Thinking about distressful condition of the stray dogs during the shutdown, “Bhumisantan Bangladesh” started distributing food among them from March 28
Cooking starts in the afternoon. A temporary stove has been set up at Madan Mohan Government College in Sylhet. Shortly after dusk, some youths set out on motorcycles with cooked food. The food is distributed among stray dogs on different streets of Sylhet city.
Five teams riding on five motorcycles roam around the city to distribute food among hundreds of dogs every night.
The stray dogs on the city streets became violent due to food crisis as hotels and restaurants are closed and people's movement became less due to Covid-19 shutdown since March 26.
Thinking about distressful condition of the stray dogs during the shutdown, "Bhumisantan Bangladesh", an environmental organisation, initially started distributing food among them from March 28. Although it started on a short scale at first, it is increasing day by day.
At the very beginning, food was cooked at the house of a member of the organisation and distributed those among dogs at night. Later, many more became interested in such initiatives of Bhumisantan.
Pet Lovers Association, another animal loving organisation, and some other youths joined the initiative.
As the scope of work increased, cooking started at Madan Mohan College instead of at home. The volunteers wander around the city looking for hungry stray dogs to distribute food.
Bhumisantan Bangladesh Coordinator Ashraful Kabir said alongside human beings, stray animals have also suffered in the Covid-19 crisis. "The dogs started behaving violently day by day due to food crisis."
"As there was not much initiative for stray dogs, we took the initiative on a small scale on March 28. The distribution of cooked food started from April 7. Then many more joined us," he said.
He also said, "Apart from volunteers, many people in the city are cooperating with us with food items like rice and lentils now. We are all working together in an integrated manner to distribute food. Food would be distributed as long as there is a crisis."
Arup Shyam Bappi, general secretary of the Pet Lovers Association, said, "Many more have been encouraged by our initiative. Some youths said they would feed their neighbourhood dogs every day. It is our success that everyone understands the suffering of animals.
Cultural organiser Biman Talukder is also involved in this work. He lauded this kind of initiative.
Bapon Talukder, who handles the daily cooking of this food aid programme for dogs, said, "We usually distribute hotchpotch (khichuri) among the dogs. There are also different types of meat, liver and others with khichuri. Sometimes we provide dry food."
Meanwhile, Awami League's religious affairs sub-committee member Suel Ahmed has been feeding about 200 dogs in the Moulvibazar municipal area for the past one month.
He is arranging dog food on his own initiative since April 7, which has been appreciated by animal lovers.
Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon Moulvibazar district committee convener ASM Saleh Sohail said, "This is a great initiative. Everyone does not have the mentality to stand by stray dogs."
Suel said all animals on earth have a right to life. "Animals need food like humans. So, I tried my best to stand by people as well as other animals."