Bhubaneswar: Parbati Muljani in Bhubaneswar is an epitome of motherhood. This resident of Sikharachandi near Patia takes care of around 200 stray dogs like a mother by feeding them daily. And she has been at this noble task for the past 16 years.
Recalling the first instance, Parbati said, “Once I was eating when I saw a street dog crying in front of my house. Its cries touched my heart. I could not finish my food and gave that to the dog. It ate the food happily and then saluted me by raising his front legs.”
The next day, Parbati cooked extra food and the dog also turned up at time like a hungry child. After that, the dog accepted Parbati as its ‘mother’ and she too fed it daily.
Soon the numbers swelled. From one to 10 and now 200 dogs eat food cooked by Parbati. She too treats these strays as her own children.
Parbati said she feeds rice and chicken to the street dogs twice a day, spending around Rs 1,200 from her own pocket.
“I cook 30 kg of rice and 12 to 15 kg of chicken daily. The chicken shop owner knows about my work and gives me chicken at a cheaper rate,” said Parbati.
She has an eyeglass store at Patia and spends what she earns from the shop on the dogs. Sometimes, she takes money from her son, who works in a private company.
“My family members always support me in this work. Some neighbours also praise my work. But then there are some locals who complain against me and the dogs barking in our colony,” she said.
Parbati also feeds cows and bulls on the streets and takes care of them. Whenever required, she takes the street animals to veterinary doctors.
“I have faced many problems in my life for this work. Many house owners have driven me out for my work because stray animals gather in front of the house. They feel irritated over these animals,” said Parbati.
Many NGOs have felicitated Parbati for this noble work.
“I get immense pleasure from this work. Though they are animals, I have accepted them as my kids. I get satisfaction, when they eat and are happy. I want to buy a piece of land for the street animals and give food to them. Till now I have not taken help from anyone. I will not take help from anyone in future also. I will make a trust and take care of the street animals in future,” she said.
“After buying land, I will build a shelter home for the stray animals. I have an aim to invite Bollywood actor Salman Khan to inaugurate the shelter home. I am his great fan and I believe that if he will inaugurate the shelter, then I will get success in my work,” said 56-year-old Parbati.