LILA PARULEKAR’S LIFE’S WORK IN SAFE HANDS – PCB to care for property, dogs

Defence estate office acts in absence of proper legal claimant to animal rights activist’s bungalow
No legal claimant for animal rights activist Claude-Lila Parulekar’s sprawling bun galow has come as a timely relief to the 200-odd dogs she used to house till her death on September 13, as the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) has undertaken to look after the 3.25-acre property and her lifelong four-legged friends.On September 22, the defence estate office had put out an advertisement in a national daily, calling for any legal heir of Parulekar to come forward and identify themselves.

D N Yadav, CEO of the PCB, explained the legal tangle the board was sucked into. “Claims by different entities on the property have been rejected by the defence estate office. No claims stand the test on legal ground.There are seven people who are currently looking after the dogs. We can hire them and pay them through the PCB as long as the dogs are there.Maintenance of the property and care of dogs would be the board’s responsibility from now on.“ The Type B3 defence property, located at Survey No 29(A), was given on a long lease to Dr Nanasaheb Parulekar, Lila’s father. The lease was to expire in 2033. As per rules, in the absence of any legal heir to the property, it should go back to the defence authorities.

Parulekar’s employees had asked the defence estate officer to be allowed to remain in the property to look after the dogs. One of the workers, on condition of anonymity, said, “We had submitted our request to the defence estate officer in writ ing. Now, we are happy that they are ready to incorporate us and allow us to look after these dogs. We were worried that their care would be handed over to some random NGO.This is real justice for Lilatai.“

People who have been associated with Lilatai, as they fondly called Pa rulekar, are happy to know that the shelter would continue for the dogs where it is and the care of the present dogs would be taken up by her employees. “It has become routine for me and my sister to bring food for our canine friends. There are many others like us who want to continue offering their service, even after her death. Her employees know us very well and we are happy that our work will continue,“ said Armity Daruwala, a schoolteacher and regular volunteer from Kothrud.

Source : Mirror