We are delighted to share a blog written by student Yash Raj, from Pathways School Gurgaon, who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2021-22 GSL Global Goals Competition.
Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community!
IT’S AN UPHILL CLIMB BUT A FULL BELLY AND A SHELTER FOR THE STRAYS IS WORTH THE EFFORT!
Hello! & Namaste! We are the Voiceless Victims, a group of three best friends in India, who also happen to be classmates from grade 5, aged 9-10 and share a common passion for animals (especially dogs). Our team members are Yash Raj, Viiren & Fateh Singh. With pets at home & the love of animals at heart, we embraced the mission of providing Food & Shelter to the stray dogs and work towards SDG 15.
Every day, we see stray dogs around us, while travelling to school & around our house & near marketplaces. It made us curious – while we look after our pets at home, who takes care of these strays? Where do they seek shelter in rain, during chilly winter nights or even in the scorching heat? What do they eat? We felt deeply for this cause. These strays have been treated unfairly & also need our love & compassion like our own pets. This led us to our quest to find solutions for these voiceless yet endearing beings and led us to the name of our group – Voiceless Victims.
Before we took any action, we though it was fundamental to gather all the necessary information about animal cruelty worldwide and at home. We compiled our research, made posters, wrote poems to raise our voice against animal cruelty as it was necessary to understand this as a global issue. Having done that, we planned our actions – With so many stray dogs all over Gurugram, we narrowed down on 15 main hotspots to provide dog houses and food to strays.
To achieve our goal, we realized the need to speak to many people, partner with organizations, visit animal shelters to seek clear understanding etc. This required a lot of communication, collaboration, and time management skills.
We interviewed animal activists to enhance our knowledge regarding the issue, went door-to-door in our communities to raise awareness about the plight of strays and seek donations, collaborated with animal rights volunteers that guided us, reached out to organizations to source food etc.
We learnt how to connect with our community, how by reaching out to people one can find new directions, new openings. It was challenging to get people to see our viewpoint as not everyone was interested in supporting our cause as many thought that its the responsibility of the government & NGO’s to look after strays. Donations mainly came from friends and family, but it was hard to convince the community to partner us in the cause. Finding the right organization to collaborate with to achieve our goal was also tricky.
We faced rejection at many stages, we were disappointed, yet we did not give up and persevered. This was a strength that we did not know we had. We were also amazed at how smoothly we could run an Instagram page and connect with the global community of like-minded people.
The Next Chapter
With our research completed, in the first phase we are looking to collaborate with Astitva Animal rights foundation and Stray Dogs India foundation to provide food and shelter in 3 out of the 15 hotspots that we have identified. In the coming weeks we plan to provide food and a safe shelter to the strays in the other hotspots with the help of our partners.
Though this has not been an easy ride, but anyone with passion for animals and determination to make a difference in the lives of these voiceless victims, can bring about a change no matter whether you are big or small. The only thing to bear in mind is to connect with people, stay resilient and focus on your goal.
We should all come together to raise our voices for the strays as they too deserve the love and compassion like your own pets. This is not the life they chose, but we can give them a happy life that they deserve! Thank you for reading our blog and stay connected with us through our Instagram page to be on this journey with us and see all the wonderful strays that we are able to help.