When you have the will, you find the ways to do the things that are close to your heart. Being a rag picker, she earns just enough to feed herself. But Pratima Devi, who also won Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award in 2009 for showing ‘social courage’, now takes care of more than 300 stray dogs outside the Anupam Shopping Complex in Saket, New Delhi.
It’s been 35 years since Pratima Devi came to Delhi from Nandigram in West Bengal, India. She earlier used to run a small tea stall in Saket. She got married at the age of 7 to a husband who was almost 10 years older. Pratima Devi became a mother when she was 14 and by the age of 19, she was a mother of three children. Her children stay nearby in Sangam Vihar who now does not want her to stay with them because of these dogs. And Pratima Devi is also not so keen to part ways from her loving family of dogs who means the world to her.
Initially Pratima Devi had only 3 dogs. But with time, the number has grown and now she proudly boasts of taking care of 300+ dogs daily in and around the PVR Saket Area. She has gained fame and respect for her act of kindness as many well known people also come to see her and know more about her. Pratima Devi gets regular support from the people around who love dogs and connect with her relentless efforts. They support her financially or with food items so that none of her 300+ family members stay hungry.
She proudly says her dogs wont bite you ever. All of her dogs have also been sterilized and vaccinated by the MCD. She picks so many dogs from the street to take care without considering much about her own surviving conditions. She sincerely requests everybody to pick at least one such dog from the street to take care so that every dog can have a shelter.
To adopt a dog or help her in any way possible, you can talk to her at +91-8826543466 or visit her behind PVR cinema, Saket, New Delhi.
It only takes an individual like Pratima Devi to bring the change we all look for and inspire a thousand others like us.
Click here for more stories from the “Yes! i am the Change” series.