“It Takes Nothing Away from a Human to be Kind to an Animal”

People often believe that it is unwise to feed stray dogs and cats, thinking it might attract strays to their homes or encourage reproduction. However, whatever the reason it may be, we as humans have always been told to be kind to every form of life on this planet. This means even the strays, like every other animal on this planet, deserve kindness and love.

Due to lack of proper food, shelter and water, many animals die on the streets, while some end up suffering for the rest of their lives. There are nearly 5 million dogs and cats that live on the streets of Sri Lanka. This is primarily due to lack of proper rules and animal right laws. This has become an aid for people to abuse animals, dump puppies, kittens and even fully grown dogs to streets without consequences.

As the Rotaract Club of IIT, we wanted to address this issue and bring awareness to people that every little life should be loved and valued. Therefore, for the 4th consecutive year, we initiated the project, “Voice for the Voiceless”, with the help of several organizations.

We conducted two feeding sessions around Colombo with the help of the Baw Baw Animal Welfare on 31st January and 14th February. Around 25 people attended each of these sessions to help us show kindness and love to these animals that only asks for a kind human heart.

In Sri Lanka, several shelters provide sanctuaries to stray animals. We went to such a shelter under the Animal Welfare and Protection Association and conducted a vaccination program for dogs and puppies residing there.

Furthermore, it is statistically proven that so many street animals die during nighttime due to accidents because of reckless driving. This is mainly because the animals are unseen to the drivers during the night; we wanted to find a way to overcome this issue and find an effective solution. To achieve this, with the help of the Baw Baw Animal Welfare and Hope for the Voiceless associations, we planned the next phase of this project, where we would use neon-colored collars to make the stray dogs visible to the drivers.

BHowever, this project does not only address cruelty towards strays like cats and dogs. This project was initiated to address every aspect of animal cruelty that happens everywhere in the world. We conducted a PR campaign to bring everyone’s attention to several aspects of animal cruelty. Boycotting elephant rides, sloth selfies, mental abuse on animals, saving the parrots and addressing plastic waste, and many other issues were brought to attention with our daily stories and posts on social media.

Although, we all know that animal cruelty and abuse is not an issue that can only be seen in Sri Lanka. It happens everywhere all around the world in different forms. Since this project was an International Service project, we took this opportunity to include Rotaract Clubs worldwide to help the voiceless in their own countries. With this approach, we were able to include ten international clubs such as Rotaract Atrons – Ethiopia, Rotaract Club Gurugam West – India, Rotaract East Champions – Egypt, Bornova Rotaract – Turkey, Hills Rotaract Club – Sydney, Australia, Rotaract Guatemala Norte- Guatemala, Rotaract Club of PUP San Juan – Philippines, Rotaract Club of JIT – India, Rotaract Club of Eskisehir Gordion – Turkey, Alanya Rotaract Club – Turkey to conduct feeding sessions in their countries.

People must understand that every living being on this planet deserves to live a happy, cruelty-free life at the end of the day. This planet was never created for just humans; it was made for all of us. After all, “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals – Immanuel Kant”.

Written By – Hashini Kodithuwakku

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