On any given day, take an unassuming, non-judgmental walk in any area of our country, especially the tier 2 & tier 3 cities and you will find the real plight of animals.
Any sensitive person cannot miss seeing animals malnourished, abused, ignored, raped, starved & almost waiting to die. Only a small % of animals are lucky to find love & two times food or a human being who can care for them.
Otherwise, it is a struggle for these animals all their lives & then when they are dead, they don’t even get a decent & respectful burial. Now, this is not their fault, it is not their destiny to have a life like this.
Their life is like this due to:
- Government apathy in implementing Animal Birth Control (ABC) laws across the country even after 22 years.
- A simple RTI in your district can show you how consecutive governments have gotten away from not even allotting an ABC budget, forget about carrying out ABC drives.
- Till 5 years ago, only poor people of the country would get tangled in the socialism-capitalism web & votes would get generated out of their plight. However, dogs are the new topic to maintaining a vote bank.
- SPCA [Society for Prevention of Cruelty on Animals] COMMITTEE is still on paper and not a reality for a majority of districts.
- Convictions in animal cruelty cases & misses from government departments cases are like miracles despite set laws for Animals.
- Society’s social responsibility & tolerance towards other living beings have been dipping drastically & state governments are making zero effort in improving this.
Now, hate-mongering & fear-mongering men and women in housing societies must ask these questions to the media even before they hit FORWARD randomly like GOOD MORNING WISHES.
- Why is the media focusing on dogs every day & making sure there is at least one article published about stray dogs? What is the necessity?
- Why are they not highlighting government failure in the implementation of programs everyday?
- Why are they not publishing about the unending thankless work animal rescuers do with their own money & are still being treated as second-class citizens?
- Why are they not publishing the stories of how these animals save lives, vouch locality & love unconditionally?
- Why are they not publishing the gruesome violence humans inflict on these stray dogs every day? The country easily records a minimum of 100 fatal cruelty deaths & puppy litters lose their mothers every day.
Is the media only able to see the fear & worry of humans & their offspring? 99.9% of the articles never publish parental negligence in dog bite cases. None of the articles highlight the irrational phobia of citizens towards dogs. None of the articles urge or encourage citizens to question the governments on where did the money go?
All the blame is dumped on animals like they were supposed to learn how to treat humans rather than vice versa.
The real beneficiaries of such articles are state governments who keep asking for ABC budget citing population & dog bites. The NGOs along with many government officials support the idea of the creation of shelters to raise funds in the name of dogs, even though it is a well-known fact that dogs are social creatures & they don’t thrive in captivity.
Is the media trying to set a narrative to support shelter creation & making SC take note of these one-sided, half-baked op-ed articles?
Are citizens even realizing the trap, that their tax money never went to the dogs, will never go to the dogs & this problem will be kept alive for decades to come without which funds for animal welfare will only dry up?
In summary, dear uncles & aunties, concerned residential association presidents, taxpayers, and so-called educated parents, before you hit a forward on any & every dog-related article to scare people around you, take a moment to ask your MLA & local municipal body about ABC statistics & budget utilization for the last 22 years.
It is high time even animal lovers stop operating at a victim level & work collectively in questioning local municipal bodies in each of their districts actively to ensure ABC is implemented even before they start collaborating with NGOs to build shelters under false research & narratives.
Author Sadhana Hegde is an animal welfare activist & founder of Sahavarthin which advocates coexistence & community adoption of dogs & cats so that animals can live in their natural habitat.