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Mumbai bizwoman urges citizens to sterilise stray cats

mumbai Updated: Jul 13, 2017 18:17 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
mumbai city news,Animals of mumbai,Cats

Stray cats need care, says Bandra entrepreneur Nimisha Gaurishankar. (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

Bandra-based entrepreneur Nimisha Gaurishankar feeds a dozen cats a day, has neutered 20 of them and is now promoting their welfare.

How did taking care of stray cats become, as Nimisha says, “her social life”?

It began in 2015, when her business partner Kaustubh Borkar , adopted a kitten abandoned in Bandra.

Nimisha would take the food left over after feeding Nyra, the kitten, to feed stray cats around her home and in her society.

Soon, the number of cats coming to be fed rose, and she realised they needed to be neutered.

“While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has a dedicated programme to neuter dogs, cat spaying has never been discussed as it is difficult to catch them,” said Nimisha.

But why neuter them? “You give them a new lease of life as spaying cats reduces the chances of them falling ill. This will increase their lifespan. They won’t reproduce and add to the number of kittens that will go on to live unhealthy, undernourished lives on the road,” she said.

When she started off, Nimisha would fund the surgeries and food for the cats, but soon started getting help from friends and acquaintances.

“Earlier, we would get the cats neutered by veterinarians, but we now take them to shelter homes owing to the cost involved. On an average, the procedure costs between Rs3,000 and Rs4,000, at a subsidised rate,” she said.

Nimisha said she earlier had neighbours objecting to her feeding cats in the area. She cited a 2009 Delhi HC order that made clear there was no law prohibiting feeding of street animals. “Citizens and animal welfare volunteers who choose to do so are in fact performing a duty cast upon them by the Constitution of India,” the order read.

Nimisha hopes more citizens take on the responsibility to spay stray cats in their localities and housing societies.

First Published: Jul 13, 2017 10:36 IST