Rehoming the rescued

Flood rehabilitation

BARC team rescuing animals. Photo by author

The floods in Belagavi have wreaked havoc in the lives of people, but there is a silver lining in those dark clouds.

There have been many instances of people volunteering for the cause of flood relief and even going beyond the call of duty to lend a helping hand. 

The hardest hit in the district were the animals, and the members of Belgaum Animal Rescue and Care (BARC) moved around the city feeding stray dogs and other animals. 

BARC was started by Belagavi locals Sucheta Inamdar, Neelam Shevade and Seema Salgaonkar with an aim of rescuing animals in distress.

Recently, the team of BARC including Rahul Chikorde, Apurva, Varun Karkhanis and Rohan Rajput searched for animals trapped in basements and under shrubs; the team even swam in deep waters at times to rescue animals.

Sucheta Inamdar shared harrowing tales of how animals were not as lucky as humans and the rescue team cried every day seeing their plight.  

The main problem was to find shelters for the rescued animals.

Fortunately, many animals found foster homes soon after they were put up for adoption on social media.

Mahi Priyanka, an animal lover, came from Hubballi with a carload of food and materials for the animals after seeing BARC's work on social media.

Local student Abha Sant took home some animals, but they needed more space. So the team requested MLA Abhay Patil for the same. He then allocated space for the animals within the city's vaccine depot premises.

The team still seeks permanent shelters for the rescued animals.

Well of goodwill

The old well at Kelkar Bagh in Belagavi, once a dumping ground, was recently cleaned thanks to the efforts of citizens and some contributions by NGO PYAAS Foundation.

In March 2017, the team, along with the then City Commissioner Dr Shashidhar Kurer and Corporation Engineer R S Naik, was joined by locals for this effort.   

The well was filled to the brim with mud, garbage and medical waste. It took the team 60 feet of digging over several days to get to the bottom. Then, water sprung out uncontrollably, so much that motors were installed to control its flow till the work was completed. Soon, the clean water of the well could reach around 10,000 residents in the vicinity.

During the recent floods, the well became the focal point for water tankers that provided potable water to several localities. 

Morale boosters

Shri Charukirti Bhattaraka Swamiji of Shravanabelagola Digambar Jain Matha is leading an initiative along with Vinod Doddanavar of Belagavi. They are travelling with a team of volunteers across Gokak, Konnur, Athani, Shedbal, Ugar, Yarnal, Ainapur, all areas in interior Karnataka that faced the brunt of the Krishna and the Ghataprabha in spate.

Vinod Doddanavar remembers seeing school kids losing their books and inconsolable, the elderly losing medicines and forgetting their names, and miscreants spreading rumours about a dam burst, which led to the death of some villagers due to fear.

Apart from supplying relief material, the team instils confidence in the victims. 

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