Chennai youngster builds shelter for dogs at Elliot’s beach

The doghouse at Besant Nagar with a message to the public.

Chennai: The worst victims of rains and flooding are undoubtedly animals. Keeping this in mind and to make a change in the lives of canines, a few regular visitors to the Elliot’s beach are building a doghouse here.

The man behind this initiative is former Table Tennis player Sathish Waran (27), who also runs a voluntary group called Anbe Sivam.

Excerpts from his interview:

Q: When did you get the idea behind this doghouse?
A: I regularly come to the beach to see the sunrise. I have 10-12 dog friends here. Few days ago, I had been to the beach at 5.45 am. I happened to see many taking shelter under the food stalls. Since it had rained, they were drenched and shivering. So I came up with an idea to make a small doghouse.

Subsequently, me and others built the house with recyclable materials and also built an auto food and water feeder. Now, a mother with her puppies are staying in the shelter.

The biggest fear we had was if anyone would tamper with it, or if authorities would object, so we wrote a few quotes and put it up.

Q: How is the response so far?
The feedback we got was positive. The house is still intact. We are thinking of making more of these and also, few birdhouses as well.

Sathish Waran with his friends and a canine after building the shelter.

Q: Tell us about your group.
I am an animal lover. In 2013, at Marina beach, I saw an animal that was injured. Along with the help of auto-drivers, I rescued it.

The movie ‘Anbe Sivam‘ had a strong impact on me. I started a WhatApp group with three of my friends. Now the group has 50 members and along with Blue Cross, we have rescued 2,200 animals.

Q: Why did you give up on Table Tennis?
I have played for India. During those days, I used to eat non-vegetarian food for diet and taste.

Later, I realised that I have to kill an animal for it. Since I felt that taking one life, for a medal is not worth it, I gave up eating non-vegetarian food in 2013.

Q: What kind of awareness do you want to bring?
Everyone should do their bit. If not building a shelter, they can keep some water for the animals.
He can be reached at 98842 74281.

Naomi N