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Sexagenarian feeds 250 stray dogs a day, shelters parrots, gets US award

Kukku Bakhshi, an animal lover, would never have imagined that his concern for stray dogs would fetch him an award.

Written by Anupambhagria | Ludhiana |
October 20, 2008 3:59:10 am

Kukku Bakhshi, an animal lover, would never have imagined that his concern for stray dogs would fetch him an award. Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association, a USA-based Non Government Organisation, conferred him with Shining World Compassion Award, recognising his love for lesser beings, even as the 62-year-old feeds over 250 stray dogs a day.

Bipin Jayantilal Thosani, who represents the NGO in Bombay, said,” Our association decided to award him after reading a report in online edition of Ludhiana Newsline on March 25.” The report mentioned Bakhshi’s love for dogs.

Thosani added, “Ching Hai, the NGO’s founder and a renowned humanitarian, a spiritual teacher and accomplished artist), also appreciated Bakhshi’s efforts. Later, I and my colleague came from Bomaby to confer him with this award. Bakshi is the first person in the state to get this award.”

Bakhshi was awarded with a plaque and $1000.

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His day begins at 4 am, as he packs his bags with biscuits, buns and milk packets and leaves for his destination on a rickshaw to feed stray dogs. “I carry 60 bowls with me to give them milk, biscuits and buns. I buy 30 litres of milk and several packets of edibles a day,” Bakhshi said. “I spend nearly Rs 1000 daily to feed these dogs. While sometimes people donate some eatables, mostly I arrange these on my own largely through the pension of my father,” he added.

His love is reflected in the fact that he has assigned a local bakery to prepare special biscuits for dogs, that contains sulphur. Only son of his parents, Bakhshi is unmarried. “A few years ago, I lost my mother and now I stay with my father and take care of him,” he said.

His love for animals is all too evident as you make your way to his house through a street in Kareempura Bazar. You come across bowls of milk and biscuits which he has kept for dogs. He has given shelter to seven cats, five parrots and a dog in his home. And clean beddings for all of them. As he reaches near the parrots, they start shouting, “Kukku… kukku….” He gives big bowl of milk with “desi ghee ki choori” and eggs to his cats. “All of them recognise me and have become my friends,” he said.

Thosani has suggested him to think beyond mere feeding the animals. “We advised him to spend some part of the award money on giving anti-rabbies injections to stray dogs and tie a tag around their neck that these dogs have been vaccinated.”

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Expressing gratitude for Poonam Kalra, founder of another NGO Hope, and the USA NGO, Bakhshi said, “I am pleased that someone recognised my service to lesser mortals.”

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First published on: 20-10-2008 at 03:59:10 am

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