Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024 10:45 [IST]
Last Update: Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024 05:09 [IST]
The news of legendary industrialist Ratan
Tata's upcoming animal hospital in Mumbai is a welcome development,
highlighting the growing concern for animal welfare in India. At the age of 86,
Tata is poised to launch his newest and longstanding passion project — an
animal hospital in Mumbai. Born out of his personal journey and global search
for top-notch medical care for his injured pet, this hospital is set to open
its doors in early March. Spanning 2.2 acres and constructed with an investment
of Rs 165 crore, this facility will stand as one of India's rare 24x7 hospitals
catering to dogs, cats, rabbits, and various other small animals, fulfilling
Tata’s dream of providing top-notch veterinary care in India. Additionally, the
hospital will include a specialized unit operated by an NGO, focused entirely
on the well-being of stray dogs.
However, this celebration must be tempered
with a critical look at the state of animal care in other parts of the country.
The current healthcare infrastructure for animals is still inadequate in the
country, including Sikkim. Animal welfare is the last thing on any political
party’s agenda. While Sikkim has a few private veterinary clinics, dedicated
individuals and animal welfare groups, who are wholeheartedly dedicated to our
furry friends, the lack of dedicated animal hospitals leaves a significant
gap in the healthcare infrastructure for animals. This is particularly
concerning given the state's diverse wildlife and the growing number of pet
owners. The state desperately needs more than just a few isolated clinics.
Animal shelters, dedicated Gaushalas, and proper training for activists are
crucial steps towards ensuring animal well-being. Lack of equipment, legal
support, and even basic resources like ambulances further cripple existing
The Sikkim government must recognize that
animal welfare is not just about livestock management, but encompasses the
well-being of all animals. This requires collaboration with NGOs, animal
welfare organizations, and local communities. Ratan Tata's initiative sets a
positive example, but it shouldn't overshadow the need for systemic change in
Sikkim and other parts of India.
While Mr. Tata's initiative undoubtedly fills
a critical gap in animal healthcare infrastructure, Sikkim lacks comprehensive
facilities for animal welfare. Calls for government action have gone largely
unheard, leaving animal activists frustrated and animals vulnerable.
The question remains: will Sikkim heed the
call for better animal welfare? Or will it continue to lag behind, while cries
for help fade into the background? While an Animal Husbandry department
exists, a collaborative approach, where the government and local NGOs join
hands, is essential. Sikkim can, and should, learn from Mr. Tata's initiative.
His passion project showcases the immense impact private individuals can have,
but sustainable change requires a collective effort.