Governor’s day out with animals


Kolkata : West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi visited an animal care hospital started by Maneka Gandhi here to spend a quiet morning in the company of its inmates, saying animals should be treated with love and humanity.

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“It is a national issue that people no longer care for stray animals. We have separated our own world from that of the animals. But we should always treat them with love and humanity,” said the governor during a visit to Asia’s biggest animal hospital, ASHARI, Wednesday.

The love for animals shown by Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson is as the elder Gandhi had once said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

The governor said that crimes against animals did not only mean slaughtering them: “If someone attacks animals or pokes them with sharp objects or sticks it’s also a form of cruelty.”

ASHARI is an animal shelter-cum-hospital set up by Maneka Gandhi’s People for Animal (PFA) over 4.4 acres of land on the eastern fringes of Kolkata.

The governor and his wife Tara Gandhi toured the entire hospital premises and also inaugurated an ultrasound machine and a hydraulic operation table for cattle in the hospital.

Emphasising on the need for a humanitarian approach towards animals, he said, “We should not forget that we are also a part of this animal world. We must treat them sympathetically.”

Besides animal care, ASHARI is known for its research base to prevent zoonotic diseases affecting humans.

A brainchild of Maneka Gandhi and animal expert Debasish Chakrabarti, ASHARI is not only a composite animal hospital, it is another “green world within the world” where multiple activities related to research for environmental purposes are undertaken.