Friday, August 10, 2007

Charity for a price?

This happened about 2 years back. I had noticed an animal ambulance running around the neighbourhood and had noted down the phone number. One day, unfortunately, I had to use it.

There was a stray dog in our locality with a badly hurt ear. Every night, it would howl and was in obvious pain. People, including my family, would curse it as a dog howling at night is thought to bring bad luck. I hated it. If anything, it was the dog who had a hard luck.

The poor dog would come as soon as someone got out of their homes. With his ear hurt, his head would be bent to one side and he looked menacing. But once I petted him, I realized that that was the only thing he wanted. When I could not bear it anymore, I called the number that I had seen on the ambulance.

The lady who answered noted down the address from where the ill dog needed to be picked up for treatment and then asked the magic question. "How much will you donate?"

I was taken aback. I asked her what she meant. She told me in no unclear terms that the charity does not run without money and they would come and pick the Dog but were expecting some donations. I told her that I will pay Rs. 250. She asked me whether I could make it a little higher. I said no. She told me that they would come and pick the dog the next day. And guess what? They never came.

A week later, a van from the Municipal Corporation arrived and took the dog away. He must have been put down soon afterwards.

I was shocked to know that Charity too comes at a high price. Why the hell do you call it a charity then?? Just be honest and declare that you run a paid service. It will be less disappointing that way.

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