How could we leave pets behind: Ukraine returnees
For Aligarh native Ritwik Varshney, 22, his pet rabbit, Sia, was his loving companion in Ukraine. Amid brewing tensions in the nation, this fourth-year medical student decided to fight tooth and nail to bring his furry baby back with him to India. “There was no one to take care of Sia in Ukraine since people have migrated. I was even willing to pay, but the government allowed me to bring her back without any documents. It was so nice of them,” he says.
Pictures of Ukrainian citizens leaving their homes with pets are being circulated on social media, showing how animals don’t have to be abandoned even while shifting homes. And a host of Indian students, too, have set foot in their motherland with their pet pals by their side; a case in point being Rishabh Kaushik, whose joy knew no bounds when he arrived with his dog, Maliboo, at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad last Friday. The 21-year-old was struggling for clearance to bring Maliboo back with him, and had even posted a video about the Indian Embassy in Ukraine and the Animal Quarantine and Certification Service in Delhi asking for “more and more documents”.
“Gray, my cat, can’t stay without me. If I leave her in another room, she’d come scratch my door. She stayed in a bunker for four days, but was very scared. I could not leave her alone,” says, Gautam Hariharan, a medical student
“When I adopted him, I took responsibility of a life. Main apne bachhe ko kaise chhod ke aata! In the flight that brought me to India, there were 15 pets, including rabbit, cats, and dogs. Din mein bhi bombing chal rahi thi wahan, aur raat mein aur bhi zyada... Jab family se baat hui thi, unka first reaction tha, ‘Pagal ho gaya hai, shelter chhod aa use ya phir dost ke paas chhod aa. Wahan bomb phat rahe hain’. And now, they’re feeling happy that because of me, other pets could get a second chance to live in a safe place, too,” says Kaushik, who hopes to return to Ukraine once the situation there eases.
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