Story Of Pratima Devi – ‘The Dog Lady’ Of Delhi, Who Feeds And Takes Care Of 400 Stray Dogs.
24 May 2017
Better known as Amma in the neighbourhood, Pratima Devi is a 65-year-old ragpicker, who has lived adjacent to the PVR Anupam Multiplex in South Delhi’s Saket neighbourhood in a tin shack shanty. She has lived there for more than three decades and she earns only to look after hundreds of stray dogs in the locality. These dogs walk around her shelter like disciples of a holy saint.
“I look after over 400 dogs – about 200 around my home. Others are scattered in the courtyard of the PVR complex up to J-block (a little over half a kilometre away). My dogs never bite. They have been sterilised and vaccinated by the MCD (civic body),” she told India Today.
She left her husband after several years of a troubled marriage. She was married at an age of seven to a man who was more than 10 years older than her. He often turned up home drunk and used to beat her. She left everything and came to Delhi in the early 1980 from Nandigram in West Bengal. She has three children who live in her native village, and they keep asking her to be with them. However, Pratima’s life is dedicated to the welfare of her canine companions, whose company she prefers and refers to as ‘her children’. Some of the dogs were abandoned by their owners, others rescued from accidents.
Every day she buys 12kgs of rice and 5kgs of meat for their lunch. She feeds them with 10 litres of milk for their breakfast. She spends her days feeding and nursing the dogs.
She is more concerned for her dogs’ welfare than her own. She would scavenge for scraps of meat in the garbage to feed them.
Pratima set up a small tea stall, where she would feed biscuits to the local stray dogs. Sadly, her stall was destroyed and she was unable to feed herself, let alone her precious dogs. She said: “For four days I ate nothing and didn’t give anything to them also.”
Soon she rebuilt her tea shop and earns a bit. With it, she receives donations of bread, food and milk for the dogs. Any extra help lets her take the dogs to the vet for regular checkups and vaccinations.
“I don’t know whether there will be anyone after me taking care of them. The way I feed them, take care of them, after me who will take care of them, no one can take that place”, Pratima told Barcroft TV.
She added: “If I am not with the dogs at night, they won’t sleep, won’t eat anything without me. Taking care of dogs is my religion.”
Pratima Devi is Woman Of Courage because of her unwavering love for her dogs. It is a proof that there are good people out there willing to lend a caring hand to pets, even in the face of tough odds.
Image Credit: Barcroft.tv
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