Twenty-eight-year-old Alokparna Sengupta is one of the people who helped bring about the recent historic ban of animal testing on cosmetics, along with her colleagues at Hyderabad-based Humane Society International (HSI, India). Her work as their Be Cruelty-Free campaign manager is changing the lives of millions of animals, and is overseen closely by her rescued Indian dog Chinky who goes with her to the office every day.
Alokparna first met Chinky at the Metro Station in Delhi, while she was on a work trip. “I’d had a tough day, so I thought I’d go pet her”, she recalls. She walked over to the one-month-old puppy who was wagging her tail eagerly, when she noticed a big open wound on the pup’s stomach. Alokparna took her to the vet and got her stitches. The pup was then diagnosed with Parvo virus that took several days of medication to treat. After Chinky healed, Alokparna attempted to find her an adoptive home. When that failed, she knew that the pup was meant to be hers.
It has now been two years since the rendezvous at the station, and Chinky has traveled back and forth between Delhi and Hyderabad with her owner who believes that taking a companion animal along when you relocate is a given. “You wouldn’t leave your husband or wife behind”, she says. “So why the discrimination against a pet animal?”
When her sister Arunlekha expressed her love for cats, the family adopted a kitten ‘Roli’ from the Blue Cross shelter. And last month, they adopted an orphaned kitten and named him Kodi. “He’s the first boy in our family”, laughs Alokparna who counts herself lucky for being able to take her pets to work with her. “Your stress levels are much lower when you have a pet at your feet. They give you love and comfort, without the fights”, she says.
Says Jayasimha NG, the Managing Director of HSI - “She is able to handle micro-issues like this pup at the Metro Station, while also focusing on the big picture, like the plight of millions of farm animals. And that makes her a unique member of the animal protection movement, and of course - a superstar colleague”.