Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, many services have been discontinued, businesses have closed, and most people in shanty communities and suburbs have gone hungry at least once a day. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, the number of hungry people due to food insecurity is anticipated to rise to 265 million in 2020, up from 135 million in 2019.
Despite strict lockdowns worldwide, everybody has come to help those in need, from celebrities to NGOs to the general public. As we continue to cope with the current crisis, one of those living creatures, stray animals, has been utterly forgotten. During this time, Vibha Tomar, a fourth-year veterinary student from Arawali Veterinary College, decided to take matters into her own hands and came to their rescue.
A Convivial Companion
When the COVID-19 epidemic first broke out, Vibha’s primary concern was for the stray animals’ survival. “She added,” she said, “The strays rely solely on the leftover food left by passers-by on the side streets. They consume garbage from outside the houses’ trash cans. If people do not leave their homes, there will be no food for these stray animals “. That’s when Vibha realised she needed to help them. As a veterinarian student, she saw it as her responsibility to aid the helpless stray babies by feeding them regularly, as if she were a good Samaritan. Thanks to Vibha’s parents, Vijay and Kiran Tomar, who have been immensely supportive of her effort from the start.
During the lockdown, Vibha started with 50 stray animals and fed 350 strays regularly. She provided the stray dogs in as many regions as she could, including South Delhi and Central Delhi. She also prepared flyers to reach a wider audience, stating that strays do not transmit the COVID-19 virus and requesting assistance for innocent people.
Vibha’s posters went popular on social media in a matter of days, receiving millions of views. Vibha also gained immense support from Bollywood stars in spreading her message. “I’m grateful to everyone who shared the pictures,” she said, thanking all of the supporters who had lent a hand throughout her campaign. And, when it came to preparing the food, Vibha spent 3-4 hours packing the food in her car and driving to the strays in the evening hours, ready to feed them. “I usually left about 8 p.m. and returned around 2 a.m. As she used to wind up either rescuing animals or helping injured stray souls, she would sometimes return to her house around 4 or 5 a.m “, she stated.
In the Memory of Oscar
Vibha, on the other hand, has an actual narrative to tell about the initiative and why she wanted to be a veterinarian in the first place. Oscar, Vibha’s favourite dog, has drastically transformed her life and was everything to her: “my best friend, my family, and my love who was there in every single step of my life.” Her time with Oscar taught her the true meaning of love. He drove Vibha, but he also urged her to pursue veterinary medicine as a career path after high school. Vibha was inspired by Oscar’s caring personality, unconditional love, affection, and selflessness to rescue and heal the creatures in need.
Vibha has also established the “Oscar For Life Charitable Trust” in Oscar’s remembrance. She uses her trust to help strays in a variety of ways, including rescuing, healing, feeding, nurturing, and adopting them. Vibha has also begun a project called “Winter Homes For Strays,” in which she provides strays with homes made of tyres as well as carpets to keep them warm. Furthermore, Vibha has been supplying luminous collars to stray dogs since last year in order to prevent traffic accidents.
Oscar For Life Charitable Trust received donations from people throughout the lockdown, including Vibha’s relatives and friends, and Vibha spent roughly 100000/- rupees per month feeding the stray dogs. She currently feeds approximately 20-25 stray cats and dogs twice a day, at the cost of around 40000/- rupees.
Vibha, on the other hand, has some fantastic initiatives in the works right now. She intends to create her animal sanctuary and a pet clinic after completing her degree. “There would be all kinds of facilities for the strays and various adjustments in the clinical section for faster healing of the injured animals,” Vibha continued.
“In my dream, no animal dies while waiting for aid. When someone approaches Oscar For Life For Help for assistance, I want the response to be yes at any time of day, including midnight “Vibha says that she will do whatever she can to help preserve the animals.
Vibha concluded by thanking her parents for their unwavering support and all of her social media followers who assisted her in making this project a success.