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ACT OF KINDNESS: This 15-year-old girl feeds over 70 strays in Bhopal

It has been almost a year, but that horrible sight still lingers in this 15-year-old girl's mind. A stray pup she was taking care of was run over by a speeding car. Like other children or even elders, Bhopal-based Chandani Grover was not ready to forget the incident and move on. The little girl, with a big heart, was mulling about what steps could be taken to avoid such accidents in future. That's how the idea to build a shelter for stray dogs and other animals was born. And a series of steps to protect strays in Bhopal.

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"I have been an ardent animal lover right from my childhood but due to some allergy-induced respiratory problems, I could not keep pets at home. Finally, I was gifted a pup on my seventh birthday. Soon I started taking my pet for walks that is when I realised the pitiable condition of strays. Another thing which disturbed me was the prolonged stray fights during nights over sharing food, mostly. After talking to parents, I started feeding them, besides vaccinating all of them. Basically, I started taking care of them," says Chandani, recounting how her association with animals began.

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The impact of her acts, she says, became visible soon, with the area witnessing no stray fights and unwanted commotion involving pets. The strays became docile and friendly, which in fact prompted others in her locality to be kind to the strays.

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Then, that horror incident happened. One of her favourite pups was killed in an accident. That's when Chandani thought about taking the next step. And that's how RARC (Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre) was formed.

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"I approached vets for guidance and created a team comprising Puneet Tandon, Abdul Tahir, Geetali Mehra, Ashish Grover, Shalini Grover and Anil Sharma and many others to keep my vision on track. Funding and finding the right spot were the first challenges. My parents were the first to donate funds, besides many of our relatives," says Chandani.

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The 15year-old girl then understood more needed to be done, to create awareness. "I knew something more needed to be done and that's how we rolled out our next project named Empathy," says Chandani, who is studying in Sanskaar Valley School in Bhopal. This project has been specially curated to bring about a change in the outlook of society towards strays.

Other initiatives taken by Chandani are:

1) Feeding drives

2) Vaccination drives

3) Deworming drives

4) Rescue and adoption

5) Water bowl drives, especially summer

Every drive has achieved desired results, particularly the water bowl initiative in which vessels filled with water are kept, especially during summer. "Water bowl drive was a big success, with many people from all over India replicating it," she says.

Chandani is happy that over 9 stray dogs have been adopted, and just for the record, she is currently feeding 70 strays every day.

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FUTURE PLANS

  • Onehouseonestray Project:- to urge people via social media, through networking and also personal meetings to at least feed and be responsible for one stray.
  • In talks with a big company to take this project under their CSR. The finer details are being worked on.
  • To make my team bigger and reach out to more people.
  • To develop an app and a portal for strays. By creating a common platform, government officials and activists can coordinate better.

Impressed by Chandani's work and want to contribute/reach out? To contribute click here

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