For years now, horses are used in Indian weddings, traditionally Hindu and Sikh weddings for the arrival of the groom's baarat. The horse is dressed for the procession, made to walk kilometres to the venue and stand for several hours.
As the baraat proceeds, the horse is held tightly by the handler, forcefully made to walk through the noisy crackers and blaring music. The demand of horses picks up during the wedding season and they are taken from one wedding to the other one without any breaks. This further leads to severe abuse of horses.
This constant expolitation leads to a lot of injuries and often they got unnoticed during the wedding festivities. Such is the story of Rani.
Rani's Rescue Story
Now named Rani, a female horse, was rescued from Madangir in South Delhi recently. She was found in a deplorable condition by two animal welfare activits, Dr. Asher Jesudoss and Ms. Sunayana Sibal. The two are fellows of the Ahimsa Fellowship which aims to build leaders in animal welfare across the country. The members are located all across, working each day to combat animal suffering through policy advocacy, public awareness and activism.
Dr. Asher Jesudoss, talking about the Rani's condition shared, "The horse was in terrible condition, all her legs were swollen. She couldn't place her weight on her legs, her front right leg, she couldn't place any weight on it and left hind leg. So, these two legs were so badly wounded that she couldn't even place them on the ground. Even the other two legs were completely swollen. She was barely able to stand on two legs."
"When we called the cops, the owners said that she was resting and will get up. They forcefully tried to get her up, three times they tried and three times she crumbled and fell again," he added.
We asked Dr. Asher Jesudoss if this was the first time they rescued an injured horse. He said, "It is a common practice, this is not the first time we rescued a horse. There are several horses who have been found in miserable condition in the past. It took us about 6 hours to register the case, do the paperwork, call the ambulance. It takes a proper legal procedure. This time we took an action because this horse was in a really bad condition."
No Excuse To Animal Cruelty
Ms. Sunayna Sibal, fellow at the Ahimsa Fellowship programme, one of the activitists who rescued Rani talking about the miserable conditions of horses at Indian weddings said, “With the changing times and a plethora of affordable options available- from hiring a vintage or a luxury car to renting a Harley Davidson or just using any car; there is no reason for an innocent animal to be put through extreme pain and suffering at weddings.”
What Should You Do If You Find An Injured Animal?
Dr. Asher Jesudoss, Animal Welfare Activist, shared, "If the animal is abandoned, there is no owner, one should call an ambulance so that the animal gets immediate treatment. However, if there is an owner, the first thing one should do is call the police. Before the police arrives, take pictures and videos to document everything because the owners might try to hide things. Once the police is there, they themselves will tell what should be done."
Joining Ahimsa Fellowship
We asked Dr. Asher Jesudoss how one can be a part of the fellowship and work towards animal welfare. He said, "One can join the fellowship once the yearly forms are out. If one wants to help an animal in need in their area, they can also consult us for the same."
High time people understand the plight of horses used in events like weddings and be sensitive towards animals. What are your thoughts on Rani's rescue story? Share with us on our Facebook page. For more such stories, stay tuned!