Rescue, text and pictures – Naina Athale a Navi Mumbai based activist. Naina is a PhD scholar and is a member of the Managing Committee of In Defense of Animals (IDA), co-opted member of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and member of the Advisory Board of The Voice of Stray Dogs.
December 2006 , Navi Mumbai. I received a call from a horrified bank employee who could not describe what she had seen. She said she was in a daze all the way home from her office at CBD to Mumbai. After two hours, at 10pm she got the courage to call, but was mumbling and stuttering. I left immediately and saw something extremely traumatic for me. A black stray dog tied up with plastic twine and left to die by some perverted jerk at the CBD railway station.
Hundreds of commuters passing by everyday but only one of them called us after almost 10 days or more. By the time the twine had literally eaten into his flesh. You can see a part of it after I cut it off still stuck to his flesh in the back. The little white button like thing at the top of his neck is the spinal cord. I managed to cut the rest of the twine but you can still see the marks left on his face and neck as if the twine was still there…No auto would come because of his stinking flesh..so I put him on wads of newspaper on the back seat of my car and drove down to our center.
A journey of about 20 mins. but seemed like forever.. the smell made me puke all the way..not because of the smell it self but rather because it represented all that was so wrong with us humans…he died late that night, probably very relieved his eyes dead with the pain and not a sound..just a deep sigh which was his last breath..The next day I was on a rampage. I walked up and down the station with my staff and a volunteer, made a huge noise (this had to be a regular commuter or one of the staff at the station), screamed and yelled showing all and sundry the picture of the dog, warning everyone that if I catch the bastard who did this, I would hang him from the nearest tree!
I also said that I had taken a promise of the goddess Ambabai ( as revered here as Vaishnodevi in the north) and she would see to it that the bugger would turn into a ‘napunsak’ (well, would never get an erection again). I had to do this as the only way of putting the fear of hell in the mind of the abuser and also all potential abusers who heard me rave and rant during peak hours for two more days after that. One stall helper disappeared the day after my first visit, and hopefully the guy is still trying but failing to ‘perform’! I did file a police complaint but of course no one was arrested.
In my mind since December 2006. I see plastic twine and remember him, his eyes looking at me and telling ‘just let me go’.