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Lockdown effect: NGOs in N-E begin drives to feed stray animals
TIWN March 28, 2020
Lockdown effect: NGOs in N-E begin drives to feed stray animals

Guwahati/Agartala, March 28 (TIWN) Several NGOs in northeastern states have come forward to feed the stray animals, specialy dogs, cows and monkeys, who are facing starvation due to the countrywide lockdown following coronavirus.

The dreaded virus and subsequent lockdown across India have not only shattered the lives of people but also animals and birds. "If we ignore it, it could lead to a more severe problem. Stray animals, especially dogs if left starving, may start attacking people. If they begin dying, the carcasses could pose health problems," West Tripura District Magistrate Sandeep Mahatme N. told IANS.

The IAS officer said : "As homeless or stray animals are maximum in West Tripura district (out of Tripura''s eight districts) we have asked three NGOs to look after these animals. We are also providing foodgrains to these NGOs so that they can feed the stray animals."

The NGOs have been asked to form teams with at least two persons in each team. Through two-wheeler, they would travel to different places to feed the stray animals. "We are also issuing curfew-passes to the members of these NGOs," said Mahatme N, also an MBBS doctor.

"Pawsome", a non-profitable NGO, has been providing foods and other nursing to the stray animals since 2016.

"We have been feeding more stray animals than we did before the lockdown started earlier this week, ''Pawsome'' General Secretary Wrighbed Dutta told IANS.

Guwahati-based writer and researcher Samudra Gupta Kashyap said that hundreds of monkeys living in and around temples across Assam and other states are also beginning to feel the pinch of lockdown. "These monkeys depend on ''prasad'' and other items that devotees offer. With the footfall in temples suddenly dropping to zero, these primates would surely face a major problem," Kashyap told IANS.

In Assam, temples like Navagraha and Basishthashram in Guwahati, Negheriting Devalaya in Dergaon and Tukreswari temple in Goalpara are some temples which have large flocks of monkeys. An Assam-based NGO ''People for Animals'' also has been taking care of the stray animals including monkeys.

"People for Animals" President Sangita Goswami, a retired college teacher, said that since 1995 they are taking care of all types of stray animals.

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