BengalLockdown Hunger

Kolkata boy extends a helping hand to joyride horses of Victoria Memorial

Horses left to survive in Maidan during the lockdown gets a friend in Wali Rahmani, who is now crowdfunding to provide enough horse feed for the stranded joyride horses

Kolkata: A law student by day and YouTuber by night, aptly describes this 21-year-old lad from Kolkata, who has been utilising social media to counter hate and fake news being peddled in scores. And when he is not doing any of the two mentioned above, he is busy nurturing the kids that he had adopted as a teenager.

That’s Wali Rahmani, a young YouTuber who has also been an active participant of the Anti-CAA-NRC-NPR movement. He had even sent roses to Amit Shah when he had visited Kolkata at a time when the anti-CAA movement was at its peak.

However, this young lad, not just cares for humans but also animals. Ever since the lockdown got over, Wali, a trained horse rider, often frequents Maidan area, not just to ride horses but also provide food for them. Many horses have been left on their own at Maidan by their owners, who have gone back to Jharkhand and Bihar.

Speaking to eNewsroom he said, “I love horse riding, so whenever I am in Kolkata, you can find me here in the evenings. So, when there was relaxation in lockdown, I came here for horse riding. But to my disappointment, I realised that the horses, who are put up at a stable in Khidderpore area, were in a bad condition. With only grass to eat, many had even died. Animals have been worst affected during the lockdown.”

He added, “The most affected during the lockdown are the poor and street animals. They had not much to eat. These horses, when left to graze grass strayed onto the streets, and were hit by moving vehicles.”

Wali alone has donated 50 sacks of horse feed for around 18 horses in staying at the Khidderpore stable since the lockdown has been relaxed. One of the caretakers, Surojit, present at the ground said, “We are poor people, we feed the horses from what we earn. With Victoria Memorial closed, people staying in their houses, the lockdown was bad for us and our horses. Back then we didn’t have money to feed ourselves or the horses. One sack of horse feed costs between 300 to 700 INR. How could we arrange it?”

Patting his horse, he said, “However, there were some concerned citizens like him (Wali) who have been helping us by bearing the cost of horse feeds. Even the councillor of ward 63 had helped us. But with business down, how long can we rely on donations being doled out. With no visitors, no weddings and no riders wanting to ride these horses, it’s becoming difficult for us to survive.”

Wali, who is a horse lover has initiated a campaign on social media, requesting people to donate for these horses. He has also been active in doing relief work both during the lockdown and post-Amphan.

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