An 80-year-old woman who looks after around 250–300 stray dogs has alleged that Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) workers razed her jhuggi, shop, and makeshift shelter for the canines.
The elderly woman, Pratima Devi, also known as Amma, has been a patron of stray dogs. She has been living near the PVR Anupam complex in Delhi’s Saket area for several years.
MCD workers ‘beat’ the dogs
“MCD workers demolished my jhuggi and shop. They took away my belongings and also beat my dogs. I have at least 250–300 dogs. I am sitting under the tree now with my dogs,” Pratima Devi told ANI.
Delhi | Dogs & their octogenarian caretaker thrown out of their home by MCD
MCD workers demolished my jhuggi & shop, took away my belongings & also beat my dogs. I have at least 250-300 dogs. I am sitting under the tree now with my dogs: Pratima Devi, caretaker of dogs pic.twitter.com/gzw1CebUAr
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2023
She said she would take care of the dogs as long as she lived.
“Since morning, the dogs have not been fed. I came to Delhi in 1984. Since then, I have been taking care of dogs. I am 80 years old now. I do not have the physical strength to move around or look for work. I want to stay here and take care of these dogs for as long as I live,” Pratima Devi added.
Not the first time that her shelter was destroyed
Earlier in 2017, she alleged that MCD razed her makeshift shelter for dogs.
On October 30 that year, Pratima Devi’s house, a shack she built for herself with the help of her son, was razed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
Before bulldozing her shelter, the MCD had threatened Amma and her neighbours for months.
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She was accused of selling drugs to teenagers and making the neighbourhood dirty because of the dogs, Scroll. in reported.
Also, in 2003, an arsonist had reportedly set fire to the hut where she lived with her dogs. Some dogs died and burn injuries were inflicted on Amma’s arms and stomach. This didn’t scare her off. Instead, she returned to the spot and continued looking after the dogs.
Lockdown tested dog mothers’ resolve
While donations for Amma’s shelter went down during the lockdown in 2020, the number of canines in her care increased.
In more than 25 cases, people left their pets with her in a span of a few months.
The donations had dropped because donators could not visit due to COVID restrictions and only a few could help her through digital payments, TOI reported.
The disturbing trend of people abandoning dogs during lockdown strengthened Amma’s resolve. She did her best even after a significant dip in donations.
Pawan Kumar, a helper to Pratima Devi, at that time had revealed that they spent Rs 3,000 every day feeding the dogs.
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