29, 2000 which marks the 96th birthday of Shrimathi Rukmini Devi Arundale, the architect of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 and Founder-Chairperson of the Animal Welfare Board of India. The considerable help received from the Rukmini Devi Arundale Trust (RDAT) has helped in no small measure to expand our ABC operations during the last five years.
ANIMAL WELFARE FORTNIGHT CELEBRATIONS
Animal Welfare Fortnight, observed all over India from Jan 14 to 31 each year, was made very special for the Blue Cross-by two events. The first was the Well-Dog Show; a dog show for non-pedigree dogs only and the second was Pet Adoptathon 2000.
Over 500 humans filled the Blue Cross-grounds at Guindy on January 23. Over 100 dogs of various shapes and sizes accompanied by their proud human companions took part. The Chief Judge for the competition was Ms. Janice Cox, Director and Founder of World Animal Net. While the fifteen main prizes were awarded under five categories - dogs under -one year, sterilised males, sterilised females, non-sterilised males and non-sterilised females, another 20 prizes were given for courage and bravery, to senior citizens (above 12 years), to special handicapped dogs and to the fattest dog! Our thanks to SNOWBOWLING, Mr. Mehul Kamdar and the others who sponsored the prizes.
January 29 and 30 saw unprecedented crowds at our new centre. 146 animals including 9 kittens and 10 adult dogs found caring, good homes during Pet Adoptathon 2000. While we have been conducting the Pet Adoptathon during the first weekend each May for the last five years, it was decided to have this special programme as part of the animal welfare fortnight also from this year on. Temperatures in May in Madras go upto 45 degrees, which is difficult on the animals, prospective adopters and our volunteers. Added to this is the fact that vacation time is April to June, so a large number of children and their families are away from Madras.
NEW CENTRE UPDATE
Thanks to the grant from the Ministry of Social justice, additional kennels and a surgical block have been completed to enable us to handle the larger number of street dogs being caught by the Corporation of Chennai for the ABC programme. In addition, several hundred dogs from the Indian Institute of Technology, Anna University and Avadi, besides those from Vengaivasal and Santoshpuram and Porur were sterilized last year.
The street dog ABC programme cannot afford to fail because once the Corporation goes back to killing, it will be well nigh impossible to stop it again. However, this has led to our being forced to put off accepting dogs from owners for spaying and neutering. A separate, isolated block to take in owner animals is in the process of being constructed to ensure that owner animals which have little or no immunity do not have post-operative complications. As usual, funds are a restraining factor and we are enclosing, with this Newsletter, a special appeal for funds to put up this block. A gift of Rs.5000 will buy a 9" x 15" tile on The Millennium Wall. Each marble tile will have the name of the donor engraved on it and our target is 200 tiles which will be affixed on The Millennium Wall - the main entrance wall to the new block.
PINJRAPOLE AT SRIPERUMBUDUR
Work has also commenced on the 3.66 acre shelter for old animals at Kunnam Village, Kanchipuram District. The land for this shelter was donated by Mr. Sujjit Joseph in 1998 and we hope to make this centre partly functional by June 2000. All the large animals which do not require day to day medical care will be kept here to graze and move around to their hearts content. Ultimately, a dispensary to cater to the Veterinary needs of the nearby villages will be built and an ambulance will also be stationed here to respond quickly to calls from areas north west of Poonamallee.
SHRI J. PUKHRAJJI JAIN
A quantum leap in the involvement and help of the Jain Community took place thanks to Shri J. Pukhrajji Jain during the last ten years. Shri Pukhrajji's firm, Jethmal Sukanraj has been involved in the kirana and spice trade for over half a century. Shri Pukhrajji is the President of the Shri Chandra Prabhu Jain Naya Mandir and has been helping us both in his official and personal capacities to contact the various Jain temples and associations in Madras. As one of the most respected people of his community, he is a tremendous source of strength to us. He is a regular visitor to our centres and has been able to get the various groups together whenever asked for by us, sometimes at only a few hours notice.
ROLE OF ANIMALS IN THE ECOLOGY
Blue Cross of India was sanctioned a project on "Role of Animals in the Ecology" under the scheme of Environmental Orientation to school Education of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, through its Nodal Agency, the C.P. R. Environmental Education Centre, Chennai. The Blue Cross chose two blocks in Vellore district. This district was selected because of the tragic state of the animals caused by the number of slaughter houses providing leather to the factories in the district. Vellore district is famous for its leather tanneries and processing plants which provide finished products for export.
5 Teachers' Training programmes were conducted covering 147 teachers from 50 schools. These were followed by visits to the schools and activities for the students of Standards VI, VII and VIII. On Saturday, February 18th, the teachers were taken to the Yelagiri Hills to appreciate animals living in the wild.
To evaluate the students' comprehension, essay competitions have been conducted in each school. The first three prize winners from each school will participate in a district-level competition and meet to be held in March.
The total number of students who participated in this project in 1999-2000 was 6965.
MARUTI AMBULANCE FOR SMALL ANIMALS
Sree Marudar Kesari Jain Gowshala (Kushalpura) has made available a new Maruti ambulance van for use for small animals. Their Managing Trustee, Mr. L. Nernichand Singhvi has indicated that this van was meant primarily for the use of volunteers to collect and return street dogs to reduce the load on the available large ambulances.
In January alone, over 100 animals were helped with this vehicle and it has been particularly useful for taking dogs and cats to the Vepery Hospital for x-rays.
It may be mentioned here that Mr. Nemichand Singhvi was a major donor for the large animal shelter at our new centre and finds time to lovingly look after the Sree Marudar Kesari Jain Gowshala at Kushalpura in Rajasthan.
OUR THANKS TO.....
Mr. R. P. Krishnamachari, Chairman of the Textan Group, has always responded to any request for help from us. The cats and kittens in our shelters require special care since cats are natural Carnivores. If given a meat-free diet, they require additional supplements, one of them being taurine. M/s. Infoods of the Textan Group, make a lactosefree baby food called LACTONIL. During the last seven months, we have been fortunate to receive several hundred tins each month. LACTONIL contains a large amount of synthetic taurine and we have been using this to feed our cats and kittens. Mr. Kannuswamie, Managing Director of Infoods personally informs us each time some material is available.
Mr. T. Ravindar, Mrs. Malliga and their daughter Dr. Preeti Ravindar continue to assist us in so many ways. Besides sponsoring two large enclosures for dogs, twenty ceiling fans for the post operative ABC kennels and they have donated 40 tube light fittings recently.
We are sorry to announce the passing away of Mrs. Janaki Viswanath in September 1999.
Janaki and her entire family have been strong supporters of the Blue Cross for over thirty years. Since 1976, Janaki has been donating 150 kgs of rice for the shelter animals each month. Her elder brother, Mr. T.Babu, donated the body for our first large ambulance in 1972 and her younger brother, Mr. T. Venkatesh is a member of our Governing Body since 1987. Her mother and sisters, Padma and Prabha, have taken over the monthly gift of rice since her passing away.