Canines are being collared by college students, NGO to prevent road accidents
College students participate in the collaring drive at Carter Road in Bandra
Students of Mithibai College, in association with the NGO Planet for Plants and Animals (PPA) and the social organisation Mumbai North Central District Forum (MNCDF), have embarked on a campaign to put reflective collars on stray dogs across Mumbai. They intend to collar 2,000 canines in the next six weeks with an aim to alert speeding vehicles to the presence of dogs on roads, thus preventing accidents.
“On Sunday, almost 200 students from the junior and degree sections of Mithibai college, apart from student volunteers from PPA, came to Marine Drive where the event was kicked off. The event was attended by a few celebrities who have been vocal about animal welfare,” said Om Bhanushali a second-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) student from Mithibai college.
Bhanushali, who is also the chairperson of Kshitij, Mithibai’s annual cultural festival, said, “Every year Kshitij picks up a social cause. This year, we are collaborating with PPA to spread awareness about animal welfare and engage the youth in protecting strays by holding an awareness campaign, feeding drive and putting reflective collars on strays.”
A student collars a dog at Marine Drive in South Mumbai
Talking about the initiative, Saakshi Teckchandani, 23, founder of PPA, said, “This is a pioneering project to protect our stray dogs. The reflective collars will act as a strong precautionary measure. We intend to spread and extend this initiative across India”
The first phase of the campaign began on Saturday and covered Marine Drive, Juhu beach, Dadar’s Shivaji Park, Carter Road and Bandstand in Bandra, Worli and Palm Beach Road in Navi Mumbai wherein groups were assigned 100 collars for each main road where vehicles are driven at high speeds, the organisers told mid-day.
Nearly 300 stray dogs were collared in total on both days. According to PPA volunteers identified the strays through their network of local feeders. Eventually, PPA plans to expand the initiative in metropolitan cities where roads allow commuters to drive up to 60kmps.
Advocate Trivankumar Karnani, founder of MNCDF, said, “The initiative is a joint campaign by PPA and team Kishitij from Mithibai College, and is solely a youth initiative. MNCDF is supporting them. Tagging strays with reflective collars is a good initiative; it will help people driving at night to identify animals from a distance.”
The no of strays the volunteers hope to collar by the end of the drive