Blue Cross in Chennai
‘Hello, I am Ivy. Pleased to meet you here!’. Said Ivy from Hongkong (‘married with someone from Cambodia’). Ivy, around 35 years old, comes to Blue Cross in Velachery, Chennai, South-India, every day. The whole day. Since two weeks. She is responsible for the care of the puppies that are being brought in. Every day. In the 2 hours I was there, with my children, 6 new puppies were added to the small cages, on a nicely cleaned tile floor, in a small house near the entrance.
‘We need more volunteers, you need to speak with Don’, said Ivy. Before we could do that, my kids already picked up two puppies (‘go ahead, no problem’) and sank down on the ground with them to play. ‘If you can’t adopt one of them, bring your children here to at least play with them and show them love’, she said, with a big smile on her face. Ivy, from Hongkong. In Chennai.
Barag (or something with a similar sound) and another fellow, from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu respectively, lead us around the premises, before I met Don. Along with them a young, handsome engineer, from Tamil Nadu too. ‘I am already graduated’, she said. ‘Doing social service here’. She seemed to know an awful lot about animals, for an engineer that is. And there were a lot of various kinds of animals taken care of at the Chennai Blue Cross’ premises: apart from the usual dogs and cats, there were (wounded and/or neglected) cow, buffaloes, pigs, donkeys, rabbits, guinea pigs and poultry (fighting cocks and even fighting sheep). I saw a little white rat (kept as a pet by someone until he had enough of it) and a wounded owl (‘normally wild life goes to a special centre’).
A whole bunch of waterbuffalo’s was sulkying in the mud, plentyful on the terrain after rain had lashed Chennai last night. ‘We have rescued them from being brought to illegal slaughter houses in Kerala’, the beautiful engineer explained me, pointing at some of the wounds they had developed because of the overloading of the truck they had been traveling on. I was introduced to Mohan, who was making a documentary on these illegal ‘transports to hell’, backed by a Hindu organization for the preservation of cow-life.
Finally I met Don, but before he could talke to me and I to him about what I wanted to get out of this visit apart from an exposure for my children (‘Can i please take this one, daddy?’), Don was called up by one of his field assistants. ‘Sorry, I have to go on a rescue mission. We have to pick up a neglected cow’. And off he was, in his truck. I asked him, while he drove away: ‘Are you not afraid for actions from the owners of these animals?’. He said, with a smile: ‘I have a team of lawyers on my side, and the law of course. They are no party for me’. Don, ex-Indian military officer. With a mission. To rescue. To care. To raise awareness under the general public of India.
I will surely come back for a real talk with Don.