Good News: Food for Furry Friends, Bridging the Medical Divide and a Walking Librarian
Inspiring stories of ordinary citizens sharing kindness and love from across the country
Food for Furry Friends
Stray animals were hit hard by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, but one family’s efforts have given pups a new lease of life in Ranchi’s Morabadi. 25-year-old Archie Sen and her father, Sanjeet have been running a feeding drive for around 160 dogs every day since last year. The duo ensures that the dogs are fed, watered and vaccinated, and have even fitted more than a hundred with reflective collars to avoid run-ins with passing vehicles. To offset the financial weight of their work, they started the ‘Street Dogs of Ranchi’, an online community for animal lovers and others to donate money, material or medicines for the dogs every day. The Sens have also helped some of the dogs find forever homes through legal adoption. “Everyone talks about animal welfare, but very few want to really do something for them. I appeal to everyone to come forward and feed at least one animal every day as they are also a part of our society,” Archie says.
The Walking Librarian
When 61-year-old P. Suku-maran packs two bags and sets off for his 12-km walk across Karuvatta and Kumarapuram gram panchayats in Alappuzha, Kerala, he is thinking of more than just physical fitness. His daily stroll in fact takes him to the doorsteps of the area’s residents to whom he delivers books and reading material as a way of encouraging a love for the literary. Sukumaran joined the Kumarapuram Public Library at Karuvatta South as a librarian in 1979 and began the practice in response to the poor reader turnout at the library. “What makes me happy is that a lot of people have become avid readers after reading books given by me,” says Sukumaran. The sexagenarian visits around 30 houses and shares more than 1,000 books on foot every month. The Rs 3,100 paid by the Library Council, along with a 30 per cent commission on book sales supports his wife and 12-year-old child. “I may not be earning much, but I am proud to say I make a living as a librarian,” he says.
Help for Young Orphans
COVID-19 deaths around the country have left hundreds of children orphaned, many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds. But good Samaritans are stepping up to fill the void. While various government efforts have been set up, Dehradun resident Jai Sharma, founder of the NGO Just Open Yourself (JOY) revealed his intention to adopt 100 orphans bereft of care due to the pandemic. JOY has already begun offering financial support to 28 of them. “We aim to finance the education of these students for the next two to three years till they become self-reliant,” Sharma told Times of India.
Jai Sharma, founder of the NGO JOY. Credit: Facebook: @JustOpenYourselfDehradun
Healthcare for All
After a terrible accident in 2008, Ayush Mishra was left with an amputated leg and a troubling realization: What if his family didn’t have the necessary connections that got him the quality, life-saving care he received in Delhi? What if, like so many others, the sub-par treatment in his college city of Jaipur or hometown in Bareilly was all he had been able to access? Would he have lost more than a limb?
Mishra’s traumatic experience led him to create Tattvan E-Clinics in 2018 in an effort to connect people from smaller towns with the high healthcare standards provided in bigger cities. The tele-medicine outfit allows residents of remote, rural areas to consult qualified doctors, and even specialists, for timely healthcare at subsidized costs. “Even in a city like Bareilly, finding an endocrinologist was very hard. In villages, patients go back to old grandmother remedies, increasing risk of hospitalization. We work to reduce this risk,” he tells The Better India.