"If two people from every colony take up the initiative to look after the dogs in their area, the world will be a much secure place for the canines," says Ashish Joshi, a 24-year-old from Aurangabad, Maharashtra, who has rescued over 250 dogs.

Ashish was just 15-years-old when he rescued his first dog. Recalling the same, he told Opoyi, "In a building’s basement, on the way to my tuition, a dog had given birth to several puppies. When the mother dog was crossing the road, she was hit by a car and she died on the spot. That’s when I decided that I had to take care of her babies and give them a good life."

And since then, the 24-year-old has devoted his life to serving dogs in all possible ways, including feeding, vaccinating and spaying.

Ashish’s parents support him in this initiative but he is financially independent.

“My parents support me but I don’t take money from them. I am a full-time architect and I spend all the money I get on these dogs,” he told Opoyi.

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The youngster believes that the world will be a better place for dogs if people spare just 15 minutes every day to help a needy canine.

“We step out of our homes several times in a day for our work. If we spare just 15 minutes every day to help a needy dog, it would be life changing for it,” he said.

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He went on to say that animal cruelty laws are weak in India and that our ministers need to step forward and take initiatives.

“There is no point signing petitions to better the animal cruelty laws in our country. Our ministers will have to take initiatives and just like supplying water and electricity, saving dogs should also be in the manifesto,” Ashish said.

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Talking about how people can bring about a change in the society, he said, “Nobody is an animal hater by birth. If a man throws stones at a dog in front of his child, the child will also learn and do the same thing. I would recommend parents and schools to take children to animal rescue centres instead of zoos so that they can actually know the pain and sufferings of animals and at least think of making this world a better place for them to live in.”

We can only hope that Ashish’s story can motivate and inspire more and more youngsters to take up the cause of animal rescue and work towards it. After all, not all heroes wear capes.