A friend of dogs in distress!
They are 30 in number, all staying in the same house and suprisingly they showcase the best example of a close knit family which is a rare phenomena witnessed these days.
No sibling rivalry, and no estranged relationships. This could, however, be true if we are referring to the four-footed wonders who are said to be the man's best friend.
These 30 dogs have found shelter in a house which belongs to RT Elias, the man whose heart is larger than his house. It will be a mistake to ask this 63-year-old man about their breed as they are all stray dogs.
"It all started way back in the year 1984 when a stranger abandoned a puppy in front of my house and unable to hold my affection for the innocent creature, I took this puppy inside the house and since then started the spree to provide shelter to as many stray dogs as possible," added Elias.
Injured, sick, under-nourished, handicapped, all of them seek refuge in Elias's house. Sometimes the hapless creatures are picked up from the roadside and often few find their way on their own to this haven. They are provided meals twice each day and the menu is strictly vegetarian. Chappatis, rice, milk, potatoes are provided to them. "No non-veg dishes as this lessens the life of dogs," he says. His better half Veena Elias too is a hard-core animal-lover and she is the one who cooks food for them. His morning hours are spent in feeding seven other stray dogs in front of the Board Office.
Elias who is still known as 'Little Dynamite' by his office colleagues because of his honesty and straightforward behaviour, has contributed 32 years of his services at the UP Board Office as Assistant Secretary, Confidential. Earlier he taught in JV Jain Degree College in Saharanpur. "My father fell sick seriously and I left the job and arrived in my hometown to attend him. Afterwards I resigned from two more jobs as the terms and conditions demanded too many compromises which were against my principles," he added.
Approximately Rs 8,000 per month is spent in feeding the canine companions. He believes in feeding them through his own earnings without taking a penny's help from any one else. "It's god's grace that I am able to fend for them without seeking any support from outside," he said.
His faith in his furry companions deepened when he was on his foot, all fit and fine within 15 days after he had fallen prey to fatal paralytic attack. "The doctors wondered at the miracle but I knew deep down in my heart that it was the affection and prayers of my dogs that saved me," he affirmed.
The entire house has been designed to suit the needs of his four-footed friends. There are kennels built for them and also the back side of the house has been lined with separate rooms for them to stay.
Elias is highly regarded both by his colleagues and others whom he helped without expecting anything in return. He has taught the son of former Chief Justice of India, VN Khare, without any tution charges as he believed that education cannot be sold for money. He is a very good cook, an artiste and also a writer.
"The doors of my house are always open for any dog in distress," he says.