Government offers dog rearing job to city youth

Well-Built Men With Experience To Get Preference: SMC

M HYDERI

Srinagar, Apr 20: Finally, the state government seems to have found a novel way to address the dog menace as well as engage city’s unemployed youth who have the grudge of getting minimal share in employment.
The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Friday advertised posts of “Caretakers for Dogs” on “temporary basis,” for the city youth in the age group of 18 and 37 years interested to work at consolidated wages of Rs 3300 per month.
Those physically weak, however, need not apply because the SMC eyes to hire only well-built youth who can take care of the stray dogs.

THE NOTIFICATION
The job notification in this regard was published in local dailies Friday on behalf of the SMC Joint Commissioner (Administration), Fayaz Ahmed Bala.
The advertisement drafted in typically chaste Urdu, announces posts for the “Dog Caretakers.” The aspirants, as per the notification, should be the permanent residents of the city’s municipal limits.
However, those living close to Shuhama, where the SMC has constructed a state-of-the-art dog pound at the whopping cost of over  Rs one crore, will be given preference, provided they have “experience in dog caretaking.”

HANDLE WITH CARE
The SMC officials said the “Dog Caretakers” will have to work at the Shuhama dog pound where each of them would have to look after over a dozen stray dogs to be kept in temporary captivity till they are sterilized. Sources said the SMC’s Veterinary Officer, Dr Sajad Mughal who has been working on the proposed dog sterilization project for the past around a year, was likely to interview the aspirants on 24th of this month.
“The Dog Caretakers will have to feed the dogs apart from taking them out for a walk, till they are fit to be released in their respective localities after sterilization,” said a source privy to the development.

SMC MORE LOYAL…
Pertinently, the civic body has single-handedly constructed the dog pound on 19 kanals of land, provided by the SK University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) at its Shuhama campus in Alasteng.
The Animal Birth Control program, to sterilize the male canines will jointly be performed by the SMC and the SKUAST. But if sources are to be believed, all the financial expenditures till now has been borne by the civic body alone that too out of the money meant not for dogs, but obviously for the City development.
Some City based “animal lovers”, stationed mostly outside the valley, however, have complaints that the local media has been “unduly bashing the dogs.” They plead for “time consuming and costly sterilization” as the sole solution to the problem.

MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS
Observers look at dog sterilization as a “million dollar business” saying by the time 40 canines would be sterilized 400 more would take birth.
Reports suggest that if all Srinagar dogs have to be impounded, around Rs 1000 crore would be required for setting up of pounds. Besides, considerable money would be required for the dog caretaking annually.

THE GOVT CONCERN
The National Conference led government has come up with initiatives like construction of dog pounds at a time when the bite cases have broken all previously known records in the City. The coalition, however, has failed to pool resources to provide treatment to the human victims.
The government doesn’t provide free Immunogulobin, something vital for the dog bite treatment, to the victims.
While the Director Health, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman pleads that the expenditure to provide free Immunogulobin would be “too costly”, the state has been spending millions for dogs since last year, out of resources meant for humans.
Besides though the general perception is that over one lakh dogs are on prowl in Srinagar, the government recently announced that the exact figure is 91,1000.
The dog “rights”, however, are being so vividly maintained in this conflict-zone that around a year back, the government ordered a high level probe when an allegedly morphed video clipping of canine killing popped up.

DR QASBA SPEAKS
When contacted the SMC Commissioner Dr GN Qasba while responding to a query on Dog Caretaker job said: “There’s nothing to be ridiculed at.”
“This (job advertisement) reflects our seriousness for early commencement of sterilization of the stray dogs of Srinagar district,” Dr Qasba told Greater Kashmir.
“Besides we aim to improve sanitation to a level that no garbage is left unattended… People too have to play their role in this regard as it will help make dogs go away from our colonies looking for food. Otherwise they get good food on streets right outside our doors,” he opined.

BLESSING IN BITES?
But will those hired for the job of Dog Caretaker be vulnerable to bites? Well, it’s for time to decide because a similar question has left many curious for the around over a year. In 2011 during a hearings on dog menace PIL the then Chief Justice FM Ibraheem Kalifullah had posed a million dollar question to the courtroom which nobody could reply. And his query still looks for answers:  Will a dog stop biting after sterilization?

Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 21 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST




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