The state of animals in India is dismal to say the least, even in the Himalayas. While the animals in the wild are on the verge of extinction, those living on the streets are in deplorable condition and are surviving on human mercy. Snow Marathon Lahaul wants to bring focus on the state of animals in the region. One organisation which is actively working for animal welfare in the region is Manali Strays, which is an animal rescue charity based in the Himalayan town of Manali. Manali Strays was founded in response to the absence of any medical facilities for street animals. It also works towards tackling the issues arising out of human-animal conflict. Besides providing medical care to animals in need it also carries out sterilization and vaccination drives in the region. Snow Marathon Lahaul supports Manali Strays and aims to create awareness about the organisation and its works besides generating funds, as they are dependent purely on donations for their operations.
Manali Strays works specifically for stray dogs in the region. India has the largest number of strays in the world, with over 35 million. Rabies problem in India is on a whole new dimension altogether. With more than 21,000 people annually falling prey to this deadly disease, leaving it to be tackled by the municipal corporations is foolhardy. NGO efforts have been focused on urban centres, with little attention to rural areas. Dogs continue to roam the streets of rural India unneutered and unvaccinated. Only 15% of all stray dogs are vaccinated. The risk of rabies leads many locals to fear, and even abuse stray dogs. The locals resort to unethical methods of reducing the population which include poisonings and beatings; drowning puppies, all of which are cruel and ultimately ineffective. Manali Strays carries out anti-rabies vaccination drives regularly, aiding in WHO’s aim of a Rabies free world, according to which, 70% of the dog population needs to be vaccinated in order to limit rabies.
Let us join hands and hearts in creating a better world for the innocent and voiceless, and support the cause in any which ways we can.