While India has taken over China as the world’s most populous country in terms of humans, India is also home to the largest street dog population on Earth, with about 62 million stray dogs. The count of stay animals further goes up with 9.1 million stray cats. With a count that massive, it goes without saying that these animals often suffer from neglect, abuse, and starvation. This leads to a growing need of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives for stray animals because businesses, HNIs and social welfare organisations can largely contribution to this dire cause in more ways than one.
As some thoughtful organisations understand the need to address this concern, they are looking beyond providing basic needs and creating innovative ways to care for these animals. For example, PETA India has created an animal adoption program that helps find homes for abandoned pets. Another organization called Mission Rabies is working with local governments and veterinary practitioners to vaccinate stray dogs against rabies.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Many notable companies, such as the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Foundation, Wipro Foundation, ITC Limited, among others, are contributing significantly by partnering with animal welfare organisations such as Animal Aid Unlimited, Humane Society International and Animal Welfare Board of India, respectively, to provide food, shelter, and medical care to stray and homeless animals.
The benefits of CSR initiatives for animals are real and measurable. They have contributed to improving –
Despite the growing trend of CSR for stray animals in India, there are still many challenges that businesses and organizations face in implementing these initiatives. Funding is one of the biggest challenges, as many companies and organizations need more resources to support these programs. Another challenge is the need for more infrastructure and resources, such as animal shelters and veterinary clinics. This makes it challenging to provide adequate care for stray animals.
There are also cultural and social challenges, as many people in India view stray animals as a nuisance and do not see the value in investing in their welfare. This has led to resistance and opposition to CSR initiatives for stray animals from some community members.
There are many ways for businesses and individuals to get involved in supporting CSR initiatives for stray animals in India. One way is to partner with NGOs and other organizations that support animal welfare. Businesses can also donate funds or resources to support these initiatives or volunteer their time and expertise.
Individuals can also get involved by adopting stray animals, volunteering at animal shelters or rescue organizations, or donating funds to support animal welfare initiatives. If every person in India were to contribute to this cause, only 71.1 million out of a nationwide population of 1.418 billion would have to adopt a stray animal. Therefore, by working together, businesses, organizations, and individuals can make a massive difference in the lives of stray animals by indulging in very small initiatives.