“Stray dogs don’t escape their fate as I don’t live free and howl at the moon, so I don’t hear them when they cry from hunger or laugh, that I am chained to my home.” – Alan Haider.
All of us are a very fortunate bunch of living things to have the warmth and the care of our parents and jolly-well be enjoying the food, shelter, and love, you name it, for us humans are blessed with something or the other. But, do the innocent animals get a fair share of love and caring in a world that is dominated by the mankind?
And so, the Rotaractors of the Rotaract club of SLIIT decided to take an initiative to care for these unheard howling’s and growling’s of the starving street dogs in and around the university neighborhood back in 2016. And to keep up this worthy cause alive, for the 3rd consecutive time, we made ‘Feed a Stray 3.0’ into a reality on the 1st of September 2018.
This year, with the aim of making the project bigger and better, the RACSLIIT members and volunteers from both SLIIT and other Rotaract clubs came together at SLIIT Malabe campus, it being the easiest assembly point for all of us. With the participation of over 40 young animal lovers,and of course freshly cooked food and water for dogs, packed gently in the boots of our vehicles, we began our journey in five different routes in search of stray dogs. Also keeping in mind that all of our projects need to be both sustainable and eco-friendly, our volunteers plucked enough ‘banana leaves’ and ‘kanda leaves’ to serve the dogs.
By 9.30 am, we were all out on the streets in the vicinities of Malabe, Kaduwela and Athurugiriya. It was quite a sunny day, and so we raced ourselves to make sure that the street dogs did not move off the streets into the shades as the daylight came to its full strength. Well, Sooner than we expected, we came acrosswhat we were looking for… A bunch of poorly fed stray dogs!! , and our gang was out feeding the innocent creatures in no time. Off we go, on the lookout for more, and few meters ahead we find our next stop and it was the most heart touching one. An abandon litter of puppies sheltering themselves in a tiny shack by the road side. Time was of essence, yet these little puppies made sure that we did not leave them too soon. The wagging tails of these tiny snow balls and of course the loud petting of our volunteers (especially the girls ;p) You know…., the “ Awww’’, “Aneehh” “ I wanna take her home” , “He’s so adorable” and what not, definitely told a bigger story, a happy story not everyone gets to experience.
Up until 12.30 pm, or better explained as…, Till each of the groups that made their way in five different routes had to ring each other and ask if there’s any extra food left with the other, for all of us had run out of food sooner than we thought. Liked it or not, we had to head back to SLIIT afterwards, but similar stories from the other groups back at SLIIT, of what they had come across did not fail to catch our hearts. Also those experiences shared were proof that the project had made a difference, a real impact.
And after all, wrapping up yet another simple but a fruitful effort, it was time for us too, the fellow Rotaractors and the volunteers to feed our hungry tummies as well, and maybe some ‘Dessert’ :p as well.
Finally, as the co-chairpersons of the project this year, Rtr. DhanushikaRanawaka and I, Rtr. Thusara Wijesuriya are truly grateful to all those who helped out in this cause even in the slightest possible way. ‘’A hand that feeds is better than a mouth that prays’’. Hope to see you with Feed a Stray 4.0 in time to come.
Viva La Rotaract!
Com. Service Director 2018-19