Randeep Hooda rescues ailing horses in Matheran
Randeep Hooda, who owns several champion horses and is a vocal animal lover, makes a case for stabling and treating the animals right during a trip to the hill station. A week ago, the actor was shocked when he received a video with a plea to save horses from ill-treatment in Matheran from Adhuna Akhtar, who is a fellow member of the Mahalaxmi riders’ club. He immediately took off with his friend, Adil Gandhi and his son Riyaad, with medicines for the horses many of whom sported open, painful sores in the video.
Talking about it Randeep says, “These are basically load horses which carry goods for hotels, shops and villagers up the hills. Their load has gone up since the iconic toy train was stopped following a derailment. Some of the smaller horses are lugging three-six gas cylinders on one trip. Even when the train operated, because it ran on diesel, it refused to carry gas cylinders.”
Unfortunately, owners were alerted by video which was circulating on the social network, spirited away the animals before the actor and his friends arrived last Saturday, June 18. “But Roxanne who runs an animal shelter in Matheran showed us some of the other animals, many of them riding horses, with lesser injuries, and we got them treated. We left behind the medicines for the others,” says Randeep, adding that he is not a rabble-rousing animal activist and understands that these horses are a source of livelihood for their owners who don’t hurt them intentionally. “We want to educate them to look after these horses better or they won’t last long.”
He further states, “Like traffic rules, we need some horse rules there and have urged the cops to be more vigilant, ensure the animals are not being over-burdened and the law flouted. After the train stopped, more cars are going up and in the crush for parking space there are no stables for the horses.”
When asked the actor if he is planning another trip there, he explains that this one was to put pressure on the authorities but now he will leave it to the Gandhis, some animals lovers from Pune and NGOs from Delhi to carry the good work forward. “I have adopted some horses like these that were ailing but how many can I adopt? The solution is to stable these horses and get the owners to treat them right.”