Look beyond newsy dog issue in Srinagar: Maneka to rights activist

Proposes 1000 sterilizations a month, expects results within 6 months

M HYDERI

Srinagar, July 4: On taking a first hand assessment of dog menace in Srinagar during her trip to Kashmir, prominent animal rights activist and noted parliamentarian Maneka Gandhi on Wednesday endorsed that the canine issue had become “so newsy” in this summer Capital that many want to cash it for personal publicity even as she asked the animal rights activists to be concerned about other animals, particularly horses, as well.

BEYOND DOGS
 “Kashmir needs to pay attention towards other animals as well, especially horses, which are a means of earning for many,” Gandhi who is also the Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances told Greater Kashmir.
 She said the cattle pound at Tengpora was an ideal place where a stable could be constructed to take care of poor animals who are often abandoned by their masters when they turn ill or old.
 Maneka, who has got a hospital constructed for horses in her constituency, said the stable would go a long way in helping the people whose livelihood depends on horses. Besides, she said, cattle would also be taken care of there.
 “Tengpora is a wholesome place where apart from sterilization of dogs, poor cattle and horses can be looked after,” she explained.

THE TENGPORA PLAN
 The animal rights activist has suggested that apart from the Shuhama dog pound, sterilization should also be taken up at the Tengpora pound.
 “We aim to sterilize 1000 dogs a month. Give us six months and you will see results,” the senior parliamentarian explained.
 Gandhi said if a thousand dogs are sterilized a month, the dog menace would be over within 18 months.

SPCA’S NEW AVATAR
 The SPCA, which in the past was often accused of being a “exclusive dog rights organization”, is all set to make a comeback in a new avatar. The organization disbanded some months back, is to be constituted afresh but won’t be confined to issue of dogs alone.
 Gandhi said apart from politicians and bureaucrats, its members would be chosen from the civil society while the body would be headed by a vet from the Animal Husbandry Department(AHD).
 The SPCA, she said, would be headquartered at Tengpora pound.

GOVT RECEPTIVE
 To a question, she said the state government was “very receptive” towards the dog menace. “The government has been very receptive. They completely understand the problem,” she said.

SMC DOING ITS DUTY
 On the role of civic body, which is tackling the dog menace, Gandhi said the SMC had been doing its duty.
 “The SMC could not do much because they didn’t have space and so they went to SKUAST (Shumhama where dog pound has been constructed). But now as they have another site in the form of Tengpora pound, the same can be used to speed up the ongoing sterilization,” she said.

AFTER 12 YEARS?
 The last time she visited Srinagar was some 12 years back to dedicate to people the Composite Regional Centre at Bemina, a facility seen as her brainchild for the special children. Since then, it’s the first time she visited the summer capital and broke her silence on Srinagar’s dogs menace, which has assumed alarming proportions with around a dozen people falling prey to bites everyday.
 Will it take her another decade for a revisit, or will she  stay in touch over the problem where her role is being seen pivotal? “You will get me, whenever you need me,” Gandhi replied with a smile before flying back.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST




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