5 Ways to Help Animals during Summer

The summer temperatures in India have been rising every year. The excruciating heat puts animals at risk of dying due to dehydration. Human beings are well able to protect themselves from the heat, but our urban stray companions have a tough time during these scorching months. However, we can help save animals in so many ways. Small acts of kindness such as looking out for animals at risk, pet rescue, and feeding, can greatly help animals get by in this heat.

 

We’ve listed out 5 simple things you can do, to help animals and birds at risk, in your locality this summer:

 

Organize a feeding program

This isn’t something you should only do during the summer, but animals and birds really need the extra energy to survive the heat. So if you see an animal scavenging around in garbage bins and looking for food, you can always put together some leftovers from your fridge to feed the stray birds and animals that are at risk of starvation. You don’t need to be an animal welfare activist to do this.

 

Pet rescue, foster care, and shelter stray animals

Adopting over buying pets is something that cannot be stressed enough. There are thousands of dogs and cats that wander around across every area in India. Try giving them a home. Especially in the summer, they get dehydrated and their skin burns with the rays. The only shelter for them is hiding under cars or looking for shade in the trees.

 

Look out for distressed animals

If you spot any heat stressed birds or animals who are struggling to survive, call an animal welfare group and ask them for help, or even seek immediate advice on how to save the animal. Give them food or water, and contact a vet if necessary.

 

#PledgeABowl of water for animals and birds

The most number of animal deaths due to dehydration takes place in the months of March to June in India. The simple act of putting out a bowl of water can save animals and birds from dying of thirst. Several animal enthusiasts are participating in the #PledgeABowl campaign, wherein they put out bowls of water in different parts of the city. Many have raised funds online, to purchase cement, clay, and plastic bowls as part of #PledgeABowl.

 

Donate towards animal welfare programs

There may be reasons why an individual cannot take up animal welfare acts such as pet rescue or feeding programs. But there are other ways to participate in animal welfare activities. Animal lovers and enthusiasts run innumerable campaigns to get financial support for their projects. You can always donate towards feeding programs, shelter programs, and other campaigns such as #PledgeABowl. Look out for one that resonates with you, and save these animals.

You don’t need to be an animal lover to show some compassion for the helpless and voiceless stray in your locality. If funds are what you need for your mission to help animals at risk, we encourage you to raise funds by starting a crowdfunding campaign on Impact Guru. All you have to do is tell the world about the issue you are trying to resolve, and ask them to donate towards your campaign. Share it extensively with your friends and family on social media, so that more people can be part of your initiative. It is a great way to make a difference to the lives of our furry friends who can’t speak for themselves.

How Foreign Donations are Revolutionising the Indian Social Sector

According to an article by the Hindustan Times, foreign donations to Indian NGOs was at a soaring amount of INR 12,000 crores in the year 2013-2014. This number nearly doubled to INR 22,000 crores in the year 2014-2015. It is to be noted that majority of the foreign donations to Indian NGOs was distributed across seven states – Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and West Bengal.

 

The drastic increase of NRI donation calls for an enlightening discussion about the potential of crowdfunding for NGOs in India through NRI donations, and the role of the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) in paving way for overall social development in a number of sectors.  The pattern of foreign donations in India has highlighted child welfare, education, rural development, and public health, as the categories with the most amount of foreign funding. The consequence of this is that we have taken a significant step in improving and securing the future generations of India by growing in these categories, and allowing common man an easier access to it.

 

Cutting back to a few years ago, NGOs had very few options to financially sustain their work. It was mostly philanthropic individuals, charitable trusts, and more recently, CSR initiatives by large corporates that made the most contributions. But today the opportunities are bursting through the seams. The era of internet connectivity and tech innovations have expanded the scope of fundraising activities that a nonprofit can take up. Crowdfunding is a case in point, where anyone, from business, to NGOs, and individuals, can raise money for projects ranging from personal needs, social work, capital for business ideas, medical expenses, to educational expenses. All you have to do is pitch your idea, make an appeal to your circles on social media, and ask them to donate to your cause and share it with others if the idea resonates with them. The more viral it gets, the more donations you draw. This has brought success to innumerable startups, social enterprises, NGOs, and individuals world over, as well as in India.

 

On the other hand, the opportunities that foreign donations brought to the social sector, are no less. The FCRA implemented in 2010 came as a blessing to NGOs and nonprofits who truly wanted to further their projects in the development sector. FCRA enables individuals, associations, and NGOs in India to receive foreign funding after a formal registration process.

 

An interesting dynamic can be established between the two aspects (crowdfunding and foreign donations) in the social sector. A combination of NRI donations and crowdfunding for NGOs in India not only allows NGOs to raise funds with higher currencies, but will also keep a check on the utilization of funds received, and the projects undertaken with those funds. Moreover, social media communication, which is fundamental to crowdfunding is a great catalyst to draw in, and encourage NRIs to make donations towards development in their homeland. This also puts responsibility of accountability on Indian NGOs to utilize the funds they receive through NRI donations, appropriately. Interestingly, FCRA prohibits political funding through this method.

 

The bottom line is that crowdfunding in combination with foreign donations has the potential to be a sustainable financial model for NGOs in India, looking to create a better India with their various interventions. As long as the ulterior motive is to add long-term benefit to society, there is no reason that individuals or corporates, both, in India and overseas won’t want to be a part of it. The only questions remains is if Indian NGOs and nonprofits are quick enough to recognize and seize such opportunities.

 

Indian donors living in the UK and USA, can donate towards vetted NGOs in India now, and are further incentivised to participate in India’s development activities, by claiming tax benefits from their own government. The Indian NGOs that are interested to reap the benefits of this partnership may visit this link.

5 problems faced by stray animals in India

The stray population in India haven’t had it very easy off late. Last year alone, the news highlighted disturbing incidents where dogs were burned alive and flung off building terraces, among others. Cruelty towards the stray population in India, is only increasing with each passing day. But it isn’t just the inhumane acts of cruelty by a few that is the problem. A much greater problem lies in the turning away of the rest of us who won’t speak out on their behalf – not just with regards to animal cruelty, but the helpless living conditions of the stray animals and birds in nooks and corners of our country. The good work of animal activists and enthusiasts is not enough to look after the entire stray population. We all need to actively participate in overcoming certain problems faced by animals, for they are an important part of our community.

 

Human recklessness and animal cruelty

Animal cruelty is one of the biggest problems faced by the Indian stray population. The number of animal cruelty incidents brought to the limelight last year, especially in case of stray dogs, speaks volumes of the indifference in our attitudes towards the urban stray. The humble actions of a few animal rights groups won’t save animals. There needs to be a shift in the mindset of people, where we are all inclusive and welcoming of the stray population, and look out for them as part of our community, rather than a menace.

 

Buying over adopting

Everyone loves the idea of having a little pet in the house. Many of us believe ourselves to be animal lovers too. Yet, the number of homes that buy pets from breeders rather than adopt from the streets, is much higher, and that is a major threat to animals. When you adopt, you not only spend a lot less money, but you also save a life. So adopt, don’t buy!

 

Scavenge for food

Occasionally you’ll see a passer by who stops to drop a few biscuits for a stray dog, but that’s about the effort we take to save animals. They have to helplessly search through garbage bins for food remains that will feed them for days. We complain about strays spreading diseases, but we need to understand that we too, are part of the problem faced by strays. We leave our garbage unattended, and ignore the helpless hungry creatures. A solution to this is a simple feeding program for a few dogs in your area. Even if conducted only once a week, it will save animals.

 

No shelter for the stray

The only home for the urban stray animals is the shade of a tree, and the bottom of a car. Situations are worsened by the season changes through the year. In the monsoons, they are drenched, and often tend to catch diseases, and in the summer, the sun rays burn their skin. There are several animal shelters in India, but there are still so many animals looking for shelter. If you cannot provide a shelter for them yourself, you can always lead them to an animal shelter where they will be well taken care of.

 

Death due to dehydration

The summer temperatures in India are a major threat to animals. This summer, several animal enthusiasts are participating in the #PledgeABowl initiative, wherein they put out bowls of water for the stray animals and birds, so that they can get by in these burning summer months. The aim for the #PledgeABowl campaign is to reduce the number of deaths due to dehydration between March and June.

 

You too, can be a part of this mission to provide water to stray animals and birds. If funds are the only thing stopping you from taking up this initiative, we urge you to raise money for it by starting a crowdfunding campaign on Impact Guru. All you have to do is tell the world about this issue you are trying to resolve, and ask them to donate towards your campaign, and share it on social media. It is a great way to make a difference to the lives of our furry friends who can’t speak for themselves.

 

So #PledgeABowl today!