Very few people have dedicated their lives to the love of caring about others, be it humans or any other species. One such example is being sent by Mrs. Shalini Agarwal, a Bareilly resident. She has dedicated her life to taking care of the unspoken, that is injured animals. Currently, she has given shelter to 46 animals in her apartment. She has been doing it for 20 years now and has no plans for giving it up anytime in near future. Shalini is deeply inspired by her father, who was an animal lover too. Her love for taking care of these unspoken souls has grown since childhood watching her father doing the same.
“My father was a passionate animal lover and I saw his love grow since my childhood. Whenever he came across any injured animal on the streets during road trips or work tours, he would get it home. My work for animals evolved in the form of a habit I developed after observing him for years,” says Shalini, joined by the barks and the meows.
It is most likely to happen that you will end up hearing voices to dogs barking or meow or bird's chirping along with her voice, whenever you call her. If you are lucky enough, you might also hear a playing loaf.
HER APARTMENT IS MUCH MORE THAN A NORMAL ANIMAL SHELTER
Shalini Agarwal is a 36-year-old lady, who is a mother to numerous dogs, bird's, cats, a 3-months old loaf and even a monkey. Her 2 BHK apartment seems to be a kind of mini animal kingdom. Whenever she comes across any injured animal on the street, she takes it to her place to take proper care of them. Sometimes her neighbors and her peers also inform her if they find any injured animal.
SHE RESCUES, BRINGS THEM HOME, PROVIDES EMERGENCY CARE; TAKES TO VET IF NEEDED.
She has witnessed various kind of animal abuse during her service for the cause. She shares an incident which takes us 5 years back when she fed and looked after a locality bitch 'Daisey'. 'Daisey' used to come to her for feeding, she was quite and calm. But an incident happened, where Shalini's society resident poisoned 'Daisey' when pregnant. "That incident shook me, I filed a FIR and an investigation followed,"Shalini recalls.
This incident was an experience that made Shalini even surer and dedicated for her work and she went on to register an NGO, Mercy For All. 'Mercy For All' is an organization working towards rescuing missions, filing complaints and reaching out to vets. Her NGO helped her with gaining a serious approach in front of authorities. Also, it helped her with her endeavors for the cause.
“When I started out, I didn’t have any place to keep these animals. I had to admit the large animals in municipal shelters or give them up for adoption. But in the case of small animals, it was impossible to go to different shelters and look after them–they all need medical aid; some even need surgeries. So I brought them home to ensure that I could offer quality care. And slowly, adding one plus one, they became so many,” she says.
An Apartment where she lives with her family and animals
Shalini has sheltered all her rescued animal in her home itself, where she lives with her husband and 2 daughters. Some animals don't like to be kept him home and like to go outside and roam around. She leaves them out but at the end of the day, they all always come back to her place.
Shalini knows are about all the things that could go wrong and still loves what she does. Not all the time, she has to take care of puppies and cats but it could be anything. She recalls an example of a recent bull rescue operation. Some smugglers were trying to trap the bull by inserting the iron string in her head, near her horns. The bull was already infected with maggot when Shalini was informed. The bull was in so much pain that it has let it go crazy aggressive. Shalini Agarwal had to take 16 experienced volunteers to handle the situation. They finally tied the bull after a lot of efforts, then they cut the string from her head and applied for medicines on its wounds.
Shalini recollected, “Once we treated it and offered food, it became extremely docile, standing with its head bowed down. It was the first time I realized my work is really risky. The operation involved a lot of physical action and anyone could have been hurt. But the impact was also heart-warming.”
You might also have come across the people in your locality who can't stand stray animal; same were the kind of people who threatened and attacked Shalini. They didn't want their area to be inhabited by animals. These attacks made her strong and brave enough to face them all. She understands that people are concerned about menace created by these stray animals but she explains, “Dogs don’t hurt people unless we try to hurt them. Animals have feelings the same way like we do. I have been working in this field for 20 years and no animal has hurt me ever. If your intentions are clear, they will not hurt you.”
Shalini is so dedicated to her cause that she doesn't hesitate in spending her own fund for animal's food, medicines, surgeries and other needs. Some of her friends contribute for their food and medicines but she struggles with her funds many times.
At the end, she says, “There should be someone for everyone. And I feel that I am here for these animals. Many friends and relatives have stopped visiting me because they are not comfortable around animals, but my family has supported me every step of the way. That motivates me to continue.”
We should keep her cause and efforts in mind and support her for that. Shalini Agarwal has now started to raise funds for opening a dedicated shelter for the animals. With that, she will be able to continue her services in the most effective manner. You can also contribute for her cause here.
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