Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WSD - Best Friends- Calendar 2012

You will be happy to know that the WSD calendar(Wall and Desk) for 2012 is now available. The theme of this year's calendar is Best Friends. It is a celebration of the bond that street dogs have developed with other living beings … be it other dogs, cats, and of course…people.

The calendar is available at various outlets in Mumbai. (Please see given below). It can also be couriered to various cities outside Mumbai(check with us on the courier costs depending on the no and type). It is priced at Rs 150 (Wall and Desk) as a donation towards WSD's sterilisation, immunization and health care programmes.

The WSD Calendar for 2012 is inspired by Julie from the Oval Maidan. Julie’s life truly epitomized what friendship is all about. Providing a gentle haven where the other can be relaxed and feel safe. Being together without needing to pretend. Loving another person in spite of flaws and imperfections.

Julie got along famously with the pets that came to the Oval and the strays that lived there. She did not distinguish between the pedigreed and the pariah. She embraced them all with the joie de vivre that was so characteristic of her.
As you flip through the pages of this calendar, you will be moved by the uplifting stories that tell of the unconditional love and devotion shared among friends (on twos and fours!)
So come, join the Best Friends as they sing their “Song of Friendship”
The photos have been taken by Rohan Mukerjee. Rohan has been a dedicated volunteer with WSD for several years. His passion for animals is clearly evident in the poignant images that have graced the pages of the current as well as all previous WSD calendars. Rohan holds a Master’s degree in Ecological Economics from the University of Edinburgh and is presently working for Samrakshan, an NGO dedicated to preserving the forests in Meghalaya. Rohan’s commitment to WSD continues with the annual trips that he religiously makes to Mumbai to shoot for the WSD calendar every year

To order a calendar, E-mail: or you can buy them from the list of outlets given below.


South Mumbai
Colaba and Kala Ghoda
WSD Office: C/o Mr F. Broacha, 2nd Flr, Yeshwant Chambers, B.Bharucha Marg, Near Fab India, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai – 23 Tel : 64222838
Rhythm House : 40, K. Dubash Marg (Rampart Row), Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400023. Tel: 4322 2727
Greenfields : Army Navy Building ( back entrance), Behind Westside, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai – 23. Tel : 22853784
Dr Leena Dalal’s Clinic :Green Fields, Opposite Oval Maidan, Churchgate, Mumbai – 21 Tel: 66153497
Kemps Corner
Ibrahim’s Pet Shop : Kemps Corner, Mumbai – Tel: 23806278
Pawfect : Shop no AS 10, Forjett Street, Anand Nagar building , Tardeo, Mumbai. Tel : 64463129
Central Mumbai
Blue Frog : Mathuradas Mills Compound, NM Joshi Marg, Lower Parel, Opposite Kamala Mills Compound, Entrance From Tulsi Pipe Rd Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013 Tel : 40332300
Dr Makrand Chavan’s Clinic : Shop No 1, Matoshree Tower, Kohinoor Mills Lane, Shivaji Park, Dadar – Mumbai- 28 Tel: 24380756
Kings Circle

NADS, Room12,Shanti Niketan, Opp Kapol Nivas, Dr B A Road, Near Kings Circle,Mumbai. Tel : 24171984
Western Suburbs
Paws and Furs : Shop No 3, Kailash,156, Waterfield Road, Bandra, Mumbai. Tel: 66990858
Tailwaggers : 16th Road, Behind Hawaian Shack, Bandra, Mumbai. Tel: 9820127572

Dawgz : B4, Snowhite CHS, Ground Floor, 18th Road, Opposite Fabindia on Khar Danda Road, Khar (W), Mumbai. Tel 26056810
Vile Parle

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cycle for WSD on April 24, 2011

Cycle for WSD in the BSA Hercules India Cyclothon on April 24, 2011 (Sunday) to be held at the Bandra Kurla Complex. You can fill the form to cycle for charity on April 22 and 23, 2011 ( Fri and Sat) from 10 am to 7 pm at the MMRDA grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex or call the Charity Helpline on 9833601068 for more details and tell them you want to cycle for WSD.

The whole entry fee of Rs 1000 would go as a donation to WSD. Look up the charity registration form at

There are three categories for individuals

Junior Ride (8 to 13 years) Non - Competitive 06km
Amateur Ride (18 years and above) Non - Competitive 20km
LG Green Ride ( 14 years and above) Non- Competitive 10km

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Mumbai Twestival 2011

The Welfare of Stray Dogs(WSD) has been chosen as the NGO from Mumbai in the Twestival Local 2011 - an annual event that encourages local groups of Twitter users to raise money and awareness in aid of their favorite charities.

Twestival was born out of the idea that if cities were able to collaborate on an international scale, but work from a local level, it could have a spectacular impact. Since 2009, over 200 cities have participated by hosting offline events raising close to $1.2 million for 137 causes; most notably education and clean water.

Now, we need your help to spread the word and raise funds.  GiveIndia, the online fundraising partner, will be offering additional money to the city/NGO that raises the most and has the most donors. So far, over Rs.10,000 has been raised but we can do more.

You can donate as little as Rs.110 or as much as you’d like.  Here’s the link:

What else can you do?

1.  Put the link and this message as your Facebook status:
Help the Welfare of Stray Dogs win the Twestival by donating Rs.110 today!

2.  Tweet the link to your followers

3.  Write a blog post about the Twestival.

So, donate now and spread the word so that we get the maximum support for the Welfare of Stray Dogs. Let’s reach out and help the stray dogs of Mumbai! 

Also do come for the Mumbai Twestival Event 

Venue : Wtf, Khar, Mumbai
Date : 24th March,2011. Thursday.
Time: 7pm - 10 pm.

Entry fee is Rs 300 and above. So pay it to or you can pay it on the spot. Get a guest or two along. 

Here are the links.

On twitter : 

Show us your support and be there.

If you still want to help us out, send a shout out to @mumtwestival or an email to

And big Woof here and see you there. 

Photo Credit : Rohan Mukerjee for The WSD-Strays of Mumbai Calendar 2010

Sunday, January 02, 2011

First Aid Sundays with street dogs and humans

For almost close to the past 15 years, The Welfare of Stray Dogs(WSD) volunteers meet outside Eros theatre to group and split up... to treat various cases of street dogs and cats that require basic first-aid as a part of WSD’s on-site first aid programme. I must have been there on eighty percent of the Sundays in the last fifteen years after having initiated this programme.

Though to the non-animal loving world, this seems to be an activity involving street dogs; it is much more than that. It also becomes a long term association with the people who look after the street dogs. These are all kinds of people; the boot-polishwala, the driver, the street-dweller, the traffic policeman, the housewife who feeds dogs, the hawker, the rag picker and thousands of Mumbaikars who live on the Mumbai streets. Whilst treating dogs, we peep into their worlds and become privy to their sadness and joy.

Today as I was about to start on my first case at the Oval Maidan, I felt sad with the phone call I received. The person on the other side asked me if I knew a driver called Karunakaran Pillai. I thought it was a wrong number and as I was going to tell him so when another person came on the line and identified himself as a Police Inspector. A man named Pillai had just died and my number was found in his telephone book. They were calling up people listed on his telephone book to search for his relatives. I then realised that it was the Pillai I knew and I was confused because of the name Karunakaran. He used to be a driver and used to call us for help for strays that he used to look after. Abodh Saar is how he addressed me. He used to liberally hand out our number to others like him who needed help for street dogs in distress or himself report them to us.  He used to live near the Old Customs House and must have called us scores of times. In fact, I had run into him about a month ago in the by-lanes of P M Road. He had a favourite dog called Soorya who passed away some years ago.

There are so many like Pillai who we have been fortunate to know because of the street dogs, many of them who live alone and then the street dog becomes their only faithful companion and someone they can interact with in this busy city. Many like Pillai pass away unknown and unsung, to be recorded as just another death amongst the lakhs in this city.

Coming back to Eros theatre, we started meeting here because of Arvind, a shoe shine man(boot-polishwala) who used to live and work outside on the footpath of the theatre.  He loved street dogs and used to name them after the movies that were playing at that moment at Eros. He had a James (James Bond), a Pretty (Pretty Woman), a Hritik and an Amisha (Kaho Na Pyar Hai). Everyone around Eros knew him well and used to call him Bangali.  He too died some years ago, again with no relatives and after many trips to the J J Hospital. All his dogs had died before him, other than the Pomeranians left in his care by a lady who took them back after he died.

So we continue to meet at Eros theatre every Sunday morning and are greeted by Mini aka Julie, a white and brown dog that needs to go on a diet. She is the friendliest dog I have seen and has a severe attention seeking disorder. She loves being patted all the time and if you stop she will nudge you to carry on. She hangs around the area, is looked after by another shoe shine man and on week days I spot her sitting outside the new French restaurant opened in place of Sundance.

Sallu from Oval Maidan
We split up after areas have been allotted to the various volunteers and I along with other volunteers generally do the V.T.-Fort- Colaba circuit.  The cases attended are follow-ups of cases that we have attended on week days after receiving a call for them on our helpline. My first case Sallu, a brown dog from Oval Maidan who has a gash on the side which was healing. He and five others are looked after by the Oval grounds man Rohidas. Rohidas too loves the dogs and they follow him around the Maidan as he is rolling a roller or water the pitch. We had to duck a few cricket ball strokes as we reached the middle of the maidan to treat him.

Next case was Orange, looked after by the watchmen of the now closed Shellys Hotel diagonally opposite the Radio Club, close to The Gateway Of India and Taj Mahal Hotel. She has a skin problem and when we call out Orange, she will come and stand before us so as to say, “get on with it” and will hang around even after we have finished applying the skin ointment.

And then we came to Kalu, a fat obviously black cat which we never find on Sundays as he would be in hiding. He is looked after by the Kapoor Lamps people at Kala Ghoda and you will find him on week days sprawled across its entrance. He wanders around the lanes between Fab India and Rhythm House and ask the newspaper vendors, food and other hawkers, they would all know about Kalu and tell you that his majesty just passed by.

And then was Rambo who lives in the open compound in the Great Western building. near the Apollo Gate. A toughie in his younger days, he used to give me a tough time treating him. He used to run into the pump room when he had a bad maggot wound and growl away. Today, age has caught up with him and it was easier as I could just catch him and treat his ear and leg which was maggoted but now is a wound that is healing. An old Gujarati lady, who is very fond of him, directs us to where he would be. She is generally always sitting on a charpai in the compound and will talk in Hindi with a predominantly Gujarati accent assuring us that Rambo will not bite, which of course he doesn’t.

Next, were four dogs in the vicinity of the Sterling theatre. The first Rinku looked after by Tulsi Akka who lives on the footpath opposite New Excelsior theatre. She calls me Abodh baba and I know her for the past 15 years having looked after all her dogs (past and present). See Ramesh in this link. Rinku too had maggots in the ear and she starts running at my sight and smell. The others cases in the vicinity are Chowpatty and Byculla named such as they were brought by the kids from Chowpatty and Byculla.  

We then come to treat Rajan’s dog Tiger who we had found after a girl reported finding a pup in a local that had just pulled into CST station. We knew Rajan was looking for a dog as his earlier dog Ronnie who was a Pomeranian had just passed away. Rajan and his wife live in a little hut surrounded by recyclable material. Rajan is a rag-picker. When we have to treat his dogs, we would be sitting amongst sacks of segregated paper cups, glasses, plastic, newspapers, bottles and what not. Rajan too has a sad story; he named his dog Ronnie after his son who died in tragic circumstances when he was just two. He used to always tell us that the Pomeranian Ronnie is now his son. He was very upset when the Pomeranian Ronnie who was around ten years old died after getting Ascitis. His wife too passed away last year (2010) and that really changed him. I seldom see him smile now and you can  see it in his eyes that he misses her and thinks about her all the time. He now lives alone with two dogs, another Ronnie and my good 'friend', the barking Tiger. 

Then was good old’ Brownie who lives outside Lakshmi building on P M Road. He has a maggot wound near the anus and today, I could treat him without having to chase him as he was fast asleep when we approached him. Once, many Sundays ago, to the delight of other WSD volunteers, he had made me chase him all around P M Road right past Bombay Store upto the French Bank building and back. And remember he is fifteen years old.  

As we were treating him, a crowd collected and one of the street dwellers who were busy playing a Sunday card game on the Lakshmi building steps screamed out to the crowd “Yaha pe shooting nahi chal raha hai, Shooting dekhana hai to Horniman Circle garden jao, waha chalu hai” (There is no show on here, if you want to see a show, go to Horiman Circle garden where there is a film shooting going on). The poor old fella patiently allowed us to treat and deworm him.

The last case was a severe skin problem on Gunbow Street. The person who had called was a gentle Gujarati housewife who held the dog while I treated it. She said that her daughter has named the dog, Yellow and I remarked how we had treated an Orange earlier.

I am sure that I will continue meeting and building relationships with many such Arvinds, Pillais, Rohidas and Rajans who never in my past fifteen years of treating street dogs have asked me “ Why are you doing it for the dogs”, Why not us ! They understand why, some others don’t. And those who don’t are never the underprivileged!