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Saving our asses

A retired British couple have settled in Gurgaon to rescue and help donkeys in the city. Jean and Bob Harrison have given up their home in Essex in UK with the dream of building a donkey sanctuary in Delhi.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2010 01:17 IST
Namya Sinha

A retired British couple have settled in Gurgaon to rescue and help donkeys in the city. Jean and Bob Harrison have given up their home in Essex in UK with the dream of building a donkey sanctuary in Delhi. “The one we have in England is a haven for donkeys. This is how they should have here as well,” says Jean. It all started when Jean Harrison, with her daughter, was in India in 1993 and saw the mules and tongas in Old Delhi. “I just fell in love with the place and the animals and I always wanted to come back. And then you know Bob got transferred here for three years.” This was the starting of their journey towards saving the donkeys and other animals as well. In 2007, the couple started the Asswin Project.

Every afternoon, Bob takes an ambulance (that works as a mobile clinic) to areas where donkeys are working and help the ones who need special care. Some donkeys in very bad conditions have been shifted to a animal shelter but now that shelter is refusing to take in the donkeys. The Harrisons are forced to keep these donkeys in their house, which is in one of the most posh areas in Gurgaon. This has upset the neighbours. “The neighbours want us out of here and they have complained to the police against us.”

The couple have mostly been using their pensions to get the money to help the donkeys. “We get very little aid from here. Some comes from our country but mostly it is our pension that is going in it,” says Bob. Jean and Bob are available 24 hours a day to help animals in need. A vet comes in every day to take a look at the animals.
Website: theasswinproject.co.org;
Ambulance ph: 9810164214