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Who is going to tame the dog?

Wednesday - September 12, 2018 11:58 am , Category : WTN SPECIAL

WTN- Stray dogs and their maverick actions are posing a big challenge for the civic administrations across cities in India. Central India’s largest city Indore is grappling with the problem with several incidents of dog bite coming up daily. 

Bhopal is doing no better. All our public spaces are infested by dogs. Children’s parks, residential colonies, bus stands and railway stations, name it and you will always have a pack of stray dogs loitering around. Many of them are violent and hungry and thus pose grave danger to the life and safety of women, children and the elderly. In Indore city alone there are around 55,000 dogs which have not been sterilised. A population explosion of stray dogs is thus imminent. 

The municipal corporation is doing its bit to sterilise as many as possible but the numbers are too big to be managed and the IMC process is slow and irregular. The corporation has only two vehicles deputed for the job whereas ideally it needs at least five. Against a staff requirement of 25, it has only 8 people doing the job even as the recruitment process is said to be on. 

Even sterlisation centres are much fewer in number than required. Moreover, any strict action against street dogs is opposed by dog lovers and animal rights activists and such a stance defuses the intensity of the action. 

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report says that India accounts for 36 per cent of the total rabies deaths that occur worldwide each year. It says dogs contribute up to 99 per cent of rabies transmitted to humans and children are its most common victims. Annually, close to 60,000 people die of rabies across the world, out of which nearly 21,000 are from India alone. And 97 per cent of those 21,000 are due to dog bites. Over the last three months, cases of dog bites have increased up to 30 per cent, says a study. In cities like Indore and Bhopal every month two to three thousand people are getting vaccinated for rabies after god bites. 

To add to the woes of the people, most government hospitals in Indore and other places don’t have anti rabies vaccines in their stock, even after the Supreme Court stipulation to have lifesaving drugs and vaccines mandatorily in every government hospital. The government must take the matter seriously and boost measures to lessen the impact of strays in people’s lives. Designated dog and animal shelters can be built to keep all stray dogs there, away from public places as is done in several foreign countries. There they will live with more dignity and greater care, while our public spaces will also be cleaner and safer. 

Dogs too need their space. Sterilisation too must be made a continuous and targeted process which needs timely appraisals and its results must show. The administration needs to be more involved and people doing the job must be made accountable and answerable about their work progress and lapses if any. The shortcomings in dog management must be urgently removed and innovative practices adopted to end the menace at the earliest.

-Window To News
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