Despite the rain, the mud and the fact that it was a Sunday, volunteers responded to the call and got down to the Annual Kermesse – a battlefield reuniting gambling, ignorance and animal cruelty disguised as stalls of supposed fun and entertainment.
We all rallied to sell our tombola tickets and unknowingly, to also dig deep for the humane side of the people present. While some let the smiles and efforts of our volunteers win them over and said ‘ok ok for education of the kids’. Others, insensitive to the plight of the underprivileged, were reluctant to part with their hard earned Rs 25 but for some demented reason were happy betting Rs 100 on a traumatized, wet and sickly rabbit. The Department of Civil Aviation said they had approval for this game. I wondered what the concept note was “ So Sir, we’re going to take a rabbit, spin him until he loses his sense of direction, and scream and scare him to death so that he hurriedly finds a box to hide”. At that moment, we all stood together in the face of bias, criticism and bigotry, to tell the organizers that they were being cruel to that rabbit. They used the ‘but this is how it’s always done’ argument to validate their cruelty but that only fired us up even more. Having spoken to the supervisors and raised awareness on the issue, we left the Kermesse determined not to let this be a game in next year’s event.
We moved on to the free clinic and sensitization event that ELI Wooff, together with Rotary and Rotaract of Quatre Bornes, had organized in Cite Bassin, Quatre Bornes. Some of our volunteers went door to door to tell people about the free clinic, responsible pet ownership, and benefits of sterilization. Others stayed at the Municipality Hall to help the owners and their pets get registered, understand the disadvantages of chaining and tethering, to campaign against ear and tail docking but most importantly to show love to the animals present.
All families have their small tiffs but they always have each other’s backs. Whether it was standing up against animal cruelty at the kermesse, or sticking by our own volunteer when his dog went in for treatment at the clinic, we showed that Roots, Wooff, Foundation, Corps – all make up one big family – our ELI family.
Thank you Yugal for making your voice heard; thank you Kasheena for your honesty towards ill treatment of dogs; thank you Annie and Pravisan for forgoing your shyness to sensitize people; thank you Garima for walking all the way; thank you Ayushi for not losing courage; thank you Agnes for being so diligent; thank you Ritesh and Heetisha for your enthusiasm; thank you Saisha for your commitment; thank you Divya for helping with organization; thank you Ashu for believing in what you do; thank you Krishnen,Avneesh,Chesta and your small army of sellers, Mary Grace for pushing our cause forward; thank you Kimii for always being present ; thank you Deepti, Dhanisha and Nushrina for giving your best every time and thank you Ishant for growing with ELI.
And thank you, Vedant, for inspiring us all every single day. None of us would be who we are and who we seek to be without you in our life.
Chief Of Operations