Assam issues passes to people for feeding stray

Coronavirus lockdown: Assam issues passes to people for feeding stray

Representative image. (AFP Photo)

The Assam government is issuing passes to animal welfare organisations and individuals for feeding stray animals during the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, officials said on Sunday.

The lockdown entered the fifth day on Sunday.

"Passes have been issued to animal lovers but they should maintain social distancing and follow other guidelines," an official said.

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The animal lovers are undertaking social media campaigns urging people to feed the stray animals who earlier survived on leftovers from restaurants that are now shut due to the lockdown.

"We are taking forward the campaign to feed stray animals by urging volunteers to join us," PAWS Foundation Managing Trustee Indira Amma told PTI.

More than 90 volunteers of the animal welfare organisation are feeding stray animals in several parts of Guwahati and its suburbs, she said.

Read: Coronavirus: State-wise total number of confirmed cases, deaths

"We do not want to be in conflict with the administration but sought their cooperation in this regard. It has issued passes to our volunteers so that they feed the stray animals by maintaining social distancing," Amma said.

She said that the organisation is urging people to give donations in the form of dog food or rice.

"We are identifying the areas and assigning volunteers to distribute cooked food to the stray animals. It is heartening to see young people come out on the streets to feed the creatures," Amma said.

Another animal welfare organisation, Just Be Friendly (JBF) also launched a social media campaign 'Lockdown Saviour of Animals' urging people to put a bowl of water and food outside the gates of their houses.

JBF chief functionary Shashanka Shekhar Datta urged people to take a picture of the act and share it on the social media "so that others are inspired".

"We will do our best to help these innocent voiceless animals. It will be effective if we work together as rational living beings to save other creatures," he said.

Individuals like journalists Karishma Hasnat and Nandan Pratim Sarma Bordoloi have also taken up the task of feeding neighbourhood street dogs.

"There are about eight of them near my house and a few more within 100 metres. Two of us from the locality have taken up the task of cooking food and feeding the animals. I am trying to get a pass from the administration," Hasnat said.

Bordoloi tweeted urging people not to waste food and instead give it to neighbourhood stray animals. The journalist said he is feeding the stray animals and urged others to do the same.