by Sumita Vaid Dixit
For the last three months, the Residents’ Welfare Association of Eldeco Green Meadows (RWA) has been requesting the health department of Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) to help remove stray dogs from the premises as three children have been bitten. First, the RWA contacted SPCA Noida for help; this RWA member in question was told that since the Noida Authority has stopped giving it funds it is unable to help. Though in the past, before the clamp down, SPCA Noida had promptly acted on our complaints and had neutered, treated and rehabilitated the stray dogs from Eldeco Green Meadows as well as from Arcadia, a nearby market.
When this time round SPCA Noida expressed its inability to help, EGM’s RWA then contacted GNIDA’s health department in person. This member RWA was told that the van GNIDA has is for catching stray cows and not stray dogs, however, a veterinarian was sent to assist. This member of the RWA was then told that the stray dogs would first have to be trapped or locked into a room after which the dogs can be taken away. Now, this meant that either we took the help of security guards or the housekeeping staff to trap the dogs which in fact was half the work done and the toughest part for it is not easy to catch a dog/dogs that are aggressive or rabid. In other words, we had to handle the situation ourselves.
Then some weeks ago, some assurance was given when Harinder Bhati of Active Citizen Team put pressure on the department. Yet, two weeks passed, before the van finally came.
When the van finally arrived at the gates of EGM we were more than disappointed. The pictures will make the story clear to the readers, but here’s the gist of what followed between the team that came from GNIDA’s health Department and this member of the RWA: First, the team said that though they have been sent here to catch dogs they are not trained to catch dogs. One member of the team even showed his wounded hand. He was recently bitten while attempting to catch a dog and (as told by the person himself) he was not even paid for the treatment by the Authority.
Another member of the team showed the rope or rassa he was going to use to catch the dog. Alarmed, I said, the dog or dogs might just die if you tried catching the dog with that rassa, to which the man said rather helplessly: “but this is all we have, a rassa meant for catching stray cows and this lathi.”
At first, the men were reluctant to even look for the dogs. “Get the dogs here to the gate and then we will take them away,” one said. “If we had to bring the dogs to the gates why did I have to call you or the Authority umpteen number of times?” I asked. The poor men, finally said, that they don’t know how to catch stray dogs, they are not trained to catch dogs, they can only catch stray cows, but since they are under pressure from their bosses they have come here. The men left EGM premises after taking a round and catching no dogs.
The RWA of Eldeco Green Meadows is struggling to contain the stray dog situation as every day a dog enters the complex. And we cannot wait for another dog-bite incident to take place.
But in this merry-go-round between the Authority officials, the cowcatchers and SPCA what is clear is that there is no system in place to catch dogs. If the Authority cannot catch dogs then it should say so clearly, don’t put people on a spin. And if the health department of GNIDA is in charge of neutering and treating stray dogs, then it ought to have a well-defined and well-equipped process for neutering and treating dogs. Which would include: Veterinarians, a hospital where dogs can be treated and neutered, trained staff, helpline and well trained dog catchers, who treat animals with love and care. It is likely that the authority is under pressure from residents of Greater Noida and therefore even in the absence of trained dogcatchers it is trying its bit. However, we know that it is a waste of time and effort. Therefore, until there is a process in place to neuter and treat dogs, please do not commit to improving the situation of the increasing population of stray dogs in Greater Noida, better to give the job to a responsible organization or an NGO.
Unfortunately, in the absence of a system, people then resort to wrongful means to resolve issues. And then we hear and read reports of dogs being killed inhumanely or beaten badly. Let us prevent such situations.
Author: Sumita Vaid Dixit, President, Eldeco Green Meadows, Greater Noida (social activist and journalist)
Note: The views expressed in this article are of Author. The story hasn’t been edited by Ten News staff.