We could all take a lesson from the people of Sardarpura when it comes to animal rights and the way we treat our two- and four-legged furry and feathered friends.
Each year the small town of Sardarpura in India collects money to go towards their budget for feeding and taking care of stray animals and birds in the area.
While we ship discarded animals to animal shelters or euthanize them because they can’t be cared for, the people of Sardarpura are collectively taking responsibility for the animals of the town who don’t have a home.
This is a tradition that has been going on for more than 100 years and takes place on the 14th of January each year in order to give animals their right to good health.
Each year the 5,000-strong community rallies together to set aside a budget for the animals in the area, which include dogs, donkeys, cows and bullocks. And where they cannot donate money, they donate and prepare food.
“We allocate the budget to animals and birds, according to their numbers,” villager leader Moti Desai says.
“Elders of the village first make a blueprint for the budget for animals and then they ask village youths to collect the necessary funds. Women who are on fast work to prepare food for stray animals,” he said.
While local residents and animal rights campaigners in Australia often rally in support of issues which affect animals, like protesting against the removal of native habitat and the life export trade, it is not likely that a whole community of people would come together and allocate an entire budget to supporting the local animals.
We should all take a note from the people of Sardarpura and their treatment and respect of their furry friends. Wasn’t it Gandhi who said that “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”? Well, Sardarpura you’re pretty great in my eyes, and my hat goes off to you.