My story centers around a man, Sandip Karan, whose love for street dogs knows no bounds. His home-cum-kennel houses 40 street dogs that are mostly sick. Some have lost their legs, some suffer from liver ailments and some have cancer, but they are treated with a rare care and compassion by this self-taught veterinarian who learned his lessons while assisting veterinary surgeons for years.
Now confident enough to successfully perform surgeries, Sandip Karan is lucky to have found assistants in his mother Saraswati and wife Moumita. He says he is not doing any charity but only his duty. He does not believe in chaining the animals or caging them. They are left free to roam around and take rest in any part of his house. Quite popular in his locality in Kolkata as the ‘street dog doctor’, Sandip loves to cook food for his four-legged patients. When called to treat a street dog in a faraway place, he sometimes brings home his ‘patient’ if the situation demands ‘hospitalisation’. He ensures its safe journey to the place it came from after recuperating.
He has, till date, treated around 2500 street dogs in his own locality and around. Half of his patients had cancer–those having vincristine cancer have been cured. Not all his neighbors take kindly to his work though, he had to face their wrath on many occasions. However, that does not prevent him from dreaming of a house (he does not want to call it a shelter) for his loved ones. He is trying to raise funds for his NGO, Concern for Animal and Environment.
Dogs are left free to roam around and take rest in any part of Sandip Karan’s house.
Sandip Karan carries a patient home for treatment.
Sandip Karan examines a patient at his home-hospital.
A patient suffering from myiasis, a term used to describe maggot infestation, lying on the operation table at Sandip Karan’s house. Maggots are fly larva that feed on necrotic and dying tissue. Especially prone are those pets confined to the outdoors with situations in which their skin infections.
Surgery in progress at Sandip Karan’s house. A self-taught vet who learned his lessons by assisting veterinary surgeons for years, he treats his patients with a rare care and compassion.
Sandip Karan examines a cancer patient at his house.
A young patient is given a bath by Sandip.
Sandip Karan tensed during the treatment of a patient suffering from liver disease. A great number of street dogs in his area are dying due to liver ailments.
A patient injured by a fast-moving car recovers at Sandip Karan’s house after an operation.
Saraswati, Sandip’s mother, prepares food for all the patients.
Sandip Karan and his wife Moumita administer anti-rabies vaccine to a street dog.
Sandip Karan during a housecall.
Sandip Karan during a housecall.
Sandip Karan administers distemper vaccine to a dog during one of his housecalls. Canine distemper is a viral disease that affects animals living with families.
Sandip Karan takes a meal in the midst of treatment. He lives with his mother Saraswati (left) and wife Moumita (right). He has a child, not seen in the photograph.
Dr. Rajib Ray (centre) a dentist comes to Mr. Sandip Karan’s house for a personal meeting. Dr. Rajib Ray is one of the donors to Karan’s NGO, Concern For Animal And Environment Welfare.
Sandip Karan is also a keen gardener.
Kaushik Sengupta is a self-taught social documentary photographer. He graduated from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata in 2002 with Honours in theatre and literature. He has since worked as a freelance photographer for Reuters and later for the Associated Press. He has been working with Drik India as a contributing photographer since 2006 and has done a wide range of social documentary photography for various agencies and organizations.
In 2007 did a preparatory course for three weeks on social issues at Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok. In 2007 –08 he was posted as an intern for 10 months at Drik Bangladesh where learnt photo editing for magazine and newspaper, dealing with thousands of pictures every day. In 2011 Kaushik participated in a documentary photography workshop conducted by Greg Marinovich and Munem Wasif. He now works as an independent social documentary photographer with Save the children, Oxfam, Action aid, Cancer foundation of India, Centre for Study in Social Science, Kolkata.