Pratima Devi bears her nickname, the Dog Lady of New Delhi, with pride. That’s because she feels it’s her life’s mission to take care of the 400 dogs who keep her company in one of the poorest parts of New Delhi. How Devi accomplishes this is nothing short of amazing.Daily Feedings
Every single day, Devi feeds all 400 stray dogs. Of these, 120 live with her in a run-down shed covered in tarps. The 65-year-old gathers scraps to recycle, a task that earns her 150 rupees, or $2.24, per day. She used to have a small tea shop with one or two dogs, but then they had puppies. The tea shop was destroyed in a storm, but Devi never lost hope that she could take care of her companions even after she went without food for four days following the wreck of the shop.
Life Better With Dogs
The elderly woman, who has three grown children, has a unique perspective. She left her abusive husband and her native village to start life over. She says she feels happier around dogs than humans and that caring for the strays is her religion. The dogs, like Devi, have no permanent home, so it’s a match that makes them both fulfilled.
Devi rebuilt her tea shop and makes a bit of money that way. She also receives donations of bread, food and milk for the dogs. Any extra help lets Devi take the dogs to the vet for regular checkups and vaccinations. An 18-year-old neighbor, Vivek, helps the woman feed the dogs milk every morning at 6 a.m., followed by lunch at noon and dinner at 11 p.m. Vivek says he loves dogs and spends a lot of time with them. In a way, Devi has passed on her lesson in compassion to a younger generation.Devi’s unwavering love for her dogs is proof that there are good people out there willing to lend a caring hand to pets, even in the face of tough odds. Help feed rescued dogs, and be a part of Devi’s movement to stand up for four-legged friends.
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