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The Turning point in my life by Sudnya Patkar

It was a hot summer day of 1993 as I was traveling by road to Sarigam in South Gujarat, with my family and friends. Suddenly there was a commotion on the roadside, with the result the driver of our car slowed down. My attention was drawn towards a crowd of people who were pelting stones at a mother pig, who was terror stricken and running away with her little piglets in tow. As our car moved a little further, I saw that a man had picked up one of the piglets, who was struggling to get away and screaming loudly. In no time I realised what was happening. The people had picked up the piglet - may be for slaughter - and in order that the mother pig should not protest, they were shooing her away.

The thought was horrifying and I asked the driver to stop the car, to rescue the piglet. But he did not do so and drove away, with a casual comment 'Aap jhanjhat mein mat padon' (It is better that you don't get involved in this.). A gloom cast over me. My companions tried to console me by saying that this happens all the time, all over the country, that it is not possible for one person to fight the system, so on so forth. Nothing seemed to help me!! I was shocked into a deadly silence!!

I could not help wondering what those rascals must have done with the tiny little piglet that was not even a kilo in weight. They must have killed the piglet and eaten his meat, probably let out a burp and forgotten all about him. The poor little thing had lost his short life, in order to satiate the taste buds of these greedy humans. I started imagining his slaughter, the pain that he must have suffered, the screams that he must have let out until he lost senses and died. The piglet kept haunting me for weeks together, and I could not think clearly, eat properly or work properly.

After weeks of grieving for the little one, I finally told myself, that my sitting and grieving is not helping any one. I have to act. I have to do something to help these GOD's creatures that cannot help themselves. I took a wow by that tiny little piglet, that I would do everything within my means to help animals, and that I would continue to do so until my last breath.

Since then it has become my passion, my mission or as some people would call it an obsession to work for animals. Every single moment that I am awake (and even in my dreams) I keep thinking about what I can do to help them. GOD has been extremely kind to me and has helped me tremendously. HE sent me wonderful people, who are equally passionate and dedicated to this cause - all the wonderful people who have supported me all these years. As I continue with my work, I cannot help but remember that tiny piglet that changed my life completely.

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