Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Video Producer: Saradha Natarajan
I am Abhijit Dowarah, a 32-year-old from Assam. In November, I started turning old, discarded TV sets into kennels for street dogs in Sivasagar district. My makeshift dog house, called ‘baator ghor‘, went viral on social media a few days after I set it up and uploaded its photos on Instagram.
The thought came to my mind as, in comparison to the comfort and safety my pet enjoys at home, stray dogs have to deal with lack of food and shelter. So, I wanted to help them in whatever little way possible.
Before cementing this idea, I ventured out several times at night to see how stray dogs sustain themselves on the streets. I learnt that they suffer a lot during harsh winters, as they do not have a shelter for warmth.
Since a lot of people have started purchasing LCD and LED TVs, they have been discarding their old television sets. So, I decided to use these ‘idiot boxes’ and turned them into a cosy space for my furry friends.
I searched for old TV sets and removed the electrical parts, only using the frame to design a suitable home for pups.
To make the homes more noticeable, I decided to paint them in two colours – yellow and green. Yellow, so that the kennel is visible from a distance, and green, so that it is camouflaged with the surrounding.
Along with this, I also made a bowl from a waste plastic bottle for the dogs to drink water from. It has been made in such a way that neither leaves nor dust could fall into the container, and at the same time, the water would fill whenever it rains.
I installed the first ‘baator ghor’ on 4 December 2020.
Then, I collected old clothes used by my dog and kept them inside the kennel. This way, the strays could trace the scent and find the shelter. Finally, I placed these kennels on the streets.
To make this initiative a success not only in Assam but all over the country, I request people to use their old TV sets or any wooden box to build homes for dogs, so that they can beat the winter chill and have a safe place to sleep.
So far, five dog homes have been installed in Assam’s Sivasagar, but I am planning for 15 more before the year ends.
Once I installed the homes, several friends and relatives expressed keenness to help. I even got help from a veterinarian who provides medicines and care for injured and ill dogs in the street.
Given my financial situation, I was only able to build a home, but with the help of a few others, I am now able to feed strays in Sivasagar every Wednesday and Sunday.
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