Italy born Ferranti is a dog saviour in Gaya

By Srikant, New Kerala, April 24, 2006

Gaya, India -- It's another fresh morning in Gaya, the holy city, and children are busy reaching schools and their parents hurrying up to reach offices or shops. But the mongrels here are eagerly awaiting their daily audience with a frail woman-Adrina Ferranti--who has spent a large part of life tending to the sick and suffering strays of the holy city.

An Italian by birth, Adrina Ferranti, has chosen Gaya to become her Karmabhoomi (or, a place to perform achieve main goal of life).

It's been a long journey since she first visited here in 1987 and finally, in 1992, set up "Maitri", prefix for the Buddha depicting his friendly and benevolent teachings. But this "Maitri" works for stray creatures seeking help.

"I am a Buddhist. I truly believe animals and humans have the same mind. My interest for animals has been growing slowly. I have had affection for animals for a long time. But concerned with the condition of animals here I became keen about their welfare. I do feel for the suffering of human beings. I am here to help the poor people but, at the same time, believe we have a responsibility to take care of all (animals) too," says Adrina Ferranti.

Although "Maitri" is mainly related to dogs taken from the street, particularly, during winter, it also undertakes sterilization of pi-dogs with the support of some foreign organisations.

For the injured animals, "Maitri" has arranged for a qualified veterinarian.

"Basically, we rescue stray dogs particularly the ones that are entirely helpless, those suffering from ulcers and others, who don't have hair. We are guided by Madam (Ferranti) to identify and bring them here and provide whatever medication is possible. We, specifically, provide for treatments of skin diseases," said Virendra Prasad, a caretaker.

Ferranti also has a small area in the complex, separated as a burial site, so that the dead animals are not left to the nature but are given a decent final resting place.

Besides stray dogs Ferranti wishes to put up shelters for cows and buffaloes rescued from butchers. But having adequate space to arrange for all in the "Maitri" campus remains like an unfulfilled sweet dream!