Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Against Pet Abandonment, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Articles, Awareness Posters for Animal/Bird Welfare, Be the Change, Court Judgements on Animal Issues - India, Games people play, Information that empowers!, News Reports, Pets, Stories from Ground Zero, Videos on Animals

Continue feeding street animals, they do not transmit Coronavirus to Humans – Mrs. Maneka Gandhi

Senior BJP Leader and Member of Parliament, Maneka Gandhi on Saturday said that “The coronavirus is not transmitted through live animals.” Please scroll below to watch a news clipping, on this subject.

She has also issued a letter on her letterhead earlier today on 23rd March 2020, which is shared below-

All Animal care takers and Feeders can keep this letter by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, Honourable Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha, Government of India) handy in case they are stopped by authorities while feeding community animals.

Share this letter with your RWA’s and nearest Police Station.

Please take a print out of this letter, if possible or save it on your phone, and keep it handy when you are stepping out for an animal rescue or to feed them.

A humble request to all, be kind towards animals:

Please make two extra Chapatis/Rotis daily in your home for street dogs/Cows and other stray animals who will have no means of feeding themselves since all the Restaurants/Dhabas/Food Carts are closed now due to coronavirus lockdown.

Most of the stray animals survive on leftover food provided by Hotel/Dhaba staff. These animals will starve to death in case of a prolonged lockdown. You can handover these breads to your society/ Apartment staff to be kept outside for animals. Spread the message to all the people in your circle.

Let’s all give it a try, and share this message so more and more people can do the good deed of feeding streer animals in these trying times.

Mrs. Maneka Gandhi addresses the Media to bust myths.

While addressing the press, Maneka Gandhi said, “It has brought in the notice that the government department and several insurance agencies are creating a false panic in the coronavirus through issuing false advisories.”

She said, “These agencies are taking out the advisories on the Coronavirus, which are not confirmed by the health department by saying that nobody should go to live animals.”

“This is completely false and misleading… As the health department of India has said that the animal does not have coronavirus and cannot transmit the virus,” she said.

Adding to the statement, Maneka said, “I would advise the Ministry of Electronics, Insurance companies, and the ministry of railways not to run fake ads on this.”

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animals, Articles, Games people play, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

The ‘illogical’ Indian – A post in memory of ‘Chintu’

Chintu
                        ‘Chintu’ – A photograph from his good old days!

 

Chintu, was a ‘Street turned Community Dog’, whom we knew since December 2004. He started living in a building staircase in the colony where I too stay ever since he was wrongly dropped off here post-Sterilization. He must be about a year old then.

A security guard in our colony, gave him that name, “Chintu”. Not one to bark unnecessarily or harm anyone, Chintu soon became popular with the residents of all 8 flats in that building. Someone gave him biscuits, someone milk, and some others gave him roti with milk. His days were spent sun-bathing, with his little tongue strutting out, eyes closed, be it winters or summers.

With the ever so loyal and vigilant ‘Chintu’ around, no robbery ever happened on that street or in the building he inhabited.

Chintu was a bit scared of us though, unlike other street dogs. His reasons were perhaps that we always had dogs from ‘our’ street walking beside us- who never left an opportunity to scare Chintu away!

Nonetheless, we tried to pet him when we could and also did our duty of getting Chintu both his vaccination shots every year ever since he became a resident community dog of our colony, as we do annually with other dogs living on the streets in our colony and neighbourhood areas.

Wonderful 10+ healthy years passed away for Chintu in that building of ‘his’.

As November 2015 approached, a resident of that building stopped us on our morning walk with our dog and said that ‘Chintu’ has been vomiting recently. Since Chintu gets scared seeing us and doesn’t eat from us either, we checked with our Vet and gave the 5 day oral medication to that gentleman- resident of that building to feed Chintu.

Chintu was better, so was the feedback we got. His vomiting had stopped.

As the winters set in, we placed a Jute bori for him on that building staircase and later a piece of blanket too.

Then one day in December 2015, a lady resident of that building ‘interrupted’ our morning walk with our dog, asking us to take Chintu away somewhere as his vomiting is ‘spreading infections’. When we told her that the best we can do is begin his treatment again and that taking him anywhere is not recommended as he is a sensitive dog, much attached to this staircase, which he considers his home, she started another story of how she cares for pigeons!

Anyways, we started his medications again.

That December night as we went to place another bori for him as the winter chill had increased, we noticed to our shock, a printed and pasted sheet on the wall, “instructing residents not to feed the dog as he vomits in the building and is making conditions unlivable and unhealthy”.

The next evening, 23rd December 2015, when I went and met the lady who had pasted this notice, who was a Doctor herself, we requested her to let the residents  continue feeding him. How can antibiotics work with an empty stomach, was our reasoning to her.

No food- No vomit was her illogical reasoning.

She was a doctor, after all, we hoped she would understand, but she kept shaking her head in disdain and said, “No, only milk for Chintu, he has anything solid he vomits and I will send him off somewhere”. We tried to tell her not to do this as Chintu is a very sensitive dog, he won’t be able to live one more day if dislocated from ‘his’ building. We even left our number with her. She nodded and took it and we saved her number in our phone too. When I offered her anti-emetic and anti-acidity tablets to give to Chintu in his food, she said, “I have them, don’t need any”.

The next evening 24th December 2015, as we came to get Chintu injected with antibiotics, we noticed the boris and blankets were missing. The lady doctor said ‘Chintu’ keeps shifting his bedding on his own! Really?

Allow us to share that this ‘lady doctor’ goes to the temple religiously every morning with her basket of flowers and other offerings to please the Lord.

As I left for a Training on 25th December 2015 night, we requested the ground floor resident of that building to continue feeding Chintu whatever they could and that I will take him to the Vet once I return. God only knows what fate befell Chintu in those 3 days that I was away. On 28th December 2015, we were alerted to Chintu being dragged down the stairs for being taken away to a hospital, whose ambulance this lady doctor had called. As my brother came and got Chintu out of the ambulance to lift him to our home, the damage was already done. Chintu’s back had been damaged, he was writhing in pain. It was only then the lady doctor had the cheek to call me, never before, she had made up her mind long back to get Chintu off that building of ‘hers’!

I returned back on 29th December morning and rushed Chintu to the Vet while getting his Chest and Abdomen X-rays done along the way and blood samples were given to for his Blood, Kidney and Liver tests.

The Chest X-ray revealed infection in his lungs-not surprised- the winter chill got to him because the so called residents of that building took all his boris and blankets away. His back bone was injured off the trauma and force exerted on him while being dragged down the stairs by those dog catchers in the animal ambulance. He was a step away from being paralysed, so said the Vet. His abdomen was completely empty – pointing out that he was ‘starved’ by the residents of those very building who fed him all these years till he was healthy.

We began his course of treatment at our trusted Vet’s clinic and then got him back home, Chintu’s painful cries never stopped. His vital organs were now also failing him.

His body was paralysed later that night. Chintu had had enough!

He passed away with all of my family around him at 5am on 30th December 2015 morning.

He had crossed over the Rainbow bridge and moved on to a place far away from all illogical Indians.

As we took him to the Crematorium that morning, we stopped by at that building once where Chintu had lived all his life, only to see his boris and food bowls thrown away in the garbage. The residents of that building were perhaps in a tearing hurry to clean up after Chintu was ‘forcefully’ removed by them.

We cremated him with sunrise that morning. We were very sad but glad that Chintu was now in peace, for we knew long back, from these 11 years of observing him, as to how much he loved ‘his’ home i.e. that building, that staircase where he spent all his life.

Old age is not a disease. You, me, every one, every creature who is born on this planet turns old. You would turn old and so would I. Health problems can affect anyone of us too. It doesn’t mean you shun the sick patient off in his old days or days of ill-health. It is in those days that they need your care and affection the most, be it a human, an animal or a bird.

For all the Illogical Indians and residents of that building whom Chintu innocently thought were his well-wishers, but rather they were just his fair-weather friends – we now have just one thing to say, Chintu died not because of being sick, he died of the trauma and starvation YOU ALL inflicted on him in those last few days of his. No amount of going to temples to worship daily will wash away this sin of yours away. Chintu, like all dogs, had a big heart. He may forgive you all, but we sincerely hope someone up above has taken note of all of yours illogical deeds.

A little empathy is all ‘Chintu’ needed and deserved, and he did not get any in his worst hour of need.

empathy-quotes-6

Rest in peace, Chintu.

Posted in Articles, First Aid Service, Jaagruti's interventions, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

A tale of 2 friends: 10+ year old street ‘Naifee’ & Class 10th student ‘Hunny’: A story about being caring and compassionate!

Kindness
A tale of 2 friends: 10+ year old Naifee, a street dog & Class 10th student Hunny: A story about being caring and compassionate!

Today, we want to share with you the story of a young Class 10 student named Hunny and ‘Naifee’, a brown coloured senior male Indian Street dog that has been staying on the pathway of the building floor Hunny has his flat on in Ashok Vihar area of Delhi, for a few years now. There are a set of 4 flats on this floor, including Hunny’s.

When Naifee contracted skin infection and had a web of big and small blood-sucking horrible looking ticks all over his back, ears and under the elbows, it was Hunny, a class 10 student who took it upon himself to figure a way out to get him treated, while the elders around on that floor, perhaps ignored Naifee’s plight!


Hunny googled around and arrived at the webpage which explained about JAAGRUTI’s On-Site First Aid Service for Street Dogs/Animals and wrote us an email with a photograph of the ticks on Naifee’s back and requested a visit from us on Saturday, 18th July 2015, a Saturday was chosen just to ensure Hunny had his dad around who would help us restrain Naifee, a pre-requisite that we have for those who call us over for On-site treatment.
Hunny and Naifee_1

We went and treated Naifee on that day, applied topical anti-tick powder, injected what was appropriate for his skin condition, keeping in mind his age and general health and handed over oral medicines and the anti-tick powder to Hunny and his family to continue with over the next few days. Hunny’s mom and all other gentlemen and ladies residing on that building floor were briefed on the best die to feed Naifee, here onwards. It was Hunny who insisted that we explain what’s best for Naifee to eat, to everyone on that floor; and we gladly took it upon ourselves to educate them all, Naifee was also vaccinated against Rabies thereafter.
Hunny just shared this lovely pic of his with Naifee with us. We are glad to share that Naifee is now, doing fine.

Hunny Naifee How we at JAAGRUTI wish that we have more compassionate and empathetic kids around like Hunny, for only then will this world of ours be a kind and beautiful place for all of us to live in. God bless you Hunny!

Spread the message of compassion around.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE TO US ?

Would you like to contribute towards JAAGRUTI’s On-site First Aid Service and Vaccination Service for Street Dogs/Animals in North West Delhi, so that we can continue to treat and heal them on the street itself, rather than packing them off to the uncertainties of an animal hospital/shelter?


If YES is your answer and you believe in the merit of On-site treatment, which is done with us being physically helped by the local caretakers/community members helping in identifying, locating, helping restrain the injured/unwell/wounded animal, day in and day out till they recover, then please click here https://jaagruti.org/contribute-to-jaagruti/ or find our Bank details below:
You can now also contribute online to Jaagruti’s efforts by clicking https://www.payumoney.com/paybypayumoney/#/61923

**Tax Exemption Status for ‘Jaagruti’: Donations to Jaagruti are entitled to tax-exemption under Section 12A and 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act 1961.
Account Name: JAAGRUTI
Bank Account Number (Current Account):1710002100550190
Bank Name: PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK
Bank Branch Name (with Code): (171000) LOCAL SHOPPING CENTRE, PITAMPURA
Bank Branch Address: LOCAL SHOPPING CENTRE, PITAMPURA, DELHI-110034
RTGS/NEFT/IFS Code: PUNB0171000

Please note: Request you to drop in a mail to contribute@jaagruti.org when you make the RTGS transfer/NEFT transaction with your complete name, address, amount transacted (transaction reference number) and your PAN Card no. so that we can track the same and acknowledge it gratefully.

A donation receipt along with Jaagruti’s Tax Exemption Certificate would be duly e-mailed/couriered to you thereafter.

Thank you.

Posted in First Aid Service, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

A dog with a swollen face – Our First Aid Service at work!

Chowki_Jaagruti_Swollen Face

Have you all started wondering if our On-site First Aid Service for Street Animals only tends to maggot cases?

Well, not really…meet this brown coloured male street dog whom we spotted near a neighbourhood Police chowki on 14th August. His face was swollen like a pumpkin and his eyes were hardly opening! It was food that helped us win his heart over and we were able to begin treatment. By Day 3, the size of his face has returned to its normal size.

We have attended to such cases before so knew that this swelling of the face was possibly due to pus accumulation. And the pus accumulation was courtesy the fungal infection he had in his left ear due to this horrible humid weather, which would have caused him to shake his head constantly and this swollen pus filled face as a result.

Please take note of what we are sharing next.

Pus accumulated in any part of the body will always try to make its way out by making an opening/hole in the body. In this Chowki dog’s case there were three openings too, a big hole in the left ear and then two smaller ones over the forehead and above the left eye. These openings need to be tended to as well, cleaned and dressed up else its a recipe for an upcoming disaster, yes, you guessed it right, screw-worm flies love this pus and would have soon sat on it to lay eggs and convert this into a maggot wound!

Consider contributing to JAAGRUTI™ to help us sustain our On-site First Aid Service for Street Animals.

We would be able to expand our reach only if people contribute. We have been an entirely self-funded effort thus far and working quietly on the ground since around 6 years now.

You can contribute online through https://jaagruti.org/contribute-to-jaagruti/ ormake a Bank Transfer, details of which are mentioned below:

Account Name: JAAGRUTI
Bank Account Number (Current Account):1710002100550190
Bank Name: PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK
Bank Branch Name (with Code): (171000) LOCAL SHOPPING CENTRE, PITAMPURA
Bank Branch Address: LOCAL SHOPPING CENTRE, PITAMPURA, DELHI-110034
RTGS/NEFT/IFS Code: PUNB0171000

Please note: Request you to drop in a mail to contribute@jaagruti.org when you make the RTGS transfer/NEFT transaction with your complete name, address, amount transacted (transaction reference number) and your PAN Card no. so that we can track the same and acknowledge it gratefully. Thanks

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Against Pet Abandonment, Articles, Pets, Stories from Ground Zero

My Pain of being an abandoned dog!

This article is from us, we are the ones who are either living on the roads or in an Animal Shelter. We are those canine babies, who have been abandoned by one of you. You have taken advantage of us being ‘voiceless’. If we were able to speak, we could define or explain our pain. There are so many of us, but here is me. Hello my name is Nandini, this name was given to me by the staff at the Animal Shelter. I am going to tell my story, which is not a story but the bitter reality of my life.

My owner brought me to his house when I was just one month old. I used to feed on my mother’s milk, I should have been left with my mom till the time I was 45-50 days old, but this owner of mine was in a hurry to take me to his house, so he gave money to the breeder and bought me for Rs. 5000.

Now I was in his home, I used to cry because I missed my mom’s love, care and warmth but, they thought that I was hungry and offered me packed milk. I took that because I was hungry, but my body didn’t accept it and I became sick. The vet advised them to give me formulated powdered milk for small babies, they didn’t.

By now, I had forgotten the taste of my mother’s milk and had unconditionally accepted all of them as my family. My owner’s 7 years old son used to play with me a lot. As I was very young, I used to sleep most of the time, he used to come and wake me up to play, but I never got angry with him, because he was my friend and I was committed to live with them till my last breath.

His son and I, both were growing-up. I loved them as much as I can. When they used to go out for work or for roaming around, I waited for them at home. When they used to come back, I always pleased them, hugged them, and kissed them as if we are meeting after a long time. But slowly and slowly I realized as I turned 3 years old that the entire family had started losing interest in me. They rarely came to play with me and the duty of feeding me and taking me for my walks was also given to the servant. Most of the time the servant forgot to feed me or gave me the wrong diet, at the wrong time, but none at home cared. I still never complained and gave my loyal, pure love to all. But, I missed playing with them, walking with them, their touch of love, had I lost my charm in their eyes, I wondered!

Due to lack of proper care and good diets and walks, I became sick and developed skin eczema.  I started losing my hair, but then, instead of taking the vet’s advice or taking me to a vet’s clinic, they started ignoring me all the more and then, they all decided to leave me in a shelter. I overheard them saying that, “she will get everything that she needs, i.e. food, medicine, shelter etc. over there, i.e. in the Animal Shelter. For these people, the definition of everything is different; I am a living being and a social one at that, along with food and medicines, I also need love, care, a family and a home where I could feel safe.

I wondered what my fault was. I never made them suffer or leave them alone when they were suffering, feeling bad or when they were feeling lonely…I used to sit with  them, hear them out and did all I could to make them comfortable and make them smile all over again. But now, when I needed their love and some medical care, they dumped me!

The day I reached the Animal Shelter, I overheard the screams and cries of other dogs, many were weeping…I became scared, but with my family around me, I was confident that nothing bad will happen to me, may be they had got me here to get my skin infection treated and we will leave from there in a short while and go back home.

But that was not to be. I soon realized much to my distress that they were leaving me behind here. They handed my leash to one of the staffers at the Shelter, gave them some money and started walking away. I was confused, I was scared…I started barking, jumping and calling out to them, so that they would hear me, come back and take me with them. I was confused as to how can they forget me here…My family, my world was moving away from me, it was the end of everything for me. They started the car and went away…I was left behind ALONE, ABANDONED, CRYING…me the voiceless became even more voiceless. My tears couldn’t stop, my heart pained with sorrow. But there was no one who could understand my grief.

For that day, I was kept in a small cage, because the other dogs in the shelter were not ready to accept me and be friends with me so soon. The staff at the shelter offered me food but I didn’t take that. That night I spent with tear in my eyes and fear in my heart. The whole night I cried and was praying that somehow I will meet my owners again. The eczema problem was not in my hand, so why did they punish me for it, I continued to wonder. That night finished, the next morning I woke up and I was continuously staring at the door of the shelter that my owner will realize his fault, will miss me too and will come back to take me back to home. The day passed by waiting for my owner. Whenever I listened to a car horn, I raised my ears to listen to their voice but they didn’t come. That day I also didn’t take food, I was crying. Suddenly, I noticed the presence of other dogs around me; they told me that they all have stories similar to mine. Some were left behind because their owners had their jobs transferred to other cities, some were dumped because they had tumours or other health issues, some were thrown away here because they had behavioral problems (which could have been worked upon and corrected for good), some were left because the owner’s wife was now pregnant and some were even left here, because they didn’t grow up looking the way their owner expected them to…and a million more senseless reasons one could think of. We all shared our pain with each other and they made me realize that I am losing my health by staying hungry and waiting for such heartless people. I was so sad and depressed, but then, suddenly I heard something… a shelter member called me Nandini and also said to me, “Baby I do not know your real name but will love to call you Nandini”. I started adjusting myself over there, I got food twice a day but I hardly got a friend to play, after all, the staff at the shelter to look after other injured and accident hit dogs who make their way to the Hospital every day…though they all try their best, they cannot spare time to give individual attention and care to ‘abandoned and dumped’ dogs like me. The Vet at the Hospital checked on me, my medication for Eczema started and within a couple of weeks I got all my hair back but I did not get my owner back. I guess, they were not even bothered to check, whether I was dead or alive. On the weekend, some volunteers used to come from outside to feed us, spend some time with us but not to adopt us and take us home with them. I am not blaming anyone but I do want to ask you all, why do you keep us dogs as your pets, if you cannot commit yourself to look after us well for the short lives we have? Do you consider us as ‘objects’ that can be dumped in the bin, when you no longer need it? If you just wanted to pass time with a cuddly, furry creature, you could have best invested your money in buying yourself or your kid a stuff toy….next time, please buy toys and not us to pass your time with, you are no one to decide on our fate. We also want a family that is willing to make a lifelong commitment to look after us in our good and bad days.

I, Nandini………….. I survived in that shelter every day, with that pain of being abandoned, being ‘unwanted’ by those whom I loved. I was living with a hope that may be, someone amongst you will come forward to adopt me, love me, and give me a home and family of my own once again…but that never happened. Usually, we dogs can live for 12 to 14 years if we get love and care, but I died at the age of 4 years…I couldn’t live at the shelter beyond a few months, the pain was too much to bear…Yes, I am dead…I waited and waited, but did not get the love I yearned for.

I am no more but I wish after reading this article my other friends will be adopted from shelter.

Adopt us and never ever abandon.

Adopt, don’t buy, there are too many homeless animals like me around.

An Adoption Appeal for ‘Tiger’:

Now, if any one of you reading this has a heart to adopt this Golden coloured 5-6 year old healthy Male Labrador, who was recently dumped for no fault of his by his owner, please let us know by writing to contact@jaagruti.org

I am TIGER: an abandoned 5-6 year old Male Labrador ' - Anyone who can give me a home and a place in their hearts?
I am TIGER: an abandoned 5-6 year old Male Labrador ‘ – Anyone who can give me a home and a place in their hearts?

 

About the Authors*: This article was written by Nikhil & Jyoti; and first published in the 2nd Annual Issue of the Canis Welfare Pet Club’s souvenir Magazine

 

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Laws of India, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, Games people play, Information that empowers!, Pets, Stories from Ground Zero, Take Action!

Gurgaon Municipal Corporation’s Directive to Presidents of Residential Welfare Societies to stop harassing people who have pets and tend to street dogs

Below are embedded image files/scans of a 3 page letter issued by Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon to Presidents of all RWAs in Gurgaon to stop harassing people who tend to street dogs and those who have pets (by passing unlawful dictats of banning pet dogs). Please use it to contest against your respective RWA’s who come out with weird aristocratic bye-laws on the same.

You can download all these pages combined together as  PDF File by clicking on the link below.

Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-stray-dogs_2012 (https://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/gurgaon-municipal-corporation-directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-stray-dogs_2012.pdf)

Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-stray-dogs_2012_Page 1
Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-street-dogs_2012_Page 1
Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-stray-dogs_2012_Page 2
Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-street-dogs_2012_Page 2
Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-stray-dogs_2012_Page 3
Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-street-dogs_2012_Page 3

Suggested reading:

For all yours reference again, please click the link below to the Notice issued by a battery of lawyers to a Gurgaon based RWA that came out with an absurd ruling to ban people from having pets.

Legal notice issued to Kanchanjunga Coop.Group Housing Society at Gurgaon 

Also, please refer to this page on the website of Pet Parents Association.

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Take Action!

The Dog Care Field Manual by Harrell Graham (Kind Courtesy: Mr. Merrit Clifton at ANIMAL PEOPLE)

We at ‘Jaagruti’ think that this manual serves as a handy asset for all of us who look after our neighborhood street dogs in India and often find ourselves stuck! 

Download The Dog Care Field Manual by Harrell Graham by clicking here 

All text below by Mr. Merrit Clifton from ANIMAL PEOPLE:

This Dog Care Field Manual, by Harrell Graham,  covers wound treatment;  treatment of both internal parasites such as worms and external parasites such as mange;  emergency response to poisoning;  and avoidance of rabies.  Each topic is reviewed in depth and detail,  recommending crisis care that almost anyone can give when the nearest veterinarian is many miles and hours away. 

Graham,   who recently returned to the U.S. after five years in rural Thailand, compiled The Dog Care Field Manual from his own rescue experience,  in consultation with sympathetic veterinarians from around the world.  Asks Graham, “Have you ever seen a sick or mangy dog and found yourself saying, ‘I wish there was something I could do to help that poor creature?’  Are you an expatriate living in a second or third world country where these sick and wounded animals are everywhere?

“This manual will show you how you can spend some time outside helping man’s best friend and at the same time get to know your community, meet people, and make your life more interesting and meaningful.  It doesn’t require a lot:  a handful of readily available medicines, plus some dry dog food.

“The satisfaction that comes from watching a mite-infected, sick and possibly hairless dog gain his strength and beauty back over a period of just a few weeks is hard to beat.”

Much of Graham’s advice will help rescuers anywhere.  Even where veterinarians are plentiful and accessible during business hours, there is not always a clinic open all night when one finds a dog in distress, and even if such a clinic exists, emergency treatment may be necessary before the dog is moved.

“I read it and found it to be very useful,” C.P. Ramaswamy Institute president Nanditha Krishna e-mailed from Chennai, India, less than 24 hours after ANIMAL PEOPLE posted The Dog Care Field Manual for downloading from our web site.  “Since I run a mini shelter with 15 dogs at home, I constantly need help.  I have downloaded the manual to my desktop.”

The Dog Care Field Manual is not meant to substitute for veterinary care, even in remote regions of the developing world.

“I am a big believer in working with a local vet,” Graham told ANIMAL PEOPLE.  In particular,  an experienced local vet “can better diagnose certain cases,”  Graham explained,  where the dog suffers from a condition known in the community,  but not common elsewhere. However, Graham found that the nearest capable veterinary diagnostician was often far distant.  In Thailand, Graham recalls,  “My vet asked me to bring him pictures––rather than haul all the dogs from the temples 30 miles away––and he could tell me what to do if I didn’t already know.  There were only a handful of times I had to do this because, usually,  Ivermectin and some worm pills,  plus maybe some antibiotics,  are all that most dogs need.

“On those occasions where the dog had problems I couldn’t deal with,”  Graham added,  “I took the dog to the vet.”  Examples included “a broken leg with bloody sharp bones protruding;  liver disease with great ascites (belly distention);   and red cauliflower-like transmissible venereal tumors growing on the genitals,  where the dog needed intervenous chemotherapy.  I did administer intervenous vincristine at night once, on the side of the road, with a head lamp,  and no one to assist me,  but a vet can do it much more easily and quickly.”

Graham acknowledges that some of his advice may be controversial.  “Regarding my suggestion of ‘throwing’ multiple drugs such as antibiotics,  antifungals,  and antiparasitics at an animal who has no hair and is sick,”  Graham recalls grilling experts by e-mail,  reminding them that “stray dogs will not have access to multiple tests in a vet’s office.”  Most conceded that “Under those circumstances the ‘shotgun approach’ was okay.”

But Graham prefers to take a more cautious approach.  For example,   “I prefer to not give antifungals,” Graham says,  “until I’ve first dewormed the dog,  and have given the dog Ivermectin for mites,  and antibiotics.”

Adds Graham,  “I’ve treated more dogs with more severe skin infections than most western vets will see in a lifetime of treating ‘yuppy’ dogs.  I know the approach I outline in the Dog Care Field Manual works because it has been ‘battle tested.’  That doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.”

Graham is continuing to research possible additions and amendments. 

Posted in Animals, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, General/Animals, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Is your neighbourhood street dog coughing off late? Sharing a treatment that may work

We have seen many dogs who are coughing really hard and continuously in this unbearable summer heat of Delhi-NCR, may be you have too…the cough could be because of dust-triggered Respiratory Infection, says our consultant veterinary doctor. It is painful to see the dogs coughing this way, trying as if they were to release something out that is stuck in their throat and often spitting out phlegm (‘balgam‘ as it is called in Hindi).

The treatment* we have successfully used to treat four dogs on the street over the past month and cure them off their cough is as follows, sharing here so that the readers of this blog can also make use of it:

  1. Go to your neighborhood chemist shop and purchase a strip of Ampoxin-500mg Capsules (it is an antibiotic medicine). A Strip of 15 capsules would cost you Rs.38 only.
  2. Give the coughing dog a 3 day antibiotic-course (3 days x 2 capsules daily) of this medicine. This means that you need to give the coughing dog one Ampoxin-500mg capsule in the morning and one in the evening for three consecutive days.
  3. How to give the capsule, so that the dog will consume the medicine? : Now this is the tricky part. Do not give the capsule as whole, the dog will spit it out and leave the food, who likes food with medicines anyways? :) Open the capsule, cut the capsule at its tip with a scissor and pour the capsule’s white colour powder in some paneer/cheese or sweet like gulab jamun.

*Please note: We are not doctors, but we are sharing this treatment protocol here because we have tried it successfully and we understand that it is very difficult to take each and every street dog to a vet or veterinary hospital for treatment. Many ailments, if detected early enough in street dogs, can be best treated on the street itself.

Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Series-2: Educating your Residential Society on the scientific and lawful manner of dealing with street dogs

This template letter on Google Docs is kind courtesy of the Voice of Stray Dogs, Bangalore and makes for a good resource material for those of you trying to educate their own residential societies (RWAs i.e. Resident Welfare Associations) on the best possible legally correct, scientific and humane way of dealing with the ‘subject’ of street dogs in their colonies.

How to do this yourself?

Firstly, read these two articles to best understand the Rights of Street Dogs in India and the Delhi High Court rulings on the subject of feeding street Dogs, then save the images and the PDF Files embedded in these articles on to your computer, take a print out of these saved files and attach it as annexures to the above letter that you would draft and address to the concerned person in your RWA, seal the letter and send it across through courier or registered post, keep a photocopy of the same set with you. Be strong and fight it out intelligently, the laws are on your side and the dogs, just use your wisdom and intellect to drive the point across to the ‘uninformed’.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the above subject (kind courtesy of People for Animals):

Q) Can people who feed animals in their areas be stopped by the RWAs or Societies or neighbours under the law ?

A) Article 51A of the Constitutional Law of India, speaks about the duties of every citizen of India. One of these duties includes having compassion for living creatures. So the animal lover is protected under the Constitution.

Article 19 of the Constitution of India, deals with right to freedom and in this freedom comes the right to profession, occupation, trade and business. Therefore, it means that every citizen has the right to occupation and if someone has taken the caring of animals as his occupation, it is legal and he has every right to carry on with  his occupation.

Article 21 of the Constitution of India states the right to personal life and liberty. Now this is the very vast right. If someone wants to feed dogs and provides shelter to the dogs, he has every liberty to do so. He has this right to liberty that the law provides to every citizen of India.

But, above every law and rights, there is a natural right too, which is a universal right, that is inherent in the nature of ethics and contingent on human actions or beliefs. It is the right that is claimed to exist even when it is not enforced by the government or society as a whole. It is the right of the individual and considered beyond the authority of a government or international body to dismiss. Therefore, if there are any rights at all, there must be right to liberty, for all the others depend on this. And, loving, caring and feeding and giving shelter to dogs, definitely is a natural right of any individual.

In a judgment passed by the Delhi Court, it has been stated that the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Municipal authorities have in the guidelines issued by them specified the problem often faced by the individuals and families who adopts stray animals and feed them and come to the assistance of such persons. The court says, that it is necessary to bring into record that these individuals and families who adopt stray animals are doing a great service to the humanity as they are acting in the aid and assistance of municipal authorities by providing these animals with food and shelter and also by getting them vaccinated and sterilized. Without assistance of such persons no local municipal authority can successfully carry out its ABC programs. The court has went on to say that the local police and the municipal authorities are under the obligation not only to encourage such adoption but also to ensure that such persons who come forward to take care of these animals specifically the community or neighbourhood dogs so that they are not subjected to any kind of cruelty.

And finally, the court has said that every individual has a right to live his life in the manner he wants and it is necessary that the society and the community recognizes it.

Q) Can an RWA/Society or any individual pick up the dogs in a colony that are sterilized and vaccinated and throw them away somewhere

A) Under the Government of India Animal Birth Control rules 2001 , no sterilized dogs can be relocated  from their area. Under 5 High Court orders , sterilized dogs have to be in their original areas. Even if the dog is not sterilized , the Society can simply ask an animal welfare organization to sterilize and vaccinate the dog. They cannot relocate him. Relocation is not permissible as it would cause more problems such as increase of dog bites as dogs are territorial by nature and fight to retain their areas keeping out other dogs.
Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series-1: How do we pick up street dogs and take them to the nearest vet in our car

We are no experts and neither do we run an animal ambulance or hospital that tends to animals. We do it one street dog (or at best two or three) at a time and try to do our best in getting them treated/taking care of them and returning them back to the streets/areas where we picked them up/rescued them from.

We would like to share here what we have learnt, in our few years of doing this work on how best YOU can also try to pick an animal in need; place them in your car and take them to the nearest good vet for treatment/first aid.

Sometimes, a few regular visits to a good vet are all the injured street dog needs to recover back to full fitness. Also, try and learn some animal first aid yourself; and keep a first aid kit handy with regular medicines (please read this link: https://jaagruti.org/first-aid-for-dogs/)

Please remember sending each and every injured/ill animal to the animal hospital is NOT the solution. The animals recover better when treated on the streets, wherever possible, when tended to by animal lovers in the area and taken to vets, as advised periodically(and given supplementary medication mixed in food as advised by the vet) till they have completely recovered.

Some vets also do street dog sterilization surgeries (by prior appointments only) at their private clinics, at minimal costs for the dog lovers who tend to street dogs in their area and are willing to take care of the sterilized dogs in their homes for a few nights till they recover from the surgery, by sheltering them at their homes for this period of recovery. You need to find such good veterinary surgeons around your home so that tending to animals and getting them treated, sterilized and vaccinated doesn’t become a stressful chore for you, but rather a duty you perform with smile and satisfaction.

However, dogs do try to run away when they sense that you are trying to catch them…when they are injured, they may also tend to bite you, that is not because they hurt you, but because they are already in pain, that may have been inflicted by ‘humans’ only, and are thus less trusting of you

So here goes our checklist for catching an injured street dog and taking them for medical treatment:

 1. Make sure you are at least two people, as two are always better than one, when it comes to extending moral, emotional and physical support to each other…all of which is required when it comes to getting an injured animal treated.

2. Take some dry dog food with you to tempt the animal to you and allowing the animal to trust you to pet/touch them.

3. Equipments you will need to catch a dog:

a. A naada i.e. a cloth string/rope that is used to tie pyjamas here in India)- it works better than a muzzle and we use the same to tie the dog’s mouth and then take it around the neck and tie it at the back of the neck. The naada is gentle and better on the snout.

b. A dog leash (one with collar and one without collar)- the handle of the leash without the collar also acts as a good thing to put around the dog’s neck, while sliding the leash through it so that it becomes a lock.

c. Cover your car seats/floor with a waterproof cloth or/and old bed sheets to avoid getting your car covers/flooring dirty, as the dogs may vomit (due to motion sickness), pee/urinate or poo/defacate en-route, please be prepared for it (Do this preparatory work in your car before you go to rescue the dog).

4. Lifting the dog: Once the snout is muzzled and the leash is tied around their neck (which also gives us a chance to ensure that the dog doesn’t run away once we land at the vet’s clinic), and then lift the dog up in your arms by placing your hands across/under their chest to establish a tight grip as you lift them up. Yes, you are thinking right, you need to be physically strong and firm on your feet to lift dogs up in your arms this way.

5. Place the dog in your car: We take the dogs in our car, we have a Santro, we push down/fold down the backseat, so that the boot of the car and this space adds up and the dog has enough space. Sometimes, for small-sized dogs, we have used pet carriers; but mostly, we just place them in the car the above way and then when we reach our destination (the vet’s place/hospital)…once you have placed the dog inside your car, roll down the window just by a few inches (for ventilation) and not too much the dog tries to stick its neck out and run away.

Street dog being taken in our car for treatment at the nearest vet's clinic
Street dog being taken in our car for treatment at the nearest vet’s clinic

6. Also, try to ensure a crowd doesn’t gather (which may happen, as the dog being caught will try to scream as a defensive reaction); too many people crowding together will make the animal nervous. To disperse the crowd, take help of your team mates and gently try to explain them what you are doing and request them to disperse.

What we do? We have, through experience, learnt to talk and explain about such things gradually with different kinds of people; and when we are only trying to benefit a living being, what’s the shame in trying to answer curious queries…People do listen. While we request people to move inside their homes and not crowd about as the animal is in any case scared, some listen, some don’t and when they don’t, sometimes we have to be forceful and assertive in requesting them, while trying to make sure that we don’t enter into a fight by offending their sensibilities, its a test of patience we agree, but then it’s all worth it.

7. Once you reach the vet’s clinic, either request help from their paravets to take the dog from your car to the vet’s examination room/table. Or ensure that you lift the dog back into your arms carefully (taking care that all other windows/car gates are locked) and take him/her inside the clinic.

Please do share your experiences by writing to us at contact@jaagruti.org or posting comments below. This is just a synopsis of what we do and what works for us.

Thanks.

Posted in Animals, General/Animals, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

Treating an old dog with Aural haematoma- Part 2

Dateline: October 2012

Two years back, we had penned a story on how we got an old black dog’s aural haematoma treated.

We had a smilar challenge to face with another old dog, a brown coloured male dog with a very peculiar personality disorder, which is that he wants you to love him, but he is cared of being touched. How does one take a dog with such a feeble heart in one’s car to the doctor’s clinic? We were in a dilemma, confused.

We tried to catch him many a times to take him to the vet’s place, just seeing us approaching him with a leash, he would start screaming on the top of his voice as if the leash was to strangle him.

We were sure we didn’t want him operated (i.e surgically treat him) for this aural haematoma, neither that dog or we had the hearts to brave it.

We discussed this with our trusted vet and requested him to send across his paravet with us to the street where this brown dog lives, the vet agreed and we decided that the best way forward was to aspirate the accumulated fluid out of the dog’s right swollen ear flap and insert antibiotics in the ear flap, that would help dry the fluid and heal the haematoma.

Moral of the story thus far: Have full faith in yourself and conviction in the choices you make. Then march ahead. More often than not, things will fall in place

This is what happened thereafter after the paravet arrived on the spot to execute the plan of medical-action.

Attempt 1: We tried to lure the dog to me with dog food, he came, ate and tried to run away and we couldn’t entice him to come near the paravet for he, i.e. the dog, smelt danger!

Attempt 2: We tried to lure the dog to me with dog food and distracted him, and the paravet from behind threw the leash around  the dog’s neck and using all our force, we managed to hold that dog in that steady position.

The paravet took position and a syringe (plunger with needle) was inserted into the swollen portion of the ear flap by the paravet and the fluid that had accumulated in the dog’s ear flap was sucked out (aspirated) and thrown away. The process was repeated (while keeping the needle fixed on the flap and just removing the syringe’s plunger portion) till the fluid was sucked out (as much as it could be).

Then a mixture of antibiotic Gentamycin and injectable medicine Prednisone (an anti-inflammatory drug that also promotes healing) was injected into the ear flap through that same needle which was left on the ear flap.

Apparently, as explained to us by the paravet, Prednisone as a medicine helps dry the fluid and heal such wounds.

And it worked, it has been a month since this exercise was undertaken and the flap though is now bent, it doesn’t have any fluid accumulated inside it.

This is how it all looks.

The Old Brown Dog’s right ear: Post non-surgical aspiration of aural haematoma fluid [Image (c) Jaagruti]

In the end, something to share…We at ‘Jaagruti’ often get questioned on our helpline number by many a rowdy people as to what we actually do, we tell them to read it on these pages on this blog (About Jaagruti, Contact Us and Animal Helplines in Delhi and NCR), we have clearly written on these pages what we are and what we are not, we have nothing to hide.

We don’t run an ambulance or a veterinary hospital, we don’t run a shelter, Jaagruti is a little effort wherein we try to share information and empower you, we try to listen to you when you call, we may not always have an answer, we are young and still learning, but we will always try to guide you with the best possible solution based on our understanding of the subject or issue and help you do what we aim to do, inspiring you to do a good deed a day. For we believe that if everyone were to do that, it will be a good day for many in need.

“Try to make at least one person happy every day. If you cannot do a kind deed, speak a kind word.

If you cannot speak a kind word, think a kind thought.”- Lawrence G. Lovasik 

And remember to smile, despite all the hardships that exist and you face, you’re beautiful and so is this world.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Do you know?, Games people play, Information that empowers!, News Reports, Pets, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Can’t remove Pets or harass those who feed street animals, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon tells RWAs

In the recent past, the Helpline at Jaagruti has received many calls from a lot of street dog lovers/pet owners in Gurgaon on the subject of their respective Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) barring them from keeping pets or feeding street dogs or fining them etc., and we have directed them to take a stance against their respective RWAs taking inspiration from the content posted on this article of ours.

Taking notice of many such animal lovers rising up in unison, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon has taken an informed proactive stance on the matter and dispatched a stern letter to all such RWA office bearers on the adamance, arrogance and above all IGNORANCE being shown by their respective RWA office bearers on this subject, by coming out with warnings and society bye-laws that are in strict contravention to all the national laws.

We appreciate the position taken by Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon on this subject.

To all of these concerned compassionate people worried about the street animals and the pets they love, feed and take care off, the recent news in the Times of India comes as a welcome relief. Please read on.

Can’t remove Pets, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon to RWAs

By Aditya Dev, TNN, 6th Nov 2012

GURGAON: Even as the management bodies of residential societies are making their own rules for keeping pets, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has written to various residents’ welfare associations warning them not to formulate rules and regulations regarding pets and that any such move is in conflict with the law. Such a move may lead to dissolution of the RWA and prosecution of its office bearers, says the letter.

The managing committee Kanchunjunga Cooperative Group Housing Society in Sector 56 had last year imposed a ban on its residents keeping pets. The Close North (Nirvana Country) management also recently banned flat owners from using elevators to take out pets and instructed them to use service elevators instead.

The corporation sent letters to RWAs this February following incidents of cruelty against animals by RWAs, their office bearers and residents were reported. It also came to light that a few RWAs attempted to prevent pet ownership through stipulations in terms of their rental or ownership agreement, threatening pet owners with electricity and water cut offs.

If any rule laid down by anybody is in conflict with the law of the urban local body, state body or central body it is automatically superseded and rendered null and void. The letter says that an RWA threatening discontinuation of basic facilities is illegal.

It is illegal to remove animals from the area through security guards employed by RWAs. Nor can they intimidate residents who may be feeding those animals. Under stray dog management rules 2001, it’s illegal for an individual, RWA or estate management to remove or relocate dogs. The dogs have to be sterilized and vaccinated and returned to the same area. Vaccinated and sterilized dogs cannot be removed by the municipality too.

Under Section 506 of the IPC, it’s a crime to threaten, abuse or harass neighbours who feed animals.

Posted in Be the Change, Do you know?, Environment, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, News Reports, Stories from Ground Zero, Take Action!

This Diwali..think a little

I am writing this post to share with you a very personal story that always springs back to our (me and my brother Vivek’s, we both co-founded Jaagruti) memories every Diwali or rather in the days nearing it, as we start hearing the noise of bursting firecrackers around us, like in the time that I am penning this down.

The year was 1997, I was in Class 11, studying Sciences at D.A.V Public School, Pushpanjali Enclave, Delhi. I was 15 years old at that time, and every Diwali, my mother would pay an uncle of mine (who had his shop in Sadar Bazaar area of New Delhi) to get a box, or often boxes full of an assortment of firecrackers for us, which we enjoyed ourselves with.

But, that year, there was something unusual and uncharacteristic that our school did pre-Diwali, something I had not seen or learnt about in my 7 years of being in that school.

Our school participated in an ‘Anti-Fire Cracker’ campaign. At first I thought, that this campaign was the school’s way of teaching us not to burn fire crackers as burning them lets to our air being polluted and us contracting a host of respiratory diseases. But I was mistaken.

Under this campaign, we were distributed these little red stickers which had the following text written in Hindi.

“Pataakhe nahi jalaayenge, baal mazdoori hataayenge”

(which in English when translated would mean “We will not burn fire crackers and help get rid of child labour”).

Child Labour and Fire Crackers?? I was confused. What was this being talked about…I listened with intent and that was when I first understood that children as old or many years younger to me are employed by Fire Cracker factories across India to make fire crackers, the fire crackers that I had joyfully burnt in all Diwali festivals prior to that year.

While, we the fortunate ones, used our soft and nimble hands and fingers to write, paint and play, in many a villages in India, children like me were labouring to churn out fireworks working for more than 10-15 hours a day, contracting unknown health ailments in the process of making these tiring efforts to feed themselves and their families.

Kids like her make fire crackers to light up your Diwali. That we burn crackers made by the nimble hands and fingers of young children – is not something that you should feel happy or celebrate about. This is an assorted collection of images taken from various news websites to convey the start and dim reality of firecracker production across to you all (Image Copyright: http://www.ilo.org)

A guilt overtook my conscience that day.

We pledged not to burn fire crackers any more, that Diwali onwards.

The pledge of ours was further strengthened when my fellow classmates enacted a play themed on this subject of ‘Child labour and Fire Crackers’ at the first ever Delhi School Eco-Mela (Eco-fair), held in the lawns of Delhi Public School, Mathura road.

Friends joined in and we convinced our family to not force us to burn fire crackers either.

It has been 18 years since those days and we have been able to stick to the promise we made to ourselves and the pledge we undertook and not burnt a fire cracker ever since.

In 1997, there was no internet we had access to, and neither were there these host of news channels, but today there are many and despite ‘legislations banning the use of children for labour’, many a million kids continue to be exploited and forced to work in and for such fire cracker units even today.

Spare a minute to read one such detailed news article, a 2014 dated news story and watch through the news clips below and think a little before you pick up the next fire cracker to burn this Diwali.

Now choose your next step..

~

Vasudha

(Last revised on 7th November 2015)

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Games people play, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”

Beena Maashi at Kolkata (Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=409252219101112&set=a.354249267934741.103962.354151841277817&type=3)
Beena Mashi at Kolkata (Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=409252219101112&set=a.354249267934741.103962.354151841277817&type=3)

Beena Mohapatra, a domestic maid from Kolkata  feeds 35 dogs in her locality. We are glad to come across a story with striking similarity. This picture was making rounds across a lot of groups and Facebook’s Animals – Facts and Anecdotes thought of putting up this story, which we are sharing here…

Our planet can still be considered as an average place to live. All credit goes to the Almighty who handpicked a few messengers to service mankind and other neglected species. One such messengers exist in the city of, Calcutta.

No matter how strange it may sound but some of the richest people on earth who are gifted with almost everything do not have the heart to feed a starving animal outside their house. If you think the act of this street urchin is a real act of humanity, share this story with the world.

She is a street urchin, but gifted with a heart of gold. She hasn’t got any clue what tomorrow has in store for her, yet she is brave enough to make the most out of today. She is a happy-go-lucky soul and this little puppy is like a son to her. Both of them are just inseparable and this picture literally translates the very thoughtful quote of the Marilyn Monroe who once said, “Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”

Beena Mohapatra, aged 55 years is a domestic maid by profession. Out of her meagre income she feeds 35 dogs with 2 full meals in a day. Her dedication towards the strays is evident from the fact that she carries 4 buckets of fish, starch & leftovers from nearby market areas and then takes the effort of cooking them for the stray animals. This is not just a display of tremendous hard work, but also a green concept where nothing in the environment is allowed to go waste. A bunch of animal lovers in the area support her cause by occasionally providing her with rice, medicines and other necessities. But her struggle continues every single day with residents who don’t like her feeding the stray dogs and create some problem or the other. It’s the grit and determination of this poor lady which has kept her going all this while. Affectionately called as ‘Beena Mashi’ by her supporters, she holds a fair amount of knowledge about veterinary medicines that she would need to handle a canine emergency. Given the choice of living with any one of her 2 sons – a farmer and driver respectively, Beena Mashi has chosen to live in her ramshackle house just to serve the mute animals of her lane.
What would you call such a person – angel, god sent messenger or an evangelist? Any adjectives used to define her persona will be an understatement. Salutations to this greater being. Long live Beena Mohapatra, may God always be there by your side. Share this story to tell the world that our planet is still a better place

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Games people play, General/Animals, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, News Reports, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

Educating emotions

The below article written  by Eunice deSouza in Pune Mirror is worth reading and sharing with as many ‘humans’ as you know.

For this post says so much of what we at ‘Jaagruti’ always wanted to put in words. As she rightly pens, ‘People need lessons in empathy, the imagination to put themselves in place of others or animals’…to spare a moment and feel the way the animals would with all that we humans mete out to them.

People need to realise the
benefit from contact with animals
and the natural world

I happened to be standing at a local bus stop one day when children were returning from school. I suddenly noticed a small group of young boys had collected and were staring at something on the wall behind me.

They were picking up stones. I look around, and there was a chameleon on the wall which the children were determined to kill. I shooed them away, but they kept coming back. Would “blood-lust” be too strong a term to describe the way they behaved?

Children as young as two pick up stones to throw at inoffensive dogs having a nap, while their bovine mothers stand there saying nothing. Of course, if the dog were to give the child a nip in return, all hell would be let loose.

Then there was the dog whose eyes were bleeding. We were to take him to hospital, but he was in a panic and rushed here and there. The young men who were trying to catch him finally succeeded. But in the meantime, a crowd had gathered, laughing and cheering.

You wouldn’t think all this could happen in a country where we are so ready to say our feelings have been hurt! Is this because, in our educational system and elsewhere, we don’t think seriously in terms of educating emotions?

In his autobiography, John Stuart Mill talks about the rigorous system his father put him through. If I’m not mistaken, he says that from the age of three or so, he was made to study Greek, Latin, History, and a great deal more.

At some point in his life, he felt so dead that he was near a nervous breakdown. It was then that he found relief and salvation in reading Wordsworth, whose work put him in touch with feelings that were both experienced and explored.

He is a poet who was as relevant then as he is now: “The world is too much with us; late and soon,/Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours;/We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”

Valuing Science, Engineering, Medicine, Technology is fine. But we are more than scientists, engineers, doctors or computer specialists. Empathy, the imagination to put ourselves in the place of others, doesn’t always come naturally. (It does to my dog.

When I came home with a bandaged eye, he looked at it for a while and then licked my hand.) Nor can we expect to feel empathy all the time for everyone and everything. I, for one, would have happily machine-gunned that lot laughing and cheering while looking at the blind dog.

Sometimes, when I reach a point when I feel I can’t stand any more of this, something reassuring happens. One of half-a-dozen or so of small businessmen who look after animals, and are around the corner from me, asked me to look at a dog the other day.

The dog had a head wound infested with maggots. He was not a local dog. Wounded dogs often run from place to place because they are so distressed. Often people shoo them away. I knew there was really no hope for the dog. When I said this, the shop owner said, “Let’s give him a chance.” So we called the ambulance.

Obviously, people like him don’t need lessons in empathy. They know that we benefit from contact with animals and the natural world as much as animals/ birds benefit from our caring. But perhaps, till the great revolution in empathy arrives, we can make a small start: persuade ourselves to put out a bowl of water for thirsty animals and birds in this awful weather.

Posted in Environment, Inspiration, Jaagruti's interventions, News Reports, Paper Recycling Initiative - Jaagruti, Stories from Ground Zero

Delhi International Airport Limited’s (DIAL’s) Paper Recycling Initiative with ‘Jaagruti’ gets featured in the National Press

Delhi International Airport Limited’s Paper Recycling Initiative with ‘Jaagruti’ gets featured in the National Press on 2nd April, 2012

To read the Online version of this news story, please click here

Excerpt from this story is quoted below:

The Indira Gandhi International Airport here has initiated measures like using recycled papers at its premises in a bid to become a ‘green airport’. After putting in place some of the green initiatives like rainwater, use of natural lights and efforts to reduce emissions, the airport operator, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), has now decided to use recycled papers in its offices. For this, DIAL has entered into an agreement with an NGO ‘Jaagruti’, which will recycle the waste paper generated in its offices and get the notepads or A4 sheet made from the recycled paper.

 “The collected waste paper would be systematically graded and transported to the recycling mill. There it would be processed to make different quality of recycled paper by using Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) bleaching technology,” a DIAL spokesperson said.

 This would save 17 trees, 26,281 litres of water, 264 kg of air pollution, 1,752 litres of oil, 4077 KW hours of energy, 82.62 cubic feet of landfill space, he claimed. As a part of the initiative, DIAL shared one tonne of paper waste for recycling to Jaagruti. “DIAL is committed to conducting its business in an environment-friendly and sustainable manner at IGI airport by minimising the impact of our activities on the environment and community. Environment Management is an integral part of our business strategy towards achieving credibility and business sustainability,” DIAL CEO I Prabhakar Rao said.

If you or the organisation you work with want to associate with ‘Jaagruti’ under our Paper Recycling Initiative to recycle your waste paper, please contact us by filling the form below or calling us on +91-9818 144 244 or writing to us on contact@jaagruti.org

Posted in Animal Laws of India, Animals, Games people play, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, News Reports, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

“Feeding stray dogs is not a crime”: Mumbai Court clears duo arrested, humiliated for feeding dogs

Today’s Mumbai  Mirror reports this heartening news, as reported by their correspondent Yogesh Sadhwani:

Court clears duo arrested, humiliated for feeding dogs
Sanjeev Dighe (pictured) and Yatin Mhatre were paraded around, ostensibly to show other residents what happened to people who fed strays (Courtesy Mumbai Mirror_2nd April 2012)

Two animal lovers from Thane, who were arrested and humiliated two years ago after a stray dog they used to feed allegedly bit a resident, have finally been acquitted, with a magistrate court ruling that feeding strays was not a crime.

The order provides welcome relief for animal lovers in the city, many of whom are pulled up by their housing societies for taking care of strays. Only recently, well-known director Partho Ghosh had a quarrel with his society management when he was fined Rs 1000 in his maintenance bill for feeding two stray dogs. His family, incidentally, had been taking care of them since they were pups.

This order is only the first victory for Sanjeev Dighe and Yatin Mhatre, who are fighting a separate case in High Court against the State and the police for handcuffing them and parading them around their society. In this, they are being represented by Mahesh Jethmalani and have the backing of, among others, Maneka Gandhi.

For Dighe, a commercial artist, and Mhatre – both residents of Lok Puram complex in Thane – the nightmare started on September 20, 2009. The duo had been feeding strays in their locality for several years, something that had led to many altercations with society members. Dighe says the residents believed this would lead to an increase in the stray dog population in the area.

That night, Dighe was getting ready to go out and feed the strays around 10.45 pm when a posse of cops arrived in a private vehicle and asked him to accompany them to Vartak Nagar Police Station. Mhatre accompanied him there, and a few hours later, the duo were booked under Section 289 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with animals in a particular person’s care attacking someone.

The next morning, both were handcuffed and taken to their society, where they were paraded around, ostensibly to show other residents what happened to people who fed strays. They were then taken to a holiday court, which released them on bail.

In a recent order, Jaishree Poonawala, judicial magistrate first class, remarked that “feeding stray dogs is not a crime”, adding that strays were not the same as pets and certainly not the sole responsibility of those who feed them.

“After our arrest, Maneka Gandhi personally got involved and helped us file the petition in HC through Mahesh Jethmalani,” said Dighe.

This order itself has come as a huge relief to Mhatre and Dighe. “Finally justice has prevailed. Several people like me are often victimised by residents who do not like others feeding strays. We hope this order will help others like us,” said Dighe.

Ajay Marathe, a noted animal rights activist, pointed out that incidents of animal lovers being victimised were common in Mumbai. “Those who feed dogs in their area are treated badly. Most residents are against such feeding and come up with random rules to stop them,” said Marathe.

RK Joshi, convener of Committee to Monitor Animal Welfare Laws in Maharashtra, has recently written to the BMC commissioner highlighting the issue of societies trying to get rid of stray dogs.

He has pointed out that years after Bombay High Court laid down the guidelines for dealing with stray dogs – the HC has put an emphasis on animal birth control and sterilisation – people continued to harass dogs and animal lovers.

“There is growing tendency in housing societies not to permit stray dogs on the society premises or even in the vicinity. There have been instances when dogs are brutally assaulted by the society members or the watchmen,” the letter states, adding that instances of animal lovers being assaulted were common.

The letter urges the commissioner, who is also the chairman of the Monitoring Committee, to urgently look at these issues and ensure that animal lovers and dogs were not harassed.

~~

Ms. Anjali Sharma, Advocate and Legal Advisor to the Animal Welfare Board of India, says that what is extremely significant is this part: “In a recent order, Jaishree Poonawala, judicial magistrate first class, remarked that “feeding stray dogs is not a crime”, adding that strays were not the same as pets and certainly not the sole responsibility of those who feed them.”

This is, as Ms. Sharma explains, because these men had been arrested under Section 289 of the Indian Penal Code – ‘negligent conduct with respect to an animal’, after a stray they were feeding bit a resident of the locality. Section 289 applies to pet dogs, but there has been an increasing attempt on the part of many, including police, R.W.A.s, etc. to bring feeding of strays, and any aggression the strays may show if provoked, within the ambit of this Section.

Posted in Be the Change, Do you know?, Environment, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Stories from Ground Zero, Take Action!, Videos

The Rain Catchers – A Practical Guide to Solve Your Water Problems :

Director: Pradip Saha | Producer: Centre for Science and Environment
Genre: Documentary | Produced In: 2005

Synopsis: Catch rain where it falls. This is the unambiguous message carried by “The Rain Catchers”, a training and information video on urban rainwater harvesting. And for a world in which access to water – or rather, the lack of it – might drive the next major conflict, this message holds immense significance. The film is an easy-to-use resource guide. It answers all the key questions (including what is urban rainwater harvesting and how is it done), and goes further to look at policy dimensions, products and technologies and maintenance issues across a range of geoclimatic zones in India.

The film takes the viewer to different cities documenting a wide range of very interesting and successful urban water harvesting case studies from industry, academic institutions (university campuses and schools), residential buildings, clubs, colonies, slum dwellings, urban water bodies and sports facilities (stadiums).

 

Posted in Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Pets, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero

A dying boy’s special bond with a rescue dog

The most important thing in this world is to learn to give out love, and let it come in.

– Morrie Schwartz –

 

Every moment is extra precious for 4-yr-old Lucas Hembree. Suffering from Sanfilippo syndrome, he isn’t expected to live past 15. As the disease started to take a toll on Lucas’ joints, his father Chester looked into getting a service dog to keep Lucas steady when he walked. A combination of prayer and persistence led Chester to Juno. “I had the feeling in my gut that I had to go see this dog,” said Chester. But Juno herself was in bad shape: “She was emaciated, and was days away from being euthanized,” said Chester. Right away, there was something instinctive about the relationship between Lucas and Juno. One day, Chester noticed Juno circling Lucas while he was in his wheelchair. “She was whining and nudging him with her nose,” Chester says. “I checked his oxygen levels and they were very low.” After giving him oxygen, Lucas returned to normal and Juno greeted him with licks and affection. The full, heart-melting story: { read more }

**Please note that this post is kind courtesy of the Daily Good Newsletter dated 8 February 2012

Posted in Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

~Dog’s best friend!~

*This story is authored by Ramendra Singh and is kind courtesy of The Times of India

Kind courtesy and Copyright held by http://www.hollymonroe.com

BHOPAL: He does not mind skipping his lunch In fact, he did so on many times in the past. But there is one practice he has followed doggedly –feeding stray dogs-for the past 20 years.

The man, Laxmi Narayan Sharma, a clerk with ‘Barkatullah University’ (located in city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India) been feeding rotis to street dogs on the varsity campus from the day he joined the service, without fail. To some it may appear as fixation but the man, now popularly known as ‘Kutte Waale Baba‘ (which would lovingly mean something like ‘Uncle with dogs’), is beyond all such worldly cares. He carries a bagful of rotis for dogs everyday.

Sharma, a resident of Vidisha, a town 70 km away from Bhopal, comes to his work place with a bag full of rotis. And wait a minute, before setting out on his journey, he starts his day by collecting rotis from hotels and dhabas in Vidisha. “I provide flour to hotels and dhabas in the night and they hand over tandoori rotis in the morning,” Sharma said, adding this gives me immense satisfaction. He said, “I had to once borrow money from my friends to buy food for dogs. I can skip my meal, but cannot leave my friends hungry.” “When he reaches university in the morning, one can see him surrounded by dogs,” Anil Tanwar, an employee of Barkatullah University, said, adding “his devotion for canines must be appreciated.” Sharma spends around Rs 10,000 every month on feeding dogs. “They are my friends and I don’t think it’s a big amount”, he said.

On his off-days, he ensures that ‘his friends’ get proper food in his absence. For this he seeks services of his university colleagues living in nearby colonies.

Posted in Animals, Games people play, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Relationships, Road Safety, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Peep underneath your car…there could be a life sleeping underneath

23 September 2011: We found Hasmukh sitting next to an electricity metre box in the service lane on the road a kilometre off our place. On our next round that evening, he was still sitting at that spot, panting. On checking with the chowkidaar (security guard) there, our worst fears came true. Hasmukh couldn’t stand up on his hind legs and thus couldn’t walk. Hasmukh was not a street dog of this area, and as we learnt he used to stay across the road and since the chowkidaar and ragpickers found him dragging himself on the middle of the main road, they kept him this side.

If you are wondering why we named him Hasmukh (which means ‘Smiling face’ in English), thats because that was the first name that popped up in our head as we saw him with his lower canine sticking out from one end of his lower jaw :)

We were not interested in packing Hasmukh off to an animal shelter, which is for us always the last preferred option. We lifted him in and brought him to a safe and secluded neighbourhood park, which was clean and not being used by either humans or other street dogs. We made him a nice cosy bed of grass there and fed him that night and decided that we will do our best to get him standing on his feet using the best possible medication underneath open the open sky than make Hasmukh feel depressed amidst hundreds of other sick animals lodged at a shelter.

Hasmukh: Day 1 in the park we kept him in

24 September 2011: Morning time, we went to feed Hasmukh and found big ants stuck around his genitals, a fearful sight and painful because Hasmukh had no sensation of all of them sticking around there, we removed the insects and applied medicines over him to keep the insects away. Amidst all of this, the positive aspect was that Hasmukh was eating well and by the afternoon meal, we knew he loved milk, cheese and pedigree while he had trouble digesting rotis because of his deformed jawline.

We requested the vet to come over that evening and check on him as we didn’t want to put Hasmukh through the trouble of being driven in that condition…it was pitch dark when the vet came and when he did the pin prick test on his hind legs, Hasmukh could not feel any sensation at all!

A couple of painkillers and a multivitamin injection were administered to Hasmukh and we decided to get the course repeated every two days and observe and feed him in the meantime.

27 September 2011: After the previous injections, Hasmukh had become more active, he was sitting in attentive doggy poses the whole day and even growled a female dog that came too close to him away…we were happy by the progress he was making. On 27th night, we repeated the dose of injections.

Hasmukh began sitting attentively whole day long

28 September 2011: At a Street Dog Anti-Rabies camp, we discussed Hasmukh case with another trusted vet of ours and gained in optimism when we learnt that a paralysed dog can be brought to feet by giving him a course of homeopathic medicines for a month, which can also be aided by an allopathic medicine named Methycobal (to be given morning and evening). Excited and optimistic, we got the medicines that very night.

29 September 2011: The fickleness of life came to the fore. We went to feed Hasmukh that noon and saw a sight that scared the wits out of us.  He had a big gaping wound with pus…on the pelvic region of the right hind leg just next to the tail and there were flies hovering around that portion, fearful that maggots would infest him, we got him to our home and took him to our trusted vet (Who had prescribed the homeopathic dose the previous day). It was in that visit to the vet, that all our optimism gathered through the previous day came to nought, the vet examined his back portion and told us that as per his analysis, he had a spine fracture and it was due to that spinal fracture, that Hasmukh’s hind legs had been rendered immobile, though we did believe that from day 1 till now, he had started feeling few sensations back…The vet gave his verdict, Hasmukh should be put to sleep if the spine fracture gets confirmed, his life would be full of misery otherwise.

Shocked! We asked our vet two questions…what was that big gaping wound that had come up on his hind leg? “Its a bedsole”, the vet answered…”it will not get healed”, he said and rather such bedsoles will gradually form on different portions of the legs in times to come as bedsoles happen when the body is immobile”.

Hasmukh's bedsole

Our next question, can a spinal fracture be healed? And our vet answered, “No, not even in humans…though there are surgeries these days for humans, but the chances of surviving the surgeries are remote and the risks too many as even one nerve getting hurt during the operation, can paralyse the whole body”.

Our hopes crashed that night and we got Hasmukh home back with us, and gave us a cushiony mattress, food and lots of love over the next two days. We wanted him to live the best days of his life.

Hasmukh comes home

…on 1 October 2011, the whole evening, Hasmukh for the first time, made us hear his voice, he was talking or crying in pain, we would never know…but he wanted us to sit next to him and only then would he be quiet else he would start those voices again.

2 October 2011: We had planned to get Hasmukh’s Spinal Cord X rays done and we did. Only to see the terrible condition in which his spine had been fractured. See below, the overlapping fractured bones and the 1 inch gap between the fractured overlapping portions.

Hasmukh's Spinal Cord X-ray: The Final Verdict!

Hasmukh stood no chance of recovery and his bedsole was only increasing in girth. To relieve him off his pain and suffering, with a stone on our hearts, we decided to let him go. All animals go to heaven is what we believe and so would Hasmukh, we knew.

A lingering question pained us no end…How did Hasmukh fracture his spine so badly? Clearly because a senseless driver in hurry had not bothered to look underneath his car where Hasmukh might have been resting on that fateful day, the car romped over him.

Rest in peace dear Hasmukh.

Rest in Peace dear Hasmukh

The ten days that you spent with us gave us a lesson for life. Your patience was admirable, your spirit indomitable and needless to say, your smile was lovely and thats why we named you ‘Hasmukh’.

And to all of you reading this, just remember to pass this word on, that the next time you turn your car’s ignition on to embark on a road journey, please spare a moment to peep underneath your car to check if an animal like Hasmukh is resting underneath your car, next to the tyre or flat on the ground under the shade of the car.

Try to shoo that resting animal away by blowing a horn or making some other strange noise to scare him away, atleast that will ensure that the beginning of your road journey is not the end of someone’s journey of life.

Shoo the dog away if he is sleeping underneath your car, lest you drive over him and crush its bones (Courtesy: http://www.bkkpetfoto.com)

Please drive safely.

Posted in Animals, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

Dolly and Chotu: Neighbour’s envy and owner’s pride!

Author: This story has been contributed by Rishi Dev (Citizens for Animal Rights)

Four cooperative group housing societies in sector 10, Dwarka are facing a new kind of menace from two street dogs, Dolly and Chotu. Both of these dogs have lived outside these four apartments for almost 8 years now, making them the only two dogs in a human population of 2000. Initially there were only a handful of people feeding these dogs and taking regular care of them. But then something happened which changed many a perceptions.

Dwarka still being gripped and plagued with daylight petty crimes like chain snatching, eve teasing, carjacking and so on, is one of the easiest places for any thief to run and hide. Two years back, on one of such evenings when two ladies were taking a walk outside one of these society gates, two thieves on a bike came from nowhere and snatched the chain from one of these ladies and drove away. Within a split second both these dogs, who were sitting outside the gate of the society ran after this bike. Dolly being faster than Chotu approached the bike from the front, almost running in front of the bike slowing and confusing the driver, albeit risking her own life, while Chotu being the tough one ran behind the bike, intimidating the pillion rider, who was transferring the fear on to the rider like a domino effect.

After almost 800 meters of chase, the bikers lost control and fell down. They left the chain, the bike and ran away before people could catch them. Surprisingly both these dogs didn’t bite them or chase them further. They stood there for almost a minute till the residents reached the spot and claimed the bike and the chain. It was later discovered that the bike was also a stolen one.
Since that day onwards everyone in the colony started loving these dogs. They now fight over who feeds, or over feeds these two dogs, because everyone wants to claim their ownership on them. The residents recollect that in the last 8 years there has not been a single case of theft, robbery, crime around these blocks, not excluding zero dog bites. Beyond these four apartments there have been many such cases of crime, but every time there were attempts to infringe into these four apartments in the night, these dogs have barked the hell out of the night guards who are often found sound asleep. The supervisor of the guard agency called “Rakshak”, has instructed all his guards to keep these dogs around while they choose to sleep inevitably. He swears by their dedication all the time. The rickshaw pullers and the other informal shops in and around this area pamper Dolly and Chotu and often treat them equal to their children. They are always ready to face any impending danger which may befall upon these two creatures. For the thieves these two dogs may be proving to be a real menace, but these canines care the least as they are busy playing other roles which are almost invisible to the residents.


Dolly and Chotu are often seen chasing rats, snakes, monitor lizards and so on. Dwarka region registers one snake bite a day in Delhi. Dogs are predators for burrowed animals and such dangerous reptiles and are known to have been a keystone species by many ecologists in maintaining the epizootic balance of the region. Dolly does not produce litter as she and Chotu have been sterilized and inoculated for rabies by the MCD. This makes them less aggressive towards general humans unless anyone is a threat to the residents, these dogs now consider as their own pack leaders. So it has been a common practice for years now, to feed Dolly and Chotu in turns, so they recognize their own residents and protect each one of them from any potential threat including other dogs which are often driven away by Chotu even before they enter this colony.

Chotu is also a favorite of the children who pat, sit, and cuddle this big, dark brown, scary looking dog in the way they like. And while he enjoys his daily tummy rubbing treats, he pays them back with love and protection by accompanying many to their bus stops and metro stations in the morning. Many are seen talking to these dogs in their own language which is easily understood by these canines as if they were Homo sapiens themselves. Many strangers often find Chotu and Dolly barking endlessly at night or running after vehicles and complain of the same to the residents. But the residents shrug it away by telling each one, this chronicle of Dolly and Chotu without missing any detail and on every single opportunity made available to them. They now associate the running of dogs with that incident, clearly.


While the barking and chasing at night by Dolly & Chotu continues and may be a nuisance for strangers and thieves, but the residents enjoy such chases with a sense of belonging and ownership. And so it seems why the courts across the world have thus not been able to define the true meaning of the word “nuisance” for genuine reasons. Someone has rightly said, “neighbour’s envy may be owner’s pride”, so while we may endlessly continue to find correct answers to complex questions like, “How to end the dog menace?” or “What is really a dog menace?”, these canines nonchalantly would do what they have to do, in their own stride and thriving to be man’s best friend.

Posted in Be the Change, Bird Rescue, Bird Rescue and Treatment, Do you know?, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Medical treatment of Animals, Pets, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero

The joy of looking after ‘Poopy’ the pigeon

By Divya Kapur

About the author: Divya has trained as a wildlife rescuer in Sydney with Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services. She specialises in birds and that is where she derives the confidence to continue her work in this area after having moved back to Gurgaon. She would love to share her expertise and knowledge with like minded people. Those interested in learning tips about bird care, may please contact her on divya_kapur@hotmail.com

——–

As I sat outside in my garden, thinking of my pet bird that is in Sydney, awaiting paperwork before it flies to India, a pigeon flies out of a tree and falls on the ground, as if it ran out of ‘steam’.

'Poopy' - the Pigeon (Photo Credit: Divya Kapur)

I waste no time in jumping out of my chair to take a closer look. The pigeon sits still, showing no signs of wanting to fly away. As it sees me coming closer, it starts to walk away, looking for a dark corner for comfort and safety. I immediately knew that this poor fellow is not well. By this time, I also figured that it is a female.

I wait for it to get into a corner of my patio, just behind a pedestal fan. That is when I reach out with my right hand, grab her gently from behind and turn her upside down. I hold the pigeon’s head in the cup of my left hand to keep its eyes covered. Birds are very visual. It can go into a state of panic and even shock to see itself in the hands of a human being. By covering its eyes with one hand or even with a muslin cloth, I am able to calm the bird. This way I am better able to examine it for injuries.

As I had suspected, the pigeon has hurt itself on his right foot. Not bad but it had scratched itself enough to bleed. Fortunately for me, my very helpful daughter, equally passionate about birds and animals, is home because of summer holidays. She is quick on her heels to get some cotton wool, clean water in a plastic bowl (small container in which you get soan papdi…we also believe in and encourage recycle, reuse and reduce policy) and Dettol. We gently cleaned the wound with clean water, making sure all along that the bird is calm and not stressed. I still have its eyes covered for that.  Then I cleaned it with cotton wool dipped in diluted Dettol water mix.

I then put the pigeon back in the corner where it felt safe and secure, while my daughter and I got busy in preparing a large box to house the pigeon. After all, it wouldn’t be a sound idea to leave her out in the open, unable to fly and unsupervised.

I got a cardboard box. Thank God I have plenty as I have recently moved from Sydney. Any plastic basket with holes will also do. Make sure it is large and not claustrophobic. Go by your own instinct. I lined the bottom with plastic bag, topped with a couple of newspaper sheets. Now comes the interesting bit. My daughter then spread soft leaves and grass on one half of the box, bearing in mind what the pigeon is used to in the wild. The idea is to provide the bird with what it is familiar with, to make it feel ‘at home’.

'Poopy' feels at home (Photo credit: Divya Kapur)

In one corner we put another reusable plastic container for water. Remember to put some clean stones at the bottom of the bowl so it does not tip over. Then we spread some bajra all around for the pigeon to feed on. We then carefully picked the bird up again, as before and put him in his new home to recover.

The wounds healed in about two weeks. By now, the pigeon was active and alert. She would spring up to see us walk by. Every morning and evening, I would put the box outside in the garden for the pigeon to get fresh air and see other birds. During the day, the box was placed in a covered shady spot. The water was cleaned every two days and the paper was changed every 3-4 days, depending on how much mess our little feathery patient made.

It’s been a month now and I lovingly call her ‘Poopy’. Unfortunately, the poor bird has a problem with its right wing. But the good news is that she is out of her box. She has found comfort on top of our linen cupboard and that is where she lives along with its water and food bowl. I am not surprised at her natural instinct to be above us and in a cosy corner. That is how they live when outside.

I am still looking for an avian specialist to diagnose the problem correctly and suggest the next course of action for us. Meanwhile, I am not stressed about whether it will survive or not. That is beyond my control. All my family and I can do is keep it safe because a bird that can’t fly is a bird that will either become another bird’s dinner or run over by a car.

For now, all you bird lovers out there, I am sure you now know that it’s not difficult to look after a pigeon and definitely does not cost anything at all. You can do it yourself in the comfort of your own home. . There are lots of birds that get injured, are sick or abandoned and orphaned. It’s not difficult to look after them. All it needs is some basic knowledge, lots of enthusiasm and love.

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, General/Animals, Inspiration, Jaagruti's interventions, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

The story of ‘Magic’ and his rescue

‘Magic’ is another of our rescued dog stories, for the story of his rescue and recovery is nothing but ‘magical’.

Last year when the Commonwealth Games 2010 ended, it was time to release the street dogs back into the games venue areas where they were picked up from and kept in at shelters for the period of the games.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s SSCBC (Society for Stray Canine Birth Control) decided then that to ensure transparency, the release of all dogs back into their respective areas will be photographed and video-graphed as evidence to comfort all that ‘no dog was dislocated from its original territories’ in conformation with the Animal Birth Control Rules 2001 (drafted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960).

On one such Dog-release exercises happening in South Delhi, I had volunteered to be part of the Release Team and photograph/videograph the release of the dogs as per the details we had of their respective areas at the time of picking them up.

As we were releasing some dogs in the area of R.K Puram, a middle-aged lady came up to me and pointed to a dog that had taken shelter in a shop of his rag-dealer husband. She told me ‘Take him, he has lost his eye’. I asked what happened and went close by, only to see something that I had not imagined. The left side of this male dog’s face was completely chewn apart by maggots and so was his left eye and we all could literally peep into his jaw, see his tongue and it was to say the least, a painful sight.

I requested the MCD Dog Catchers who were accompanying me in the Release vehicle to help catch that dog, but this was not a rescue for the faint-hearted and they couldn’t catch him and he ran far far away.

MCD’s dog catcher tries to catch the maggot infested dog ‘Magic’ but he resists the catching attempt and runs away -Image Copyright: Jaagruti

Next day morning, we at ‘Jaagruti’ decided to make another trip to that area as that lady had shared with me that the maggot-infested dog stays in and around their shop only.

After a few minutes of searching for him, we were able to locate this dog, but now came the big challenge of how to win this dog’s confidence and pick him up to keep him in our car…we had done this before, but this time around we needed some help and help did come to us in the form of the rag-dealer husband of that lady, who was friendly with that dog and helped pick him up and place him in our car. We had used the tried and tested trick of covering his eyes with a cloth and tying a leash around his neck…but then mayhem was to follow as this dog kept running up and down in our car and was scratching his face with the windowpanes, visibly in pain with the maggots tearing into his flesh, oozing blood all over.

We then called upon the ambulance from the Animal Hospital we at ‘Jaagruti’ support through monetary and in-kind contributions and requested them to help us with this rescue case. To our good fortune, their ambulance was nearby…and then we were successfully able to transfer this dog from our car into the ambulance and off he was sent to the hospital.

‘Magic’ after being put in the Animal Ambulance- Image Copyright: ‘Jaagruti’

In the case of any other animal hospital in any part of Delhi or the world, such a severe case of maggot infested dog would have perhaps been euthanized or as they say’ peacefully put to sleep’ and we at ‘Jaagruti’ were prepared to hear that from our trusted vet too, but that wasn’t to be as the docs decided to give it a shot and then began the ‘magical’ treatment of this dog, whom we chose to name ‘Magic’…perhaps because his recovery was magical news for us and also because the name of the dreaded maggots who made this dog’s life hell started that way as well!

As ‘Magic’ underwent treatment, on day 1 his maggots and wound were cleared, on day 2 he was put on drips because with all the maggot clearing medicines going into his mouth, he had stopped eating food through his mouth…the glucose drips continued till day 4 and then came the good news, that Magic had started taking his food himself..

‘Magic’ on the road to recovery at the Animal Hospital – Image Copyright: ‘Jaagruti’

Another month of treatment and recovery followed and on Day 40, he was released back into his area where he was welcomed back by the area residents, all astonished and pleased that he had recovered and so were we!

‘Magic’ in the ambulance post recovery and before being released back into his area -Day 40 (Image Copyright: ‘Jaagruti’)
Posted in Animals, General/Animals, Inspiration, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

‘Desty’ – Destiny’s child!

For all animal cases that we get to attend directly to at ‘Jaagruti’, we just prefer to give them a name rather than referring to them as an anonymous dog or any other creature. But that name is just for us so that on platforms like this blog, we can share that animal’s story with you. We make it a point not to call that animal being treated out with that name, lest the animal gets used to it and then has no one to call it out when he goes back to his/her life on the street after spending his days of recovery either with us or at a boarding or at an animal hospital shelter.

Now, to who is Desty?

Desty is the name we gave to a street dog who landed out of nowhere at our doorsteps a few months back, we were alerted to his presence by the barking and screaming of the other dogs that live on our street. Desty was a new dog, we hadn’t seen him anywhere near the stretch of our colony or the colonies adjacent to ours!

And visibly as we could make out, Desty was unwell. He resisted the barking of our area’s street dogs and made himself comfortable next to our doorstep, we thought he won’t make it and won’t eat, but then when we placed a bowl of milk next to him so that we could examine him, he gulped it in seconds as if he was thirsty for ages…we gave him another bowl and he gulped it again. He was clearly in no mood to go anywhere and he just stayed put over there for the next two days and we kept feeding him. He had no visible signs of injury, but then we noticed something, he was showing signs of twitching and was coughing, symptoms characteristic of early stages of Canine Distemper.

'Desty' as we saw him on Day 1- Image Copyright: 'Jaagruti '

Since we were feeding him, he trusted us enough to lift him and put him in the car to take him to our vet for examination or perhaps when we now look back, we think this was what Desty had come to our doorsteps for!

As the vet examined him, our fears were proved true, Desty was indeed showing signs of  Canine Distemper, but the good news was that this was perhaps the initial stage and as per our trusted vet’s advice, we shifted him to the isolation ward of the animal hospital we support and there, under the supervision of our trusted vet, began Desty’s ‘homeopathic’ treatment, a specially designed course designed by human homeopathic doctor by the name of  Dr. Shukla who works out of Noida, comprising of homeopathic medicines like Distemperium and Agaricus mixed in strict-secret proportions by him and given every few hours.

Within a span of 10 days, Desty was fit and fine again and we decided to leave him on the street at the very car parking spot where we had first noticed him prior to him coming on his own to our house doorsteps!

We had opted to release him back on the street in the early hours of the morning, so that he could safely chart his way back to whichever area he belonged to and sure enough he did.

'Desty' before being released back on the street-Post-treatment (Day 12) - Image Copyright: 'Jaagruti '

We kept thinking about Desty as we couldn’t locate him again after that morning, perhaps this dog was just destined to come to our doorsteps on his own to get himself treated of Distemper, a life threatening disease with no cure if not detected and cured in the early stages of infection. And that is why we chose to name him ‘Desty’.

We were in for another surprise a month down the line, we noticed Desty next to our home yet again, this time hale and hearty and even showing his teeth to the dogs that inhabit our street. We came out, noticed him and remembered him and then he looked at us and sprinted away…we guess he had only come to tell us that he was fine and happy now and to put us at ease.

It is these little inexplicable and often ‘divine’ moments of satisfaction and joy of seeing an animal you helped treat back on its feet again that uplifts our sagging spirits to keep on in our efforts to help those who can’t help themselves.

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Inspiration, Jaagruti's interventions, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Stories from Ground Zero, Videos, Videos on Animals

A school presentation, a Teacher, Delhi Fire Service and a rescued Pigeon

Life is a puzzle which gets deciphered when we look back and connect the dots. When I was in school, I had yearned for people to come over and talk to us about animals and environment but no one did, I tried to do it myself-telling my fellow classmates about not using polybags to dump kitchen waste as it kills a cow and clogs our drains, but no one listened….probably I didn’t communicate the right way or perhaps that was because our teachers didn’t reinforce what I said or probably because no one had the time to think about ‘going green’ as that buzzword wasn’t around at that time, neither was ‘Environment’ a career option as my School counsellor was clueless when I went and asked her about it.

Nevertheless growing up, I had always harboured deep within me a dream and a desire to go back to my school and speak to students and teachers therein on subjects pertaining to animals and environment because this is all I had always wanted to do and this is one of the reasons ‘Jaagruti’ was born…

And who says, dreams don’t come true, they do take time but I believe they do come true…and sometime back I had the opportunity to go back to my school and address the students in there not once but twice on subjects close to my heart, once on ‘Waste Management’ and the second time around I had the opportunity to address an Eco-Club seminar which was attended to by eco-club teachers from about 15 more schools and a group of Eco-club students from Classes 9-12. The focus of this interaction with teachers and students was to apprise them of the little things they can share with their colleagues/students/classmates on what all we as ‘individuals’ can do in our daily lives to help street animals and care for the environment.

One of the many things I had touched upon in this interaction was how many birds-eagles/kites, crows, mynahs and pigeons often become victims of kite strings-the glass manjhas/threads used by people to fly their kites high into the sky.

Though the kite flying games end, these kite strings often end up tearing through many a birds wings, either while they navigate through the open skies or when later on when these birds perch on the tree branches-their tiny claws/legs and wings remain susceptible to be trapped in the strings left wound around tree branches forever…

Someone in the audience that day in my former school was listening carefully to what I was saying and that was Ms. Rajbir Kaur, a teacher from a neighbouring school who was faced with a similar situation a few weeks later and that is when she called us over on the ‘Jaagruti’ helpline.

As Ms. Kaur’s family was attending to guests, the little kids in the family spotted a pigeon hung upside down from the branch of a Eucalyptus tree, the kids tried and tried along with their father of ways to get the pigeon down, but the tree was so far away from any houses’ balcony and the branches were too high, that it was not within reachable distance from the common ladders and poles we all have in our homes and they were now feeling helpless.

Ms. Kaur called us over, and after listening to the story thus far, we just gave her one calm advice to follow-to call the Delhi Fire Service on 101 and request them to send over their Fire Brigade as their long ladder will help. The Delhi Fire Service staff has time and again helped people help birds stuck in such situations and needless to say when Ms. Singh called 101, they were prompt in sending their Fire Brigade over….just that there was one thing she missed telling them…which is what height the pigeon was stuck on and thus the Fire Brigade that came didn’t have a ladder that long to reach the pigeon. And it was then that we all had to sincerely request the Delhi Fire Service staff to call for the Fire Brigade with a longer ladder and they agreed after initial hesitation. Their hesitation was that since this was a festival day and there could be fire emergencies in the city, how could they be here saving a bird…we assured them that if there is any such emergency; we will let them go and may be God will be kind enough to spare Delhi of any fire disasters and then they agreed :)

The Delhi Fire Service then called upon their most prized possession ‘The Bronto Skylift’, a new entrant into their fleet of Fire Brigades and then began the story of a heroic rescue of nothing but a pigeon who was hanging upside down and still uptil then making everyone wonder whether it was even alive!

But then, as soon as the Bronto Skylift’s ladder reached near that branch, the Pigeon started fluttering its wings in hope and excitement as if to convey that it was well alive and kicking!

The Delhi Fire Service staff got a heroic applause as they brought the pigeon safely down and then taking it to Ms. Kaur’s residence even helped cut the kite string which was wound around its wing, in such a neat manner that there was no injury caused to the pigeon, now named ‘Hero’ by Ms. Kaur’s husband-Mr. Singh. Since it is not advisable to release birds like Pigeons at night time, Mr. Singh’s family gave ‘Hero’ a nice place to rest, grains and water to feed on and even put on their water cooler (while switching the fan off) so that ‘Hero’ has a restful sleep.

Next morning, we went and took the pigeon for further examination to Abhinav at Fauna Police and then the next day since the pigeon was all good and healthy, Mr. Singh got him back on his way back from work and released it onto his balcony.

And then, the anticlimax happened, ‘Hero’ actually ended up being a ‘Heroine’, which is that Pigeon wasn’t a male but rather a female pigeon who then chose to use an abandoned nest atop an almirah placed in Mr. Singh’s balcony to lay her eggs :)

The story of Heroine’s rescue and release has been delightfully documented in the video shared by Mr. Singh with us below. Have a look!

Mr. Singh had this to say, “By saving this bird’s life, the Delhi Fire Service has shown that they respect and value all life (humans and animals) and that is what all of us need to learn and imbibe”.

Then onwards Mr. Singh’s family has also taken the initiative of getting all of their colony’s street dogs vaccinated against Rabies, which were uptil then only being fed by the area residents, but they took on additional responsibility and expense to make sure that these dogs are now vaccinated as well.

It is said that doing one good deed prompts you to do the next one and thus, the spirit of compassion continues to flow!

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Maoists and Indian Street Dogs, News Reports, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

In defense of the street dogs of Kashmir

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/jkmassculling/
 
Dr. Asgar Samoon, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, had issued orders in March 2011 to kill all street dogs of Kashmir.

A qualified veterinarian, he has admitted to the Animal Welfare Board  of India, to requesting the ‘public’ to identify rabid dogs !

He obviously hasn’t let his veterinary knowledge come in his way. Carnage is reported to be occurring in Kashmir everywhere. Dogs are being poisoned and killed brutally in the name of rabies which is nowhere to be found or identified.
Mass graves are being dug and dogs being dumped into that. Any neighbour who has a grudge against another with a pet has now the licence to kill that pet dog.

Animal activists have demanded suspension of the Divisional Commissioner and appealed to the Veterinary Council of India to revoke his licence as he is not fit to be a vet. If you support this, please write to:
 
VETERINARY COUNCIL OF INDIA
A statutory body of Government of India established
under the Indian Veterinary Council Act 1984.
A-Wing, 2nd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan
Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi – 110066
Phone: 011-26184149, 26184354 Fax: 011-26182434
Email vciinfo@vhub.nic.in
 
 
AWBI has also send notice to Dr. Samoon which is attached here.

Below are presented a series of articles that explan why Kashmir needs its street dogs…in a state which has been marred by violence, bloodshed and terrorism all these years, this state provoked bloodshed of innocent animals will only bring in more misery to the state. Read on..

Article in Greater Kashmir

Srinagar needs its street dogs. Here’s why

Other opinion by Lisa Warden

Do you consider street dogs to be a barking, snarling, stinking menace? Do you wish they would all just get hauled off somewhere and be made to disappear? Perhaps you’re even one of the many people who support the poisoning of dogs. If so, then you are doing yourself and your family a distinct disservice. This is why:

People still die every year in India from rabies, the majority of those due to bites from infected dogs. Death from rabies is completely preventable; it’s a disease that has been eradicated in many parts of the world. Ironically, the best defense against rabies is not the absence of dogs, but their presence – the presence of vaccinated dogs, that is. Dogs that have been vaccinated against rabies actually serve to protect the human inhabitants of their neighborhoods from the disease.

How? Simple. Dogs are territorial creatures. They do not allow new dogs to migrate into their areas. If, in addition to anti-rabies vaccination, the dogs have been sterilized, they will not reproduce, and the dog population in your area will decrease naturally over time. The average life expectancy of a dog in urban India is only 3.4 years.

 The killing of dogs does not work as a population control policy. It has never worked anywhere in the world that it has been undertaken, even when the numbers of dogs killed are in the tens of thousands. This is because dogs are so fertile that they simply repopulate the existing habitat in the subsequent breeding season.

 Furthermore, in cities like Srinagar, where public sanitation is still a work in progress and there is ample garbage lying around, dogs perform an essential service, that of waste processing. Garbage is habitat. If there are no dogs in a place with lots of uncollected waste, nature will fill the vacuum with some other scavenger, inevitably one that is more problematic in its relationship to humans. Take what happened in Surat in 1994. The municipal authority made the decision to kill thousands of dogs. Cause led to effect: the rat population, all of a sudden blessed with a massive increase in available food (garbage), and thousands fewer predators (dogs), exploded. Bubonic plague eventually arrived on the scene, and hundreds of people were infected. Fifty-seven people died.

Are dogs ever a menace? Yes, and those that engage in bonafide, unprovoked, biting attacks on humans need to be removed from the population. This needs to be done by qualified animal welfare workers. However, the two most significant factors that result in dog bites – migration and mating – are actually exacerbated by killing or removing dogs, and failing miserably at the sterilization project.

Let me reiterate, if Kashmiris are serious about addressing the “dog menace” in their cities, killing dogs categorically will not work. This has been proven time and again the world over. The only solution that has been scientifically proven to eradicate rabies and decrease the street dog population has been large-scale sterilization and anti-rabies vaccination. Further, it is essential to the success of any intervention that the dogs be put back in their original locations following sterilization and anti-rabies vaccination.

 Whether you love dogs or hate them, it is in your best interests to let your neighborhood dogs live in peace exactly where they are. You just need to ensure your municipal authority does its duty by sterilizing and vaccinating those dogs. Things will not get better until 75 per cent of the street dog population of Srinagar has been sterilized, vaccinated against rabies and left in peace, and until the municipal authority implements proper waste management reform.

 (The author Lisa Warden is founder and director of DOGSTOP, a non-profit advisory group dedicated to rabies eradication and street dog population management in India. She also serves as advisor to ABC India, a pan-Indian organization devoted to the control of street dog populations throughout the country via large-scale sterilization and anti-rabies vaccination.)

Article in The Pioneer

Mass killing of loC that guard Kashmir

By Hiranmay Karlekar

The slaughter of street dogs in the Kashmir Valley calls for a full inquiry. The hapless animals served as watchdogs for the Army against infiltrators crossing the LoC and alerted security forces whenever danger was afoot.

The reported mass killing of stray dogs in Srinagar merits a serious probe. On September 22, 2009, a report in The Times of India by Ajay Sura had stated that stray dogs had become watchdogs for the Army against infiltrators crossing the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir. The report quoted Lt-Col NK Airy, spokesperson for the Army’s Tenth Division, as saying that these dogs recognised troops and local civilians and started barking whenever there was any movement of strangers. They were quick to train, easy to maintain, did not take a huge amount to procure and could not be recognised by the infiltrators as Army dogs.

Many Army officers have testified to the invaluable role of such dogs. One of them is Mr Habib Rehman, who began life in the Army and retired as the head of a well-known hotel chain. In his touching book, A Home for Gori, about a dog who adopted his family and became a deeply-loved member, he narrates how his love for dogs was awakened by his acquaintance with Bullet, which he made as a Second-Lieutenant posted in what is now Arunachal Pradesh. Every Army picket from the LoC in the north-west to Arunachal Pradesh in the north-east, had a dog like Bullet, a mongrel of Bhutia origin of the kind found all along the Himalayan ranges, as an additional member, rendering signal service in alerting it to an enemy’s approach and any other threats. A deep bond invariably develops between such canines and Army personnel.

In an article entitled The dog that did India proud in The Pioneer of March 24, 2007, Major-General Ashok Mehta (Retd) wrote fondly about Krupa, a Bakerwal puppy, who was picked up in 1963 and lovingly reared by a unit of the Gorkha Rifles serving along the LoC, then called the Ceasefire Line. Krupa did yeoman service not only with it but also the Sikh and Garhwal regiments that followed

Law enforcing authorities everywhere have acknowledged the important role played by stray dogs. As Director-General of Police, Andhra Pradesh, Mr Swaranjit Sen had advised police stations to adopt stray dogs for being alerted against approaching Maoists. Not surprisingly, Maoists in West Bengal had asked villagers to kill all village dogs. Even earlier, terrorists coming across the Line of Control had asked villagers close to it to kill their dogs; so had terrorists in Punjab.

The point in mentioning all this is the recent report in several newspapers of Sajjad Afghani, an important leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad, being killed along with this bodyguard, Omar Bilal, by the Jammu & Kashmir Police in an encounter on March 10. The reports quoted Mr RM Sahai, Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir, as saying that they were trying to set up a base in Srinagar “to carry out big strikes in the future on security force installations”. Was the killing of stray dogs meant to facilitate the strikes? The matter needs to be investigated because of the State Government’s shocking delay in entering into a partnership with the Animal Welfare Board of India in implementing the canine Animal Birth Control programme, the only effective means of controlling stray dog populations.

Terrorists have reason to oppose the programme which involves the neutering and vaccination (against rabies) of stray dogs and their return to where they had been picked up from. Implemented area-wise, it is calculated to taper off a city or State’s stray dog population as the neutered and vaccinated dogs live out their life-spans. This means that they will continue to remain in their areas for some years and continue to alert security forces to the approach of terrorists who, one hopes, would be routed by the time the dogs live out their biological life-spans.

On the other hand, as the Guidelines for Dog Population Management, jointly released by the World Health Organisation and the World Society for the Protection of Animals in 1990, killing never succeeds in providing a solution. What it can do, however, is a temporary reduction of stray dog populations in specific areas and thus help terrorist strikes. Is this the reason why some in Jammu & Kashmir oppose the implementation of the ABC programme and favour killing? If so, who are they? One needs to find out.

Article in The Pioneer

Stray dogs alert terrorists’ approach

By Hiranmay Karlekar

As several authorities cite that stray dogs warn of approaching terrorists, there is every possibility that terrorists are orchestrating not only a mass hysteria against stray dogs in Kashmir but also the demand for their killing

A report in Greater Kashmir of April 21, 2011, states, “The police top brass (on) Wednesday dispelled the notion given by some media agencies that the elimination of stray dogs would facilitate a rise in militancy”. The report did not mention the name of the agencies but carried quotes from my column in The Pioneer of 17 March on the mass killing of stray dogs in Srinagar, which clearly indicated that the reference was to the latter. The report further quoted a Deputy Inspector General of Jammu & Kashmir Police as saying that there was no relationship between stray dog populations and militancy, which were altogether different issues. It quoted the DIG, who described “dog menace” as a big issue”, as saying that it was for bodies like the Srinagar Municipal Corporation to “get rid of the problem.” The police was ready to help them in whatever way they wanted.

I will begin with reference to my column. The part of it which referred to terrorism in Kashmir, mentioned among other things, media accounts of the death of a JeM militant and his driver in an encounter with the police on March 10, and added, “The reports quoted Mr RM Sahai, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, as saying that they were trying to set up a base in Srinagar ‘to carry out big strikes in the future on security force installations.’ Was the killing of stray dogs meant to facilitate the strikes?” Clearly, I was referring to efforts to set up bases to carry out big strikes and not, repeat not, increasing militancy. The two are entirely different things.

A terrorist strike is a single act. It is a part of militancy, which is a complex and wider phenomenon. At one level, militancy is the state of mind which is a blend of alienation, anger and aggression, prone to explode in violence. Since violence is an expression of militancy, the latter at the social context connotes a situation created by violence and the aggression associated with militancy. An increase in militancy means a rise in the incidence of militancy-related violence and the number of militants, as well as the spread and intensification of the aggressive mindset associated with militancy.

A single terrorist strike — or several strikes — however severe, need not indicate increasing militancy if more strikes do not follow. It is easier to organise a single or a couple of terrorist strikes than sustaining an increase in the level of militancy which requires the establishment of an infrastructure for procuring funds, arms, ammunition, explosives and the provision of electronic communication facilities through emails, phones and so on. It also requires propaganda for the militants’ cause, recruitment, training and indoctrination of terrorists and the organisation of shelters, false travel and identification documents, and storage of arms, explosives and so on. Nine-eleven in the United States and 7/11 (attacks on London’ underground subway system) in 2005 sent shockwaves throughout the world but did not lead to rising level of militancy in America and Britain.

Surprise is critical to the success of terrorist strikes. It can be neutralised by an efficient intelligence set-up which collects advance information and pre-empts terror strikes and destroys terrorists’ infrastructure. Equally, a strike can be neutralised if an alert is sounded as terrorists approach their target, enabling the security forces to repulse them. As several authorities cited in my column aver, stray dogs sound precisely such an alert. There is, therefore, every possibility that terrorists are orchestrating not only a mass hysteria against stray dogs in Kashmir but also the demand for their killing.

It is possible that the reporter, who did not understand what I had written, had also failed to understand what the DIG had said. If, however, the latter did say what he reportedly has, then he has betrayed a very narrow and conventional approach to counter-terrorism which ignores the complex and mutli-dimensional nature of the challenge. Referring to terrorism in India, Maj-Gen (Retd) Afsir Karim writes in his contribution entitled “Terrorism: the Indian Experience”, in Confronting Terrorism edited by Mr Maroof Raza, “The challenges of internal destabilisation, subversion, creation of administrative and economic chaos, and engineering divisions among diverse socio-political and ethnic groups cannot be met by conventional responses.” No further comments.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Laws of India, Animals, News Reports, Stories from Ground Zero

Cruelty to animals has serious repercussion

Courtesy: The Pioneer

By Hiranmay Karlekar

Research shows that cruelty to animals often transmogrifies into criminal misdeeds and adds to a city’s list of crimes. The new Commissioner of Delhi Police would do well to crack down on those who treat animals without compassion.

The new Commissioner of Delhi Police, Mr BK Gupta, doubtless has a host of problems on his plate, including coping with terrorism and keeping the crime rate down when sociological, cultural and economic factors combine with the national capital’s peculiar location to push it upward. Nevertheless, an area which requires urgent attention is cruelty to animals.

Though the Delhi Police has been somewhat sensitised in the matter over the last few years, much still remains to be done. It continues to show a tendency not to take complaints of cruelty to animals seriously. In a recent instance in Mukherjee Nagar, north Delhi, an FIR against people accused of brutally beating a stray dog to death was reportedly registered only after intervention by those who matter.

Navbharat Times_28 February 2011
 
Hindustan Times_28 February 2011

The tendency towards ‘burking’ (doctoring of crime figures through non-registration of FIRs or recording offences as less severe), which policemen display everywhere, is more evident in the case of animals.

The need for a change in the police’s approach to complaints of cruelty to animals is urgent because animals have right to live safely and happily and human beings, the most advanced and evolved of all living species, have a responsibility to ensure that they do so. It is also important because instances of people going scot free after violations of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, increases the tendency toward taking laws in general lightly, which is increasingly in evidence today. Equally significant, cruelty toward animals is indicative of aggression or latent or active criminality in a person and identification of such an individual and keeping him or her under surveillance is important for any police force.

Violent criminals tend to be cruel to both humans and animals. In their paper, ‘From Animal Cruelty to Serial Murder: Applying the Graduation Hypothesis’ (The International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology), Jeremy Wright and Christopher Hensley write that since the late-1970s, the FBI has considered animal cruelty as a possible indicator of future serial murder.

“The FBI documented the connection between cruelty to animals and serial murder following a study of 35 imprisoned serial murderers. The convicted murders were asked questions regarding their childhood cruelty toward animals. More than half of the serial murderers admitted to hurting or torturing animals as children or adolescents (Humane Society of the United States, 2001).”

They further point out that in 1987, animal cruelty was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-III (R) as a symptom of conduct disorder and was retained in the 1994 DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association 1987, 1994). According to DSM-IIIR and DSM-IV description of conduct disorders, it commonly involves physical violence and harm to humans and animals.

In another paper entitled ‘Childhood Cruelty to Animals and Subsequent Cruelty to Humans’ (The International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology), Linda Merz-Perez, Kathleen M Heide, and Ira J Silverman write that cruelty to animals has long served as “a red flag in law enforcement circles with respect to extremely violent offenders” and state that “the expansive literature with respect to serial killers has often cited cruelty to animals as a precursor to the violence later targeted against human victims (Lockwood & Church, 1998)”.

They conclude that the study’s overall results support previous research efforts indicating “a relationship between cruelty to animals committed during childhood and later violence perpetrated against humans.”

Noting that the matter is complex, the authors say that cruelty to animals in children can provide insights into violent behaviour that may or may not translate later into violence against human beings and that cruelty to animals often reveal insightful analogies to violence against human beings. They cite the example of a “violent offender, a repeat sex offender” who had been “convicted of a crime against nature for sodomising a reformatory pig” and another, “convicted of sexual batter on a person 65 years or older”, described how he would throw stones at stray animals to “beat and hurt them as my parents hurt me”.

Prompt and effective action regarding offences affecting animals should, therefore, be considered a critical and integral part of policing. Mr BK Gupta would make a signal contribution to enhancing citizens’ security in Delhi if he can impress this on his force.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Sacrifice, Animals, General/Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Take Action!

Bakr-Eid: what happens to the goat?

This is one of the goats that would be sacrificed during this Bakr-EId. This photo was clicked while walking through the narrow bylanes of Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi (Photo credit: Jaagruti)

Before you begin reading this, please allow us a moment to introduce Meera Ahmad (the contributor of the below post) to all of you.

Meera is a Ph.D student at University of Delhi and lives with her mother, brother Kabir and her canine companions in Nizamuddin. Meera is secular by birth, born to a Hindu mother and a Muslim father, her home is lovingly referred to as ‘Chintu Ghar’, the first time I visited her, I thought Chintu was the name of their first pet, but infact as Meera’s mother amusingly shared Chintu was their stuffed toy ‘Elephant’ whom they cuddled and cared for and were even willing to risk their lives for! (yes! yes! that is what Meera’s brother Kabir tried to do, when he jumped from the auto-rikshaw thinking that Chintu was in the bag that had fallen from her mother’s lap on the road). Perhaps it was Chintu, the elephant toy that made them realise that before they realised that their heart was filled with love for animals. Meera and her family look after and feed the many street dogs in Nizamuddin and at Lajpat Nagar as well, besides taking the responsibility of getting them sterilized and vaccinated at nearby animal hospitals.

When she saw a man taking his sick goat to an animal hospital yesterday, she was prompted to reflect over her thoughts on Bakr-Eid. Read on…

Bakr-Eid: what happens to the goat?

By Meera Ahmad

Yesterday, a man from my colony in Nizamuddin West took a sick goat to the nearby Friendicoes Animal Hospital

He said to the doctor: ” Please treat my goat so that it becomes well quickly. I have to cut it day after tomorrow.”

Animal sacrifice is the biggest farce and misplaced superstitious belief in the name of religion.

Today (17th November, 2010) is the first day of three days of Bakr-Eid or Eid al-Adha or Eid-e-Qurban. For Muslims it is a day to celebrate how Prophet Ibraham willingly almost sacrificed his own son Isma’il as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened and gave him a ram to sacrifice instead. To commemorate it Muslim families blindly sacrifice many animals (goat, cow, sheep, camel) on this day often after days of feeding and caring for them extremely well. The act of sacrifice carried out in Muslim homes is extremely cruel as the goats are killed slowly in front of each other by the very people who fed and nurtured them and whom they came to trust deeply. Children too are encouraged to cut them on these days from a very young age so that they become conditioned to it.

In my colony a few weeks before the festival it is common to see children roaming about with healthy and well nurtured goats and grazing them in the parks and bylanes. After the sacrifice I have spoken to them and they comfortably and eagerly narrate gory details of how they carried out halal (religiously permissible form of sacrifice in which the animal’s throat is slit to slowly bleed it death so that it is drained of all the blood before being skinned and cut) of the goats.

So deeply engrained becomes the notion of halal in them that they even practice it on toys and stuffed animals. In an extreme case I remember hearing that a child slit the throat of his pet rabbit. When his mother came running on hearing the wails of the poor animal and asked the child why he did it he said proudly that he had done halal. My neighbor’s young daughter who studies in class 2 was last year wailing uncontrollably outside her house on Bakr-Eid for she wanted to cajole her father to let her keep the baby goat that he had brought for sacrifice and not let it be killed. When her father asked her the reason for it she said she wanted to play with it and make it her pet. However, her tantrums didn’t have any effect. A few ays back when I saw her roaming in the park with a goat on leash I could not resist asking her what she would do with it. She said that she would do it halal. Her father had convinced her that the goats that are done halal on these days are fortunate as they go straight to God (Allah).

That the animals are alive and moving for quite sometime after their throats are cut and while they are being skinned was pointed out to me by children who have witnessed and participated in the sacrifice.The goats that are to be cut on the following days are kept in the same place where their fellows were cut, skinned and hung in front of their eyes. They kick and cry loudly for days and nights before the sacrifice, but once the killing begins they go eeringly quiet. It is as if the face of imminent death makes them mum. A look at their faces and in their eyes chills the soul. I have always felt it is a look of resignation, dullness and deep gloom.

“The mullah finishes the prayer. Ameen. He picks up the kichen knife with the long blade. The custom is to not let the sheep see the kinife. Ali feeds the animal a cube of sugar – another custom, to make eath sweeter. The sheep kicks, but not much. The mullah grabs it under its jaw and places the blade on its neck. Just a second before he slices the throat in one expert motion, I see the sheep’s eyes. It is alook that will haunt my dreams for weeks. I don’t know why I watchj this yearly ritual in ou backyard; my nightmares persist long after the blood stains on the grass have faded. But I always watch. I watch because of that look of acceptance in the animal’s eyes. Absurdly, I imagine tha animal understands. I imagine the animal sees that its imminent demise is for a higher purpose. This is the look……..” -Khaled Hosseni, The Kiterunner.

Nature provides food to goats, cows, sheep so they can live well. Humans provide food to them so they can kill and cut them. Nature provides food to goats, cows, sheep so they can live well. Humans provide food to them so they can kill and cut them. If we really love our earth and want it to be a comfortable place for future generations, we all need to start reflecting on our daily decisions. How we live. What we eat. What we buy. How and where it is made. How we travel. Everything we habitually do has an impact and also sets an example. One of the most important among these is our relationship with the animals of this planet that should be of compassion and protection. This change may not always be easy or comfortable, but it is certainly better than doing nothing and lamenting later. Let us start by raising our voice against animal sacrifice and slaughter.

kurbaan-kurbaani_goats-before-being-scarificed-on-id_ht-city_281109

Other posts by Meera Ahmad:

Abandoning one’s pet: Could there be a crime bigger than that?

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Be the Change, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Commonwealth Games and Street Dogs- Part 2

For a background or part 1 of this story on Commonwealth Games (Delhi, 2010) and street dogs, kindly click here and then read on below

On 5th October, 2010, the Animal Welfare Board of India wrote to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to apprise them of the fact that the  Continued (temporary) removal of stray dogs by the municipal agencies from Commonwealth Games venues is turning out to be ‘COUNTER PRODUCTIVE’.

To understand how random displacement of street dogs can turn counter-productive, please read the letter from AWBI mentioned above by clicking on the image below:

Following this letter, a website ‘www.cwgdogs.in‘ has been launched to help find your missing/caught street Dogs during the Commonwealth Games ‘dog catching’ spree.

If you are one of those missing your friendly neighbourhood canine on the street – please identify them from the photographs posted on this website, contact these shelters and get them back to their homes for that is where they belong.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Be the Change, News Reports, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Commonwealth Games and Street Dogs

 

(Courtesy: Associated Press, http://oneclick.indiatimes.com)

 

After the news of the report submitted by Commonwealth Games Federation President and CEO was made public by the electronic media early this week,  it was apparently qouted and shown in the photographs submitted by the committee that, “there were pug marks of street dogs on the mattresses in the apartments of the games villages that are due to host the athletes as well as their faeces littered in the Games village”.

Since people in foriegn countries are not used to co-existing with dogs the way we Indians are, the CWG commitee had expressed their concern regarding the presence of street dogs in the Games village and asked for their removal.

But as per the Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, Delhi High Court orders and orders of the Supreme Court, the street dogs from any area can be removed only for sterilization and vaccination purposes and then they have to be released back into the same area from where they were picked up.

Thus, due to the timely intervention of Major General (Retd) Dr. R.M Kharb, Chairperson, Animal Welfare Board of India and Mr. Hiranmay Karlekar, Member, Animal Welfare Board of India and the pro-active humane outlook adopted by the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Mr. K.S Mehra, IAS and the Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi Government, Mr. Rakesh Mehta, IAS- the street dogs living in and around the venues earmarked for the Commonwealth Games, 2010- have got a reprieve and in the process India has set an example in front of the other countries of the world with regard to humane treatment of street animals and has also in the process respected its own laws and India’s constitution.

Now the task of picking them up and looking after them till the period of the Games has been entrusted into the hands of SPCA Noida, Cure n Care, Sonadi Animal Care Hospital Friendicoes SECA, an NGO based out of South Delhi, who will be housing them at their South Delhi, Ghazipur and Gurgaon centres where each dog will be given a token with details of the area from where it was picked up.

Volunteers and food are invited by all these NGOs to help in tagging and feeding of the dogs coming in every day and also for helping release them back into their respective territories after the games get over. However, please remember to contact these respective shelters prior to going in there (The contact numbers of all these shelters can be accessed here).

In the interim period, if these dogs will are sterilized and vaccinated by the NGO, then that would be an added bonus for these dogs and the city.

Click on the thumbnails below to read the communication issued by Animal Welfare Board of India’s Chairperson to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD):

Below is the news in today’s Times of India with regard to this initiative and here is the link to today’s online news on this subject.

Posted in General/Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

मेरा आशियाना


इस टूटती बनती घपलो के बीच फंसी देहली मैं मेरा छोटा सा आशियाना भी टूट ही जायेगा कम से कम थोड़ी नींद तो पूरी कर लूं

*Credits:  Poem and Photograph by Mr. Raakesh Khatri

Posted in Animal Laws of India, Be the Change, Do you know?, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Stories from Ground Zero, Take Action!

Wildlife Crime Investigations and the Legal system

By Vasudha Mehta [Mail : vasudha@jaagruti.org]

We learn much in life through our respective experiences, trials and errors and this article traces my experience while working with animal rescue groups on wildlife crime based investigative operations. We do understand that what I did was just one tiny drop in the ocean but atleast it was a single drop…and through this article we at ‘Jaagruti’ hope that many more of you who hope to crack the mystery behind nabbing wildlife criminals or the lack of it- will get a peep into the whole process and somewhere down the line be inspired to act to nab those who toy with our country’s much cherished natural heritage, thereby helping in minimising wildlife crime, which has the potential to wipe out India’s magnificent animals if left unchecked!

Image Courtesy: http://www.ohfortheloveofscience.com

Nabbing wildlife criminals

All species of animals and products derived there from that find mention under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972 are considered to be protected under the legal system and the punishments for killing/possessing the same varies as per the degree of the crime committed and the schedule to which the animal belongs. And by law, all wild animals and products listed and protected under this act are considered a property of the Government of India and the responsibility to enforce this law rests entirely on the state wildlife departments (wildlife inspectors/forest officers). However, Section 50 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, also empowers “a Police official of the rank of a Sub-Inspector or above has the powers to search, seize and arrest”.

It is important to note that while undertaking a raid to nab wildlife criminals, one requires the help of the Police and/or the Forest/Wildlife department for the power to search a spot seize the animals and arrest the accused lies with these government officials; representatives of the NGO circuit, individual activists or the common man don’t have legal powers to do so, but there exist a number of ways in which individuals/NGOs and the government machinery can assist each other to nab wildlife criminals by utilizing their respective skills/resources and legal powers respectively.

Kinds of Wildlife criminals (and Investigations):

There are three levels of wildlife criminals operating in the city. The lowest rung is that of the roadside vendors which include bird-sellers, dog-sellers, pet-shops, snake charmers, madaris etc. Nabbing the people involved in the lower rung helps in reaching the mid-level gang that includes the wholesale-dealers, who retail the animals to these local pheri-wallahs. Catching these wholesale dealers leads us to the source, which includes the traders who are involved in capturing these animals from their wild habitat and the knowledge of the areas from where the animals are being captured and an idea about their trade routes.

Broadly, wildlife crime investigations in our country can be categorized into the following-

  1. Those conducted by NGOs/activists/individuals in the cities which involve seizure of wildlife products like mongoose hair brushes, owl claws etc. or raid and rescue operations involving live wild animals exploited in cities by street entertainers like madaris and saperas-monkeys, bears and snakes or those animals held by pet shops, meat sellers, street vendors/part-time traders or the dubious tantriks. Such animals include birds like Pigeons, Parakeets, Munias, kites, peacocks and owls; reptiles like snakes, turtles and monitor lizards and; animals like mongoose and civet cats.
  2. Raid/seizure of wildlife contrabands involving highly protected Schedule 1 animals like skins and claws of tigers, lions and leopards, rhino horns, Elephant ivory, Otter skin, Bear biles, Crocodile skins. Such investigations are more time consuming as well as life-threatening in nature since the investigators end up dealing with organised gangs of wildlife criminals that work across national and international boundaries. Such investigations involve a united effort on part of many agencies, the Wildlife Departments, Police, Crime Investigation agencies and the investigative/decoy support and intelligence provided by Wildlife NGOs.

How is an investigation and operation carried out?

  1. The tip-off: Generally, various wildlife NGOs have an enforcement unit comprising of a Research team and a Field Raiding Team, consisting of a network of informers, decoys and field workers. Tip offs are generally received through the aware and sensitized individuals within the society or generated by the informers hired by the NGO’s Research Team.  This system of informers employed by the NGOs is generally paid as per the authenticity and accuracy of the information provided by them.
  2. Conducting a Reccee: To authenticate the information provided to the research team, normally decoys are used to validate the leads so obtained, however sometimes under time constraints for an on the move wildlife contraband or criminal, the luxury of conducting a recee can be least afforded!
  3. The raid: The raiding team generally comprises of NGO resource persons accompanied by officials from the Police, Wildlife Department and or Wildlife Crime Control Bureau who are well acquainted with the laws.In addition to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, even the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 can be enforced upon under many cases.Knowledge of the laws, specific sections and penalties outlined within the act helps in registering a strong case and is crucial for putting the convict behind bars.
  4. Once the raid conducted, the police prepare a seizure memo. The job of the raiding squad is to get the accused arrested, seize the animals and the police then presents the accused and the seized animals/products before the Metropolitan Magistrate in the local district Courts.
  5. The accused is generally sent to 14 days of Judicial Custody (JC) by the Metropolitan Magistrate and the investigation of the case is subsequently handed over to the Wildlife Department.
  6. More often than not, once the Wildlife Department is not represented by a lawyer after the JC period is over, the accused is released on bail. Hence, all the effort of nabbing a criminal goes to waste. Therefore, all that we require from the Wildlife Department is to convict the accused with the help of an efficient public prosecutor.

The (apathy of) State Wildlife Departments, the Police and the legal lacunae:

These departments often do not work to their full potential and the reasons for these are manifold for they neither have the infrastructure, nor the staff or the spirit to do this kind of investigative work.

In Delhi, for example, there are 5 Wildlife Inspectors that joined this department about two decades back and in all these years, they haven’t even been promoted once! When they joined they were Wildlife Inspectors and they remain so even now. In all these years, there are no new recruitments that have taken place either. As a result, there is no one to work under them or work with and naturally so, over all these years these inspectors also tend to lose out on the youthful energy they carried when they first joined these departments, hence it is natural to assume that the officials lack spirit and enterprise and suffer from demonization and frustration.

Coupled with it, is rampant corruption, lack of political will and the complete lack of infrastructure. These wildlife inspectors move on motorbikes and don’t even have a car and a driver at their disposal thus making it difficult for them to move the rescued animals or even take the accused for a Medical examination before presenting him in front of the district court magistrate as per the provisions of the law.

Also, The Wildlife Department and the Police are not armed with a team of animal handlers so they are generally apprehensive of carrying out wildlife crime seizures. Despite knowing that showing snakes to people on roadsides or selling birds is illegal, the authorities fail to nab street entertainers using animals as the whole thought of handling snakes, monkeys, bears and mongooses (after conducting the seizure) scares them off!

The Wildlife Departments don’t have the space to house rescued animals till their release orders are issued by the court. Zoos are most unwilling as they are already starved of space and cash. Also, the Wildlife Departments don’t have lock ups to house the arrested accused before being presented to the court and thus they have to turn to the Police for lock-up assistance which adds to the headache of the police stations as they get thrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the accused doesn’t suffer health wise or die in their police custody

As Rajeev Jain, an animal activist associated with the Delhi chapter of NGO People for Animals shares below; there are many hurdles that prop up at different stages of a wildlife crime combating operation, mostly because the police and judges are not sensitized to animal welfare or aware of the laws and seriousness of the crime. “The judges in the district courts normally take pity on the bird sellers or a snake charmer we catch hold of in a city because they consider them to be poor people and thus give them the most meager punishment and accept their bail plea very easily. Lives of animals are not considered precious enough”, lamented Rajeev.

Also the Police authorities and wildlife officers are found wanting especially when it comes to handling, identifying and rehabilitating the live animals seized and it is here that the NGOs pitch in with their expertise. For example: NGOs pitch in with their knowledge of handling, health, habitat and feeding habits of the animals rescued along with providing temporary shade and shelter to the rescued animals. Often, many rescued animals die in the police station before being presented to the courts as the police officials are not provided with any budget to administer first aid or purchase the adequate feed/feeding bowls to help the stressed animals.

But all is not lost, gradually with growing awareness levels, the authorities are being increasingly and regularly forced to cooperate and extend support to individual activists and NGOs to nab wildlife criminals and it is up to individuals like you to acquaint yourself with the laws and the modus-operandi mentioned above so that you can assist as well as request the cooperation of enforcement authorities to take wildlife crime seriously. Only when more people take these issues up, will the authorities be on tender hooks and the government will be compelled to carry out the infrastructural and procedural improvements required to make the wildlife departments more effective and efficient.

Lastly, what is NOT Right?

Nilesh Bhanage of PAWS shares below his valuable insight on where exactly lies the problem with those people/NGO activists who consider themselves to be over and above the law and become overnight wildlife activists who go on to break every rule in the book in sheer exuberance, enthusiasm or most commonly for the sake of greed of money and media attention!

Most of the wildlife crime investigations in India happens out of heart & not with minds/ideas, careful planning or tricks and therein lies the only problem. Any animal lover starts posing as wildlife activist and starts doing  raids is clearly wrong. They will not do work in a stepwise manner and risk getting into trouble and that is one of the reasons wildlife crime conviction rates in India are so low.When anyone conducts raids, they must provide photos, video CDs,  veterinary treatment certificates, proofs, panchnama of seized material from criminals and even use supporting laws (i.e. using kids for wildlife trade is also punishable under child labor laws, using wildlife items for medicines comes under Food & Drug administration Act etc), so there are multiple factors that are involved.For Example: One girl posing animal activist goes to someone’s house & just pick-up their pet parakeet & squirrel which was hand-raised by someone. Then this girl goes & releases these animals and birds, confiscated by her back into wild, then in our eyes that girl herself is criminal under Indian Wildlife protection Act 1972 because she has flaunted the following following norms:

  1. Making illegal/unauthorised entry into someone’s private house
  2. Taking photos of gallery / bedroom
  3. Rescuing wildlife without prior intimation/information being conveyed to forest/wildlife department and also without their permission.
  4. Seizure of animals is also illegal as it can be done only by Police or Wildlife Department officials or honorary officers appointed by these two departments for this task.
  5. Abandoning wildlife anywhere (which was never exposed to wild area as it was kept as pets) to die in name of rehab
  6. Not doing any paper work for such seizure.
  7. Stealing someones property like cages.

Remember, if we want to help animals or our wildlife, it is important that we follow the rules, for our safety and also for the health of the animal.

Useful resources:

  1. Animal Laws of India http://unilawonline.com/animallaw/ReadContent.asp
  2. Indian Wildlife Crime Control Bureau: http://wccb.gov.in/
Posted in Animals, General/Animals, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Religion, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Videos on Animals

GoD and DoG!

GoD and DoG (Courtesy: Kris, 5th July, 2010)

The above photograph  was clicked and contributed to us by Kris Kumar on 5th July, 2010.

It was clicked at PVR Anupam-Saket, a multiplex  in Delhi. In this small temple beneath a tree behind the multiplex where these two resident dogs with collars around their necks were sleeping peacefully,  demonstrative of the relationship between GoD and DoG…

Posted in Do you know?, Inspiration, Stories from Ground Zero

Differently-abled: The men who man the Janpath lane car parking

We don't know his name but, he is 'deaf and dumb' and he has been manning this car park at Janpath lane for the past thirty years.

Janpath is one street market in that needs no introduction to anyone visiting Delhi, but perhaps the car park at Janpath Lane needs an introduction of some sorts.

Janpath Lane is perhaps the only lane in Central Delhi’s Connaught Place region which is not under NDMC’s (New Delhi Municipal Corporation) Parking Rates and Regimes for what we believe are reasons emanating out of a spirit of both, humanity and generosity. Because this lane, adjacent to the Janpath shopping centre on the lane opposite the famous Saravana Bhawan eatery is being manned for the past three decades by a team of  five ‘deaf and dumb’ men…There are no parking tickets in here (neither manual nor computerised),  no fixed parking rates either, you can give as much as your heart desires and the wallet allows.

In case there is a difficulty in communicating with a member of the public or a person who has parked their car in there, then these men are aided by a few fruit sellers sitting on the corners of the lane, who have, after all these years of sharing the same ‘place’ (or ‘street’) of work,  learnt to communicate with these ‘differently-abled’ parking attendants in sign language

The man in the photograph above is the oldest member in this 5-member team of parking men. He has been here for 30 long years. He uses his hands to guide people to park their cars in and out of this lane and keeps a watchful eye on the cars he takes charge off, similarly with the rest. We learnt through the street shop vendor (selling shoes at the Janpath street market that begins next to this lane) that this old man has been able to educate his children and marry off his daughters into good homes all through the money he has earned at this car park with honesty and hard work in all these years. Try trusting him and his colleagues to take care of your car when you next head to good old Janpath for your season’s street shopping.

“Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.”- Martina Navratilova

The Janpath Lane Car Park

Scott Hamilton once said,  “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

So, lets ‘try’ to treat all beings, humans or animals, plants or insects, abled or dis-abled with respect if not love and care, for in this vicious circle termed ‘life’ what goes around does indeed come around.

Posted in Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, News Reports, Stories from Ground Zero

Monkey. Thirst. 2 Blind men

Image Courtesy: Prajavani/Kishore Kumar Bolar

Two blind persons wanted to drink water at the RagiGudda temple, Bangalore .

When they were unable to operate the tap, this mother monkey opened the tap for them, allowed them to drink water, drank some water herself and then closed the tap before leaving the scene.

P.S. :  Do share this pic with your friends . It is proof that humanity does exist – even if we humans have forgotten it ourselves…

Posted in Stories from Ground Zero

Inspired by Bollywood movie, social activist made police post incharge for a day!

Balak Ram Prajapati- the one day cop!

19th April, 2010 (Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India)

‘People think of police as men with sticks, who accept bribes and abuse people, I aim to change all of that”, declares 58 year old Balak Ram Prajapati.

Past Thursday, social activist Prajapati drove to meet city Police Chief Akhil Kumar on his rickety old two-wheeled scooter. He went to him with a sermon and a plan to reform the police’s image in public eyes; little did he expect that the onus of doing so would be put on him so soon!

Taking a leaf out of the script of a Bollywood movie, the Police chief asked Prajapati to take charge of Lisadi Gate Police Post for 24 hours on Saturday and execute his reformist ides for the Police.

The Police Chief’s order seemed to be inspired from ‘Nayak’, a Bollywood movie, in which the film’s hero was made the state’s chief minister for a day, which was magically enough for him to cleanse the rotting state’s political system.

But reality however is far removed from fiction, as Prajapati found out during the course of his day-long term with the police.

Earlier in India’s history too, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, the ruler of Delhi in 13th Century made a bhishti (term used for men who sell water on roadside from leather pouches), the state’s emperor for day and bestowed him with legal powers which were used by him to launch currency notes in ‘leather’!

But unlike the bhishti, devoid of any legal powers, Prajapati arrived at his office in plainclothes at around 10 am on Saturday morning and soon after was inundated with hordes of complainants.

Within a matter of hours, however, Prajapati started speaking the same language as the policemen do asking them ‘to stay calm and cooperate as the police did its work, despite its limitations’, which seemed like words borrowed from the police chief’s dictionary!

“Police’s precious time and resources go into resolving and dealing with complaints in which they can’t be of any help”, said Prajapati.

“For example, I attended and resolved through my mediation 26 cases of family dispute, what is required in such cases is not a policemen but a counselor!” he added.

A grassroots activist for the past 35 years, Prajapati heads a local social welfare group and earns his livelihood through beekeeping. ‘I work on empowering people through setting up SHGs or Self-help groups”, said Prajapati when asked about his focus area in social sphere.

“I suggested to the Police chief that police should play a role in reforming young people (serving their terms in prisons) by training them in employment skills. If young men are well-employed, they would stay away from performing crimes”, suggests Prajapati.

Prajapati went on routine police checking round too.

Thankfully, the day in the city was otherwise calm and there was no need for the police to involve or demonstrate to him, how the forces nab and kill criminals in a Police ‘encounter’, else this experiment would have had the police chief running for cover.

Somveer Singh, the ‘regular’ incharge of this police-post wasn’t impressed with Prajapati’s day in the office. “He kept on asking the constables to summon one or the other people mentioned by the complainants in their application. This is not practically feasible option every day however as we have a limited force”, said Somveer.

“I have 13 blocks of Meerut city under me and to manage such a big area I have an extremely small 26-man force, if all of them go to summon one or the other people based on people’s complaints then how will the police fulfill other duties of theirs?” questioned Somveer.

Whether Prajapati has completely understood the constraints, dilemmas and struggles that a policeman endures on the job is something that only ‘tomorrow’ can tell but till then Prajapati takes delight in the good press he has generated for the police in his few hours of fame and power.

To reform the police system and public’s perception is an arduous task. For the common man on the street, “this system, the police and bureaucracy is hopelessly stagnated; rotting at its feet, mired in corruption and weighed down by political pressure” but Prajapati isn’t giving up the fight just as yet.

“I am a man on a mission”, he concluded.

All power to his elbow!

Text: Vasudha Mehta (C) JAAGRUTI