I see many people blowing trumpets about their concern for wildlife; some even claiming to make donations. Go to any gaushala on an auspicious day and you will find otherwise famished cows surprised by oversupply of food that day. Human beings are indeed the most selfish souls that ever walked earth. They will do anything provided it gives some benefit to them, else, they will turn a blind eye.
During lunchtime today, I spotted a pigeon in my office compound. He was like any other Pigeon sitting on the floor, hardly noticed by anybody, after all, he was just a Pigeon. I too would have joined the list, had I not seen his wound. He was badly wounded on his back and leg and was not able to move properly. Fearing a fatal attack, the poor thing tried to drag himself behind some flowerpots.
Leaving him unattended would have meant throwing him the death trap. So I decided to guard him and call for help. I saw an uncle feeding a roti to the Squirrels. Thinking him to be a concerned animal lover, I showed him the Pigeon and asked if he knew any vet around. “Oh he has been attacked by some Dog. Hmm…he will be fine…”he said. Now this was getting super dumb. Imagine, you fall sick and the doctor, instead of treating you, says you will be fine. Was uncle waiting for a miracle? Or his concern for wildlife was limited to feeding roti to squirrels (I am sure that too was his atrologer’s prediction to ward off a problem).
After the useless uncle was gone, I called a guard from the gate and asked him to help me take the Pigeon to the vet. However, he turned out to be more scared than the uncle himself. “Will he bite?” He asked and I gave up on him. I wondered, how would an injured soul struggling with danger, harm someone?
Not wanting to leave him alone, I guarded him and made some frantic calls to many colleagues and friends. While some answered with “Oh, Hmm, lemme see..” some were total angels. My phone was immediately flooded with numbers of animal helplines and NGOs and 3 angel friends even came down to help.
Within few minutes we realized our next challenge was yet another big challenge. Apparently, none of the big NGOs claiming to be animal saviors were of help. Most numbers were not answered and even those who answered said they have no animal ambulance facility. One guy at the phone even said. “Madam, he is a pigeon, not a crocodile. Hold him and get him to my office.” “But I donno how to hold him and besides, he is badly injured and wants first aid”, I could barely utter before he hung up on me. I also learnt a new thing. One NGO even told me since they work for dogs, they were unable to attend to a pigeon. Discrimination! Phew!
Every passing minute could prove fatal for Mr. Gutar Gun, who appeared more scared and tired now, hiding behind a plant. Many squirrels played around him, oblivious to his condition. Finally, when nothing worked, we called up an NGO which showed the nearest on Google map. Before the guy could ask me anything, I charged on him, “There is a Pigeon dying, will you save him or you too can save only Dogs, cats and cows”. The guy it seems, understood the panic and frustration in my voice. “I am sorry we don’t have an ambulance, but if you get him to our shelter home, we can definitely do something for him.”
We somehow convinced a colleague the Pigeon was harmless and he helped us catch the Pigeon without hurting his wound. As we rushed him to the NGO, me and my friends felt nothing short of an ambulance staff, for any delay at our part would have been fatal for the bird.
The guy at the reception immediately saw the bird in our hands and recognized us. “Madam aap log hee thhhe jinka phone aa raha thhhaa baar baaar”, he said with a smile. Like a child with colic pain, the Pigeon was rushed to the vet, who examined him and assured us he would be fine. We were told after a short vacation in the hospital, Mr. Gutar Gun would be fit and fine to frolic around our office once again. We sighed with a smile of relief. We could have walked away and ignored the dying Pigeon, but sometimes, just trying to make an effort does all the magic and help pours in from unexpected corners.
To the friends who helped me take Mr. Gutar Gun to the vet – A friend in need is a friend indeed
To the NGO who helped us despite Mr. Gutar Gun not being a dog/cat/cow – Thanks. I won’t name the organization as the opinions expressed in this post are personal.
To the people who feed cows at the advice of astrologers and ignore the animals in need around them – Introspect. Is it really the right thing to do?
To the readers – Do something good for someone for his benefit, not for your selfish interest. Feeding dog on an auspicious day won’t really add up to your karma if you ignore a dying stray on street on a normal day. If you know of a genuine NGO that helps without discriminating, please update the address and contact details in the comments. The net is flooded with so many useless self proclaimed animal welfare bodies but what matters is which one really saves that dying stray animal near us.
To Mr. Gutar Gun – Enjoy your stay at the NGO while you recuperate. Get well soon and make flights of freedom in our office compound again. It’s great to have you here!
Sorry, no pic of Mr. Gutar Gun …but look around your office compound …you will spot him enjoying the winter sun on a Jamun tree!