By: Neha Kulkarni
Books, pillows, carpets and sundry other items drew an enthusiastic crowd on Monday to a garage sale on the first day of a three-day event organised in Girgaum by Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD), an association of animal-lovers. Up for grabs at the garage sale were second-hand household items, books, film and music CDs and DVDs.
“We have home items given to us by donors who have either heard about us or have been associated with us. The money collected is then contributed to WSD sterilisation centre created by us to treat,train and maintain the street dogs,” said Tulsi Mehta, a volunteer at WSD.
The sale aims to generate money for the treatment of old, virally-infected canines and also those that met with serious accidents. WSD manages to treat around 50,000 dogs annually, with 250 dogs sterilised every month.
One of the frequent visitors to this garage sale has been writer Jerry Pinto who says he has been a regular buyer and a donor at the sale for the past 10 years . He said books should not be stored, but instead donated. “Street dogs need help and this organization is working towards that cause. Also I like the books collection in here as I manage to get them at cheaper rates,” Pinto said.
For Abodh Aras, CEO, WSD, it is all about generating enough money for the treatment of street dogs. “ Every day we get 30-40 calls, asking to come and treat street dogs in the areas from Sion till Cuffe Parade. We need to raise about Rs 6 lakh every month. This sale may just help us come closer to that mark. Also from an environmental point of view, recycling is always better. Books become affordable for the readers,” he adds.
However, the sale has not limited itself to helping the street dogs. Assumption Mendon,a regular at the WSD sale, has engaged herself in buying goods from this sale,redecorate and sell it to the needy. “I feel junk is not to be collected, instead it should be recycled and reused. Not only have I re-used the items received from here after polishing them,I have also bought clothes from here to be given to those who cannot afford it.”
Welfare of Stray Dogs is an organisation working to eradicate rabies and also control the street- dog population in a humane and scientific manner. They also try to re-home many abandoned pets. It has been organizing this garage sale for past 15 years to raise money for the sterilisation centre.