October 22, 2016
Thiruvananthapuram: As Kerala strives hard to put an end to the stray dog menace, the no of people bitten within the past three months has risen to 31000.
Reports of people getting mauled and even killed have become staple for people here though authorities are yet to find a foolproof solution to the nagging issue that has put a blot on the State off late, “ Even efforts by philanthropists are being put down by some who have no concern for their fellow beings ,” rues a city dweller in Kochi as she mentions the recent efforts by businessman Boby Chemmannur to capture stray dogs In Kalpetta, Wayanad.
Around 40 stray dogs were captured by the philanthropist with the support of Boby Chemmanur Friends Association and sent to his warehouse in Wynad. But this was not seen in good taste by the locals who filed a complaint demanding the dogs to be shifted from near their dwellings. This even led the Additional District magistrate of Kalpetta to issues orders to transfer the dog elsewhere. Some have even mocked the businessman’s move as a publicity stunt.
But all this has not deterred the gritty man who has got a writ from High Court for a police protection, allowing him to keep the dogs in his estate property. “ I’m planning on a target of 10,000 stray dogs ,” says Boby as he decides to take the issue head on. The dogs will be kept in his 10 acre land in Kalpetta till authorities find an alternative. “ I don’t know why neighbours are making a hue and cry while the dogs are kept indoors,” adds Boby as he gets ready for a dog hunt at 11 in the morning . The group goes on its mission till evening and the count touches 65. “ The government has promised dog parks in 14 districts.” Boby welcomes the move wholeheartedly and is even gearing up to make the Central ministry aware of the graveness of the situation.
Though Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has condemned the killing of stray dogs in the State and even shot a letter to Muvattupuzha Municipality expressing her concern over killing of some violent stray dogs in the municipality people are in no mood to listen. “ How can we take a laid back attitude when several deaths happen ,”asks concerned citizens who have rallied behind activist businessman Kochouseph Chittilappilly who plans to holds fasts against stray dog menace in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram in the near future.
In some places, the public have got together under the banner of a new organisation called `Theruvu Naaya Unmoolana Sangham’(Action Council for Eradication of Stray Dogs). They want the Government to value human life more than that of dogs and lock up stray dogs in kennels.