Help stop the stray dog killings in Bangalore

ut the stray dogs in Bangalore.
On Bangalore Metroblogging - New Kids on the block
Earlier on my Blog - Street dog menace
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Please help to save the stray dogs of Bangalore from indiscriminate killing … Here’s how you can help:

  • please read the email below to understand the issue, and to see why Animal Birth Control is the only strategy that is both humane and effective in controlling the stray dog population.
  • please sign this Online petition
  • please read these related blogs - savebangalorestrays , catsofbangalore (note: they describe the cruelty being inflicted on the dogs, and they are not easy reading)
  • please take a few moments to blog about it and spread the word…
  • please write to the media expressing your protest.

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Dear Friends,

Excuse me for taking your time - but this is a shocking tale of how an inefficient administration unable to do its job well can recourse to barbarism to find short-term solutions to its problems. So please, please read - and pass on the message to anyone who cares that the BANGALORE LOCAL AUTHORITIES ARE BRUTALLY MURDERING THOUSANDS OF DOGS ON THE STREETS!

I would begin by regretting deeply the two incidents of children getting mauled in Bangalore. For those who are not from Bangalore, allow me to bring you up the curve - these were two unfortunate incidents of children being mauled by stray dogs recently in semi-rural Bangalore. Anyone living in a city would be familiar with such incidents - an urban “Man-Animal Conflict” phenomenon which is sad and avoidable. Both incidents have happened in peripheral areas where the CNVR program (Catch Neuter Vaccinate Release/ABC) has NOT been implemented.

Obviously, the media of this city went to town over this, glossing over the menace and pointed fingers at the local authorities. The authorities passed the buck on to the NGO’s, without any compassionate or scientific understanding of the problem. What followed was a diktat of the worst kind: a death sentence to all dogs on the streets of this so-called advanced technopolis.

This solution suggested by the Bangalore authorities to KILL EVERY STRAY DOG (numbering in hundreds of thousands) is the most primitive and barbaric one can imagine, and only points to their ineptness and apathy to the real problem at hand.

In a knee jerk reaction to unwarranted hype, thousands of animals have been subjected to death by strangulation, crushing their skulls with boulders after bleach thrown in the eyes to make the animal blind and docile. After living and working in 4 metros, I cannot recall any city ever coming up with such a solution to the challenge of strays.

We followed a dog-catching vehicle (KA03 9906) this morning to the KR Puram CMC Office where we were brow-beaten and forced to retreat. The secret information was that the animals would be taken the same night for execution in a village outside Hosakote. The sentence: To be beaten to death or crushed with stones.

But what I saw will live in my memory forever: The physical abuse that the white female was going through was horrific: I stopped one catcher from beating her with a Plank embedded with two nails - you can see the blood spouting and staining the catch-leash.

In the cage we have seen two animals had died of strangulation and the bodies dumped inside. Other dogs were on the on the point of suffocation: the atmosphere was dreadful with howling and wailing, possibly with the knowledge of impending death.

Here I must mention that I petted many of these so called ferocious animals without any problem.

The insane aspect about the entire exercise is that the tame dogs who have no fear at all of humans are the ones being caught as they come willingly to the dog catchers when called, who are getting paid Rs.50 for their “fearless” acts. These animals have no fear of man, but an understanding and a relationship with man, which is often their undoing. Hence, like the tame animal with the red collar and Clipped ear we saw being caught, they can be easily caught and tortured to death.

Tragically almost all the dogs have already been neutered and vaccinated. Their absence will allow potentially dangerous animals to penetrate into the area from rural surroundings where there is no control on disease or Rabies.

The rational solution, which any person with an iota of sense and sensitivity will see, is not by eliminating every dog but by scientifically controlling the population to keep out the real strays that have not been neutered and vaccinated. As mentioned earlier, in many peripheral areas around Bangalore, where the CNVR program(Catch Neuter Vaccinate Release/ABC) has NOT been implemented, there is a problem. But this Hitleresque “Final Solution” is definitely not a step in the right direction.

The situation can best be termed as barbaric and deplorable. We request all to appeal to the CMC’s and put pressure on them to immediately stop catching dogs if they are Collared or have been Vaccinated and Neutered.( Identified By Clipped Ear). All un-neutered dogs should be caught and sent consequently for the CVNR program.

We have taken photographs of what we saw this morning. But they are disturbing, and we decided not to include them in this mail. If you want to see how “man’s best friends” are being treated in this city, please write back and we can forward them to you. Please forward this message to all you know who care. Especially those in the media - please help by bringing this news out to the public as you can make a difference and stop this bloodbath.

Thanks,
Jeremy & Anirban

Jeremey D’Souza: +9198450 72484, 28516894

Anirban Bhattacharya: +9199456 89828

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“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between dogs and men.” - Mark Twain

S U J A T H A

Today is International Women’s Day! Wishing every woman a great year ahead! I hope every Indian woman achieves self-reliance and self-confidence.

Today, I want to share with you all the story of one Bangalore woman whom I have known of for many years now. Her name is Sujatha. She is in her mid-twenties and works as a maid in a few homes in this neighborhood.

I first met her when she was in her late teens and had started working as a maid in my mother’s house. Till then, my mom did not have a maid. Typically, my mom prefers doing everything herself and doesn’t like to wait behind a maid! However, I knew that, with Sujatha, things worked in perfect harmony. She only came home for about 3/4ths of an hour everyday to wash the dishes, and sweep and mop the floor. She was young, very agile, and didn’t need any supervision. She was also extremely trust worthy and wouldn’t typically be interested in anything apart from the job she was there to do. I was not at home, having been married and living away in the US. But, I knew enough of Sujatha from my mom, over the phone. Over a few months, my mom learnt that Sujatha lived with her mom, and 3 younger sisters. Her older sister was married and stayed in her husband’ house. Sujatha’s immediate neighbors were her maternal grandmother+family on one side and her maternal aunt+family on the other. Sujatha also had told my mom how her mom had left her drunkard husband and had raised the family single handed. Her mom had five girls. Whoever worked and brought home any money gave it all to the mom who did whatever it took to run the household with the collected income. Her grandmother had a lot of say in most of the matters and was responsible for the older sister’s wedding expenses etc. Sujatha worked in a few other homes too, and was very content doing her work and taking the money home to her mom.

My mom loved her. She knew that Sujatha was very young and needed to know more than just chores around the house to get a “better” future. Since Sujatha was not really educated or anything, my mom encouraged her to learn tailoring, mostly so that she can then graduate from being a maid to knowing a craft. She can then choose to work as a tailor or work in a garment factory. Sujatha’s mom and grandmother were both not very keen that Sujatha learn anything more than chores around the house, mostly because they thought that’s all she will ever have to know. But, in spite of it, my mom persuaded her and somehow got her started off at a local vocational training school. It was around this time that her mom and grandmother wanted to get her married off. She was all of 20. Sujatha would often share her feelings with my mom. She definitely did not want to get married then, and she was happy the way her life was for the moment. She enjoyed going to her tailoring classes, working as a maid, living in her mom’s house with her family, and just going about her day-today business. Sujatha did not have have any worries, she didn’t dislike anybody, she didn’t fight with anybody, and was overall happy. My mom would feel terribly bad about the fact that this happy-go-lucky girl was being forced to choose marriage at a stage when she was not ready. I knew of most of this sitting at home in Calif. I had met Sujatha a couple of times, so it was not hard to visualise the goings-on. Sitting across the globe, I would feel sorry for her too.

Eventually, it happened. Sujatha’s mom and grandmother found an “eligible” boy for her. This boy had a temp job in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, something they were very impressed with, considering that most of them are unskilled laborers of some sort or the other. So, they thought they were doing good by her. The grandmother spent 2 lakhs for the wedding, gave her gold jewelry, and some nice sarees too. The wedding was a decent affair. My parents were at the gathering too and blessed the young couple. Sujatha also had bid them goodbye by then. She said that her husband had a job, and hence her husband’s family did not want her to work outside of their home. My mom was still unsure about Sujatha quitting her tailoring lessons. And she did feel a little bad for this young girl who was going away. I felt bad too, though I was nowhere near here.

My mom went ahead and found another maid and life went on as usual. Until one morning, when she got to hear from some neighbors about Sujatha’s “plight.” Apparently, she was a mom of a 2 year old girl and was back in her mom’s house. She also heard that the husband had lost his temp job, sold all of Sujatha’s jewels, and spent it all on his vice, drinking! Apparently, the mother-in-law was very meddling in their affairs and was the cause of a lot of fights. Sujatha was even beaten up a few times and had no money either for herself or even for her child! And having had enough, she chose to leave her husband and come back to her mom’s house with her child. That was about how much my mom had heard. She couldn’t stop feeling sorry for this girl, who was thrust into this situation. And, that’s all she knew for a while.

Later, in Oct of ‘06, my hub, kids, and I returned to Bangalore for good. My hub’s parents are not in Bangalore. Only my folks live here. So, we set up shop closer to my parent’s place. We had newly moved into our rental place when early one morning, I heard the calling bell ring. I opened the door, and who do I see but Sujatha!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes. She wasn’t the same. She had gained a lot of weight, so obviously I didn’t recognise her. She was also not the same happy and carefree girl anymore. She had aged way too quickly, and it broke my heart to see her so. Apparently, she was my neighbor’s new maid, and since she was looking for another home for work, my neighbor asked her to check with me. I couldn’t believe the co-incidence. Sujatha and I haven’t seen much of each other, so obviously she didn’t know me well. But, I knew her fairly well because of my mom. I invited her in and asked her how she was. She told me all of what my mom had heard about her. Apart from that, she also told me her husband had even poured kerosene on her one night when he had returned drunk, and she had asked him where her jewels were. She also told me that since she did not have any access to money, she was finding it very tough to buy things for her child. Obviously, the husband had proved his worthlessness, but, Sujatha thought he wasn’t too bad and that it was her mother-in-law who was responsible for most of their fights, etc. She also said that to prevent having anymore children, she had gone and gotten herself a Copper-T IUD, which was causing her a lot of other health issues. She gained a lot of weight since then, is more tired now, has pain around her mid-riff, and bleeds a lot more every month. My heart wept for her. I felt terrible since there was nothing much I could do. You might wonder why she has an IUD when she is not even with her husband. Well, it is because her husband visits her every now and then only to pick fights or to sleep with her! Sigh!

When I realised she was looking for a job, I promptly took her to my mom’s house, since my mom had not had a maid in a while. My mom was more than happy to see her again. Sujatha is actually willing to set up another home with her husband and child as long as her mother-in-law will leave them alone. She truly believes that her husband, by himself, is not too bad. I have offered her any help she may ever want. Even get her husband employed if he is willing, etc. Since Sujatha’s younger sister is my maid, I am abreast of all events at their home. I sincerely pray for a better and happier future for her and her daughter.

I truly wish her a happy Women’s Day today. I hope she achieves self-reliance and self-confidence!