Odisha shopkeepers throw community feast for 500 people in memory of mongrel
Dozens of shopkeepers in coastal Odisha district of Bhadrak hosted a community feast on Monday as is done after the death of a family member. However, on this occasion, the feast was organised in honour of a dead dog they loved dearly. The dog had been raised by one of the shopkeepers, who said he loved the mongrel as if she was his daughter.
Most of these shopkeepers of Bhadrak town run fast-food stalls. Dearly attached to the bitch named Champi for the last 13 years, when it was first handed over to Sushant Biswal, the group invited over 500 people to a meal on the 11th day of its death, which took place on September 10.
“It was like no other dog in the area. I got it from a man 13 years ago. I treated the mongrel as my daughter. It never mingled with other dogs and would prowl around my shop most of the time. At night, it slept inside my shop. It was like part of my family,” said Sushant Biswal, a fast food stall owner, who has now put up a framed photograph of Champi in front of his shop. A couple of shopkeepers in the area got their heads tonsured on the occasion.
Biswal said the mongrel would not eat food that was thrown on the ground. “We would give it biryani, rasagola, roti or rice on a plate. Even if someone gave it a biscuit, it would be put on a plate or else the dog would not touch it,” he said.
Last month, officials of a police station in Odisha cremated a monkey in accordance with Hindu rituals. The officials of Balichandrapur police station in Jajpur district had formed a close bond with the animal.
In May this year, a dog owner in Bihar’s Samastipur region carried out a funeral procession for his pet dog that died.