The MCG and the Animal Welfare Board of India(AWBI) have joined hands to sterilize the stray dogs in the city. The National Rabies Control programme, started by AWBI, is an initiative aided by the Ministry of Public Health, Government of India offering Rs. 30 crore to implement the programme across Haryana.
There are around 2.5 lakh stray dogs in the state according to the Animal Welfare Board of India. Each sterilization will cost around Rs. 500. In order to know more about the programme, a conversation was held with Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Dr. R.M. Kharb, Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India.
Question(Q): Why was this programme started? What initiated it?
R.M. Kharb (RMK): It was seen that there was an increase in the dog attack cases. So, AWBI thought it was the right time to start a move to protect the citizens and dogs as well.
Q: What is the importance of such programmes in a city like Gurgaon?
RMK: The programme is being implemented in every city of Haryana. Talking about Gurgaon, it is considered to be the city which brings the limelight to Haryana. Many international organisations run their offices from Gurgaon. So, it was our rightful duty to look into the functioning of the city which was being affected by the stray dogs.
Q: Do you think sterilizing and vaccinating them, the stray dog nuisance would lessen in Gurgaon?
RMK: Yes, sterilizing and vaccinating the dogs would not only lessen the nuisance, but also bring peace to the city. The sterilization will surely reduce the cases of dog bites, make the dogs much calm, which will automatically decrease the rate of incidences. The dogs will become much more docile and friendly.
Q: There have been debates about sterilizing of dogs and many social activists are against it. What do you feel about it? Should this step be encouraged?
RMK: I don't think that anybody should be against any act which is being taken for the betterment of the society. Since, dogs cannot be killed anymore, so, we had to find a solution which would help the dogs to be at peace with people and it is also important for the residents to live a better and peaceful life. I guess vaccinations and sterilization are the best ways to carry out such plan.
Q: Do you think dogs are a bigger problem as compared to the monkey menace in the city?
RMK: We are carrying out this drive keeping the whole Haryana in mind. And at present, dogs are the issue. Monkeys are a problem in Gurgaon and will be taken care of soon.
Q: After the completion of the programme, will you publish a detailed report with the number of dogs sterilized, etc. ? How would the common public know that their money has been put to good use?
RMK: Yes, Yes, a complete report will be submitted. People will be well aware of the ongoings in the programme.
After knowing about the programme, it seems there will no oppositions to it and people will willingly come in support of this programme. Even if the Gurgaonites do not get any relief from other problems, it is sure that there will be no more rabies and people could freely walk through the streets. Dogs will be seen in a completely new and friendly way because of the National Rabies Control programme held by the MCG in Collaboration with AWBI.