Even in the face of severe criticism, she didn’t give up. It takes a lot to win over the affection of man’s best friend. However, Sulakshmi Das Gupta, a selfless mother managed to make not one or two, but about 550 four-legged wards love her by devoting her life to them.
It all started about 15 years ago. Sulakshmi and her husband Pinaki Das, raised three dogs as their pets in their house in C.R.Park, New Delhi. The 60-year-old soon realized that her love for the dogs did not end at the walls of her home. That’s when she started feeding the stray dogs around her house as well. With each passing year, the number of her fur children kept increasing.
Sulakshmi and her husband didn’t simply stop at feeding the dogs. To ensure their well-being, she provides them medical attention and care along with finding new homes for newborn.
Sulaksmhi Devotes 18 Hours of Her Time for the Dogs Everyday
What started as a routine of feeding a couple of dogs has now turned into an organization known as Swargasaathi Charitable Trust. Sulakshmi runs the trust, which comprises a team of eight people who ensure the well-being of more than 550 dogs in the city of Delhi through their flagship initiative Feedstrays.
The FeedStrays Programme, covers roughly about 30 km radius, involves cooking about 350 kg of freshly cooked rice and meat, amounting to 18 hours of hard labour. Through this program, they feed each one of the 550 dogs. Every single day!
Every morning, at around 7 a.m., the Swargasaathi team cooks rice and meat for their street friends. Then, they put the food in disposable eco-friendly plates and bowls and feed the dogs in two batches; those around their locality and those around South Delhi.
Sulakshmi keeps track of all these dogs that depend on her. What’s more? She has also named each one of them.
Her Journey Hasn’t Been a Walk in the Park
It takes sheer amount of grit and determination to work for a cause like this. Sulakshmi is extremely passionate about what she does. However, giving a better life to the community of stray dogs came with a cost for her. She had to deal with a lot of opposition from the residents in her locality. But, that didn’t deter her spirit.
She admits and rejoices at her husband’s support without whom the financials of it all would never have worked out. He has encouraged and provided equally for her.
In the most difficult times, Sulakshmi decided to sell all her ancestral jewellery. She didn’t want lack of funds to get in her way of providing care to the dogs. Such is her affection for her fur children! No wonder, she was chosen among the top 25 changemakers of India in October 2015 by Microsoft.
Sulakshmi and her husband sponsor the whole program themselves. The amount needed to take care of the dogs comes around to Rs. 2.5 lakhs every month. A majority of this goes for the food, salary of the five team members, and medical treatment of the dogs.
How You Can Help
Sulakshmi’s efforts towards the community of stray dogs, indeed, makes her stand as the perfect example of selflessness. Your contribution can help her continue working for this cause. More importantly, it will ensure that none of these dogs die of starvation.