With most eateries and streetside food carts shut for business, stray dogs were among the worst affected during the lockdown. Probably pushed to complete starvation, a pack of strays was suspected to have killed and partly eaten a homeless woman on the city’s outskirts on May 16. However, this changed in June as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) started a volunteer-led stray dog feeding programme across the city at a budget of ₹15 lakh.
A total of 173 volunteers fed over 1.91 lakh dog meals over the last twenty days across the city. Arun Prasad, one of the volunteers who initiated the programme, said the BBMP assisted volunteers by giving them dry ration like rice and chicken, which volunteers and organisations cooked at homes and served the strays in their designated areas. A total of ₹11.6 lakh has been spent on the programme till now, the BBMP said.
Nandini Subbarao, a resident of Sanjaynagar, and a volunteer in stray dog sterilisation and vaccination programme, worked for the last two weeks feeding strays in her area. “I took rice from the BBMP, cooked it once a day and fed the dogs twice everyday,” she said. Now that the city has been unlocked and eateries are back in business, she feels the programme can wind down, as the strays can now survive like before.
BBMP sources aid there won’t be distribution of food to volunteers again, but volunteers will continue to feed the dogs till they exhaust the ration they presently have.
Meanwhile, the BBMP also released ₹3.4 lakh for NGOs to serve fodder for cattle and large animals rescued.