Apparently the first cat shelter in India is being built or has been built (probably the former). The website www.thaindian.com says that a Bollywood actress, Hema Malini and a MP have "allotted funds" for the shelter. I am not sure what that means. I don't know how it is being funded. Shelters are normally funded privately through donations from the public. It is unusual to, I would have thought, to actually build a cat shelter rather than simply convert an existing building, but that many in fact be the case. The shelter is to be constructed in the West Bengal capital. That on my reckoning is Kolkata, which is here:
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Hema Malini says that the numbers of stray cats is increasing daily and I guess she is behind this shelter, which is fantastic. For any Indians that might bump into this posting, I have been to India and I like India. And I didn't go to there as a tourist. I went there in a bus (I drove the bus) and stayed for several weeks, driving through the middle of India to Hyderabad. India is a great country but I would like to see more done for the domestic cat in the way of animal welfare protection (See Cats and the Law). There seems to be a large divide between those people in India who, for example, abuse animals and trade in animal parts (and thereby reduce wild animal species in India to 20 % of what they were) or, for example, Hindu mendicants, swamis who flout animal welfare by decorating themselves with animal parts including domestic cat skulls and an endless array of other parts from rare wild animals, and those people who are more enlightened. (src: http://forum.peopleforanimalsindia.org)
From an outsiders standpoint, India seems like a country that is developing fast, becoming a force in the world economy but there does seem to be a vast body of people in India who live in the past. The same can be said of China. The first cat shelter is a welcome development in the right direction. But there is a very long way to go. Personally, I have little hope that wildlife in India will ever be left alone to live in the wild in parallel with people. The history of places like the UK bear that out. The British destroyed almost all large native wildlife many hundreds of years ago. What is left are rare species such as the Scottish wild cat, which has only just survived in very small numbers only because western Scotland is remote.
There are a number of dog rescue shelters in India (see video below for one of them). Dogs seem to have been given preference over cats perhaps because dogs are seen as more useful (working and protection roles). Cats though are also useful in more subtle ways such as psychological benefits and Cats Calm Me.
Cat Shelter in India to Home Page
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