Dr. Prakash Amte and his wife, Dr. Mandakini Amte have dedicated their lives to helping both the animals – and people – of Hemalkasa, Maharashtra in India..
Prakash said: “We started a project called Lok Biradari Prakalp in the year 1973, providing medical assistance to tribal people. We made a cottage and started a hospital there. We faced many problems in the beginning, as people had no faith in us. They used to run away from us .”
Prakash said: “One day we saw a group of tribal people coming back from hunting. We saw that two monkeys were tied on the bamboo stick and two men were carrying them on their shoulders. A baby monkey was attached to his dead mother’s breast and was drinking her milk. We felt extremely terrible.” So they trade food with villagers to rescue the animals
Prakash and his family then welcomed the monkey into their home and raised it.
The family then started providing rice and vegetables to the tribals in exchange for animals that they rescued, including a baby bear.
“The problem was we didn’t know anything about veterinary or had studied any books about it. But we all wished that the animals should live here comfortably. Medicine was for humans but if the animals faced any problem, we would adjust the dosages and give them it.”
For the last 20 years, the Amte family have rescued hundreds of animals including jackals, leopards, jungle cats, sloth bears, giant squirrels, rat-tail langurs, four-horned antelopes, blackbuck antelopes, rat snakes, Indian pythons, crocodiles, monitor lizards, hyenas, peacocks, spotted deer, and porcupines.
The family’s efforts have been rewarded with numerous awards, including the Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice in 2014 and they were the subjects of a movie biopic, Dr. Prakash Baba Amte: The Real Hero in 2014.
He said: “In the future, we hope to help breed endangered species, animals from other sanctuaries, and release them into the wild they ’re ready.”
“We have such a good life here, the love we have for these animals.
“I have four grandchildren who are all involved here too, so the tradition continues.” (Cre: Barcroft)
Nguyen Mai Huong
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