City News Gathered

Humans in lockdown devise ‘food ATMs’ for dogs

MEERUT: An initiative to feed strays — which includes turning cardboard boxes into All Time Meals (ATMs), where anyone can keep food for dogs — launched in Meerut has quickly caught on, with residents from cities like Delhi and Ghaziabad joining in.
Netizens are now posting their pictures on social media while feeding strays or placing food in the boxes under the hashtag #EkRotiTeriBhi (a roti for you too) and nominating five others to carry forward the kindness.
In Meerut alone, the number of such ATMs has risen to 50 from the initial 15 in just four days, said Ayush Mittal, a 25-year-old resident who launched the initiative on Saturday. Mittal, who runs a city-based NGO, told TOI, “The response has been great. People from other cities have also joined us.”
Ghaziabad-based Shiv Gupta chanced upon the hashtag while browsing social media. He has now set up four such ATMs in his city. “It’s heartening to see people pass by and drop food in the boxes,” said the 22-year-old student.

Rishabh Agarwal, a resident of Meerut, has opened half a dozen such ATMs in various residential blocks. “Stray animals have been left to fend for themselves. Anyone who can should pitch in,” he said.
The Meerut district administration has also appreciated Mittal’s efforts. Chief development officer (CDO), Isha Duhan, said, “Fighting coronavirus is a collective responsibility. It is encouraging to see people coming forward and feeding strays when their own food stocks might be running low.”
This is the latest in a series of campaigns by animal lovers across India. Several WhatsApp groups in Delhi-NCR are coordinating efforts to feed strays and have been issued passes for this purpose. In Odisha, the government has sanctioned Rs 54 lakh to feed strays while in Ambala, animals are being accommodated in cowsheds. Dr Rajat Bhargava, wildlife expert and senior scientist at Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said such initiatives could also be extended to birds.

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    TOI

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