An interview with World Animal Day Ambassador Sujoy Kumar Dutta (India)

Sujoy Kumar Dutta from Siliguri, India holds several titles including Secretary of People For Animals (PFA) Siliguri — India's largest animal welfare organization. He has been an Ambassador since 2011, the year PFA Siliguri was officially recognized by the Government of India.

Tell us more about PFA Siliguri...

“We formed in the year of 2009 and we carry out rescue projects for both domestic and wild animals. We give free animal health check-up camps, spot treatment of injured animals on the streets, and fight for the protection of animals.”

What’s the biggest challenge?
“Often the biggest drawback is the lack of a proper shelter or rescue center to continue with follow-up treatment of injured animals.”

How can the public support you in your work?
“We always need more support to reach out to animals and help them on a daily basis. So the public helps us by volunteering and lending a hand. Together, we can help all animals that need us.”

How does World Animal Day help your cause?
“World Animal Day helps us immensely by making people aware of the need to use our voice for the voiceless. It also helps to educate people on the Animal Cruelty Act and laws.”

How have you celebrated World Animal Day previously?
“Every year, I write a letter to the Chief Secretary and Director of Animal Husbandry in each Indian state to encourage them to celebrate World Animal Day.

  • In 2011, we released birds at Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, and made banners with the slogan: “Save Animals — Drive Carefully” to encourage safer driving and kindness towards animals on India’s roads.
  • In 2012, we organized a colorful rally voicing our concerns for stray animals. We also campaigned against illegal road-side meat vendors.
  • We celebrated World Animal Day 2013 by launching the PFA Siliguri website and organizing an animal fancy dress fashion show for children. Also, we hosted an animal welfare seminar at the North Bengal Science Centre and several members of government attended.
  • PFA Siliguri released more caged birds into a nearby forest on World Animal Day 2014.
  • In 2015, we arranged a rally to promote animal and environmental issues. Alongside 70 students, we paraded the entire city to spread our message!
  • In 2016, we distributed awareness leaflets at North Bengal Wild Animals Park.
  • For 2017 we set-up an animal health check up camp where we treated many domestic animals. We also showed animal welfare films for our human visitors.
  • We celebrated World Animal Day 2018 by educating and inspiring young people with games, quizzes, and an animal-themed fancy dress competition at a school in our city.
  • Last year, we distributed leaflets at a shopping mall and helped hungry street animals. We also provided vital treatment to any sick animals.”

How has COVID-19 changed the way you work?

“COVID-19 has changed many things for us — our work hasn’t fully stopped, but we need to be safe so we can come back better and stronger. We host online consultations for people with sick/injured animals. If it’s an urgent case, we make sure to visit but with strict safety precautions. Recently, we’ve taken to social media to create awareness around animal welfare issues.”

How do you plan to celebrate World Animal Day this year?
“This year we are taking a different approach to World Animal Day by making the most of the media. We’ll use print, digital, and social media to help spread our messages. We’ll organize a press conference where I’ll urge everyone to celebrate World Animal Day 2020 and explain what the day is all about.”

What’s your favourite thing about World Animal Day?
“I love World Animal Day because it honours the entire animal kingdom. I feel very privileged to be associated with it.”

 

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