When reports of the imminent closure of NGO Friendicoes, an animal shelter located under the Defence Colony flyover in Delhi, first made news this morning, animal lovers were dismayed. The outrage quickly turned into something positive: within hours, an online campaign for saving the non-profit was started, and it had raised over Rs 2 lakhs by mid-afternoon. By Monday evening, over 150 contributors had donated over Rs 5 lakhs. This number is steadily growing.
The NGO needs Rs 20 lakhs just to stay afloat right now — apparently the city's municipal corporation owes them Rs 38 lakhs — and will continue to need funds to do the good work they've been doing for the past 36-odd years.
It has already shut down its night time ambulance service for animals. While the shelter and the government officials are trying to sort out the financial problems, animal lovers are busy trying to make sure the shelter stays open.
Using social media, they've started a number of side campaigns to raise funds — such as a collection drive for the NGO at the National Park organised by Delhi University students or an enthusiastic Wednesday morning run at Hauz Khas.
"Friendicoes is not only a shelter. It is a way of life for many. It’s a place where you are always loved unconditionally by the animals..." Geeta Seshamani co-founder and Vice President of Friendicoes SECA said.
Meanwhile the city corporation said that the delay in payment is due to its own financial crunch. "We know this is the season for sterilisation but we are not being able to pay them. We are trying to fix the problem," an official told The Times Of India.
(You can contribute here if you want to support Friendicoes)