by Subhojit Panda
There is an old adage – Only a life lived for others, is a life worth living !
Mr. Amulya Nayak, aged 41, believes in this saying and has also been practicing it for over 15 years, working relentlessly for the wellbeing of stray animals.
â€œI have been an animal lover since childhood and have always aspired to work for the betterment of these mute cohabitants of our planet. In 2002, I quit my job to join â€˜People for Animalsâ€™ (PFA), Bhubaneswar, an organization that campaigns for animal rights,â€ said Mr. Nayak, who is also the Secretary of PFAâ€™s Jagatsinghpur branch.
Treatment of stray animals by a dedicated animal ambulance is the primary role of PFA. It includes emergency veterinary assistance to stray animals like dogs, cows and bulls. â€œMore and more animals are dying a tragic death due to road accidents. Some of these unfortunate animals die on the spot, while the others that manage to survive the crash, succumb to their injuries for want of immediate medical aid. As a member of the apex race of the planet, itâ€™s our moral responsibility to reach out to these innocent souls in distress and hence our ambulance service strives to provide immediate veterinary services to these hapless creatures that are wounded or suffering from diseasesâ€, shares Mr. Nayak who has treated more than 10,000 stray animals, so far !
â€œWhen we receive a call on our helpline numbers (0674-2540924/ 9861036970), the ambulance rushes to the spot with provision for first-aid treatment and lifesaving drugs. If the condition of the animal is serious, it is either shifted to the Saheed Nagar Veterinary Hospital, OUAT-Bhubaneswar or the People for Animal Hospitalcum- Shelter at Sijua for treatment. The animals are treated with utmost care for their survival and are subsequently transported back to the place where they had been picked up from. Only the unfortunate ones, that are unable to walk even after the treatment are retained at the Sijua shelter homeâ€, he adds.
He believes that the burgeoning traffic and reckless driving are the biggest reasons for the plight of so many stray animals. â€œWhat is worrying is that, on an average, we respond to nearly 15 accidents or medical emergencies everyday, involving the strays. It is high time people drive responsibly and come forward to help stray animals in distress by informing us, instead of allowing them to languishâ€.
Mr. Nayak is an active member of the Bhubaneswar Local Monitoring Committee for Stray Animals, a body that advises and encourages the Govt. to adopt animal friendly drives like mass sterilization of dogs, allotting a dedicated toll-free number for animal ambulance service etc. Based on the Committeeâ€™s suggestion, two stray cattle-shelters are to be set up on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar at Jamukoli and Bhagabanpur.
Alway s l ooki ng for an opportunity to help more and more needy animals, Mr. Nayak believes that the animal ambulance service can spread its wings to other cities with the governmentâ€™s intervention and active participation from youngsters. â€œIf state of the art equipment is made available in the ambulance, then the animals can be treated on-the-spot without having to transport them to the nearest hospital,â€