This year we are partnering with Mothers Heart Sarsuna, in Kolkata India, to help improve their infrastructure and increase the number of animals they are able to help and improve the quality of care they offer. Mothers Heart has been working in the Behala area of Kolkata for over 10 years and has emerged as one of the most well known and respected animal organizations in the city. Founded by Partha Bhattacharya and run by him and his wife Sreetama, they started out very small with very limited resources but have stuck with it due to their love and compassion for animals. We have chosen to work with them because, even though they’re a small organization, they have so much potential if provided with the right resources and support. To that end we have developed a 12 month plan with Mothers Heart to assist them with their work and help improve their circumstances where we can. This includes:
Having Animal People Alliance supporters and volunteers raise funds for new equipment to help better serve animals. A member of last years Immersion Trip to Kolkata and Sikkim, Ed Grubach, has raised over $2,000 that will be used to purchase a brand new Oxygen Anesthesia Machine which makes putting animals under for surgery much safer and reliable.
Another participant of last years trip, Mark Harvey, raised over $1300 so we could hire Mothers Heart Program Chief, Sreetama, to work as a Program Coordinator for Animal People Alliance. Sree is helping to manage our work on the ground by recruiting trainees and overseeing training of future female para vets in Kolkata. Sree is also a valuable resource to have in Kolkata as she is well connected and very educated on the animal welfare issue in West Bengal.
Animal People Alliance is fundraising to help Mothers Heart purchase a NEW Animal Ambulance that can be used to treat minor cases on the street (which prevents exposing otherwise healthy animals to the viruses and bacteria at animal shelters) and transport more serious cases to local shelters for treatment. In addition the van will be used to support community outreach programs that help educate the public about animal welfare and what they should do when they see an animal in distress.
The Animal Ambulance will also be staffed by new employees whose training and employment will be sponsored by Animal People Alliance! We are looking to employ women as the full time para vets and a few men to handle the driving and catching. In addition to a lack of funding, most animal NGOs suffer from a lack of qualified and dedicated people who want to work with animals. This helps increase the number of employees at Mothers Heart which in turn will increase the number of animals they are able to help. A win, win for both Animals and People.
Once we help Mothers Heart get the Animal Ambulance up and running we can then focus on raising funds to help improve their shelter. They have started construction on a new, bigger facility near their current location that will significantly increase their capacity and allow them to provide better care for the animals.