Street-dog menace

It has been very worrying to read one news item after another for the last 1.5 months about the street-dog menace on the streets of Chandra Layout in Bangalore attacking children and adults alike. The worst was this news where a pack of street dogs mauled to death an 8 year old girl! Chilling! What is appalling is, there have been several such news items appearing in the newspapers for the last 1.5 months and it doesn’t look like the situation has improved much. Please look at the links below.

Dog bites 20 people
Dogs maul an 8 yr old girl to death
Dogs attack a 7 yr old girl
Dogs continue to attack

Dogs have always been on the Indian roads. However, I have mostly known the street dogs as being fairly docile. So, reading news about dog attacks has come as a total shock. Apparently, there are lots of illegal meat shops in Chandra layout that dump old meat on street corners, empty sites etc! The stray dogs there having got used to the meat, are becoming vicious is what the Bengalooru Mahanagara Palike is telling. Coming up with a solution to this problem is going to be tricky. What with the animal rights activists and the local residents not seeing eye-to-eye on this subject matter.

The typical problems faced because of the street dogs:

  • The dogs are fairly territorial and kind of have their boundaries. When a newer dog steps into a street that other dogs have their “claim” on, there ensues a very noisy barking altercation. Lots of such noisy incidents happen at nights too and disturb the residents.
  • Driving on 2-wheelers in the darker hours is also very difficult, cause the dogs chase the fast moving bike, and the riders an lose balance and meet with accidents. The dogs can also easily reach out for the riders’ legs for a bite!

March 13th – Update: On March 1st, we had the misfortune of losing another child to dog attacks. It was very unfortunate. I was extremely upset by all the incidents. However, in this case, it was apparent that the boy was playing in a place that had knee-deep of garbage! Where were his parents? How can anyone allow a child so young to be outside with no one apparently there? If not for dogs, mustn’t we at least keep an eye on the traffic for the child if he is out on his own?! He was 4! I was shocked that anybody could have let kids play by themselves in such a filthy place. In this day and age, we have traffic, pedophiles, kidnappers, etc on the roads. How can we possibly assume an innocent child’s safety? It is such a pity!

It is also reported that there are lots of illegal meat shops that were dumping old/waste meat in the neighborhood vacant lots. This had encouraged the unsterilized dogs to develop a pack and become aggressive, way more than a regular docile stray dog. And with all these news reports, there is mass hysteria and a lot of people want all the stray dogs taken away, away from anywhere near their sight. The government reacting to the mass-anger, has started catching any and every dog that comes their way. And since it is so much easier to catch the docile ones that don’t have human fear to begin with, we have been losing the friendly dogs from all neighborhoods in Bangalore. More info here. All this is SUCH a knee jerk reaction! Apparently, many of these dogs have been stoned, clubbed, crushed to death!! I am devastated. People, if you are reading this, and want to help, pl go here.

Yes, I was very upset with all the news reports and wanted the government to take action – meaning to sit down with experts in the field and decide on a course of action that was long term. Instead, when they chose a route that was short-sighted and diplorable like killing the stray dogs, I was speechless. I can never support indiscriminate culling. I have no objections to people taking away the aggresive ones, as long as they are not culled! If the diseased ones are put to sleep humanely, that is not too bad.

Bangalore’s shameful violence!

Image Source: Deccan Herald
I have digitally edited the original image

It was very disheartening to see communal violence in some parts of Bangalore. I have mostly known Bangalore as a peaceful place with warm people. To see news channels carrying violent images of Bangalore was shocking. This morning’s local newspapers were spalshed with news and pictures of Bangalore’s horror stories. There was violence on Friday as well. I am not sure if there are any ulterior motives to whatever was seen on the surface. I am also not sure if there were any instigations by some political or fanatical elements. Whatever the reasons maybe, the common man pays a huge price for no fault of his. As Bangalore bled, my heart cried!

Lessons learnt: Stay put whenever there are large gatherings of any sorts. If not for anything else, at least to avoid the traffic. Ugh! Friday’s traffic mess.

PS: The rest of Bangalore was untouched by these disturbances. In fact, we realised about all the violence only when we watched the news on TV. We even had relatives visiting us, etc.

Bangalore’s trees are its glory

But for its trees, Bangalore’s city scape would have been quite ugly. The city has nothing noteworthy to offer for your visual pleasure. The tree-lined roads are fairly unique to Bangalore and thankfully make up for the lack of other things pretty. The localites do complain about how the number of trees are dwindling. I agree with them. But, I do not see how the city can keep all of its trees amidst such unexpected growth. I am happy that we have the trees that we do.

The difference I notice from a few years ago to now is that Bangaloreans are not keeping quiet about losing their trees. I am positive that the awareness will help protect the existing trees. The corporation is doing its bit of planting saplings when it must cut down trees. The corporation is also maintaining green patches throughout the city by developing small parks (another post.)

These pictures were taken in the afternoons when the traffic is not clogging every inch of the road. The pics are digitally manipulated a little to accentuate the greenery. :)

Happy Sankaranthi/Pongal

It is the Sankranthi / Pongal season. Sugarcanes are everywhere! We enjoyed taking the kids out yesterday to buy sugarcanes, fruits, and flowers for today’s pooja. The roads were filled with festive joy, with people buying all the pooja items and enjoying the sugarcanes. I loved buying strings of jasmine, tuberoses, chrysanthemum, roses, oleanders etc for the pooja room.

Sugarcanes and Flowers

It was fun to actually decorate the pooja room with sugarcanes. I was never really into festivals, but since the arrival of our first child I have changed a lot in this regard. Now, I actually look forward to celebrating the different festivals with the kids. And when we are amongst people who are also celebrating the same festivals, it is really fun!

Happy Sankranthi/Pongal ….. from our home to yours!