Rajani Damodar Shetty, Proud of Mangalore conquered the ‘International Women’s Day Award’ from the Delhi Commission for Women on Tuesday, for her efforts towards rescuing otherwise uncared for stray animals.
42-year-old Rajani has been involved in rescuing, feeding, and tending stray dogs and cats. One of her claims to fame is her success in rescuing dogs and cats that have fallen into wells, in addition to which she has been feeding more than 600 stray animals every day over the past few years. An elated Rajani, who was given Rs 50,000 in reward, expressed her gratitude to the Delhi Commission for Women for the display of support for her cause.
“The commission also paid for my flight, and my accommodation. This is my first visit to Delhi, and I am living in luxury. I feel proud to be recognised by Karnataka. I am grateful to my family, and supporters. There is no substitute for hard work, and it always pays,” said Rajani.
Rajani mentioned that she needed up to 28kg of rice, boiled and mixed with chicken waste, to feed 600 dogs on a daily basis. “Of the 800 dogs that I fed earlier, 150 died of distemper recently,”.
Mangaluru City South MLA Vedvyas Kamath, Deepa of Fieldstar Hypermarket, Arjun Bhandarkar of Life Charitable Trust and Uday Poojary of Biruver Kudla were few among those who have been assisting Rajani in her mission.
“My dream is to build a veterinary hospital that will offer round-the-clock service,” Rajani said. Indeed it was a privilege and proud moment for Rajani, and Mangaluru too, with one of the coastal city’s citizens being feted on the national stage.