Doggone it!

Its not for nothing that the fable of the blind men and the elephant originated in India. The American poet John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887) further immortalised this fable by basing his poem “The Blind Men and the Elephant”, on the same. It is a good warning about how our sensory perceptions (or, IMHO, lack of facts) can lead to misinterpretations (IMHO, lack of concrete and effective action!). Anyway, I found the ending of the poem to be very apt:

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!


Why am I raising this issue here, you ask? Today’s report in the TOI about the number of stray dogs in the city, thats what!

The BBMP’s official statistics put stray dog population at 56,154.

Statistics submitted by various animal activist organisations show they have sterilised 1.6 lakh dogs and get this, vaccinated 2.8 lakh dogs! Putting the last two and two together, are there 4.4 lakh dogs?

Boy, at this rate & with the announcement that 30 more vans have been pressed into service, its going to take a long time to ensure that all those 4.4 lakh dogs has its day! One can think of several people in certain ‘high’ places who can be re-assigned to this job.

To add to all this tamasha, a soon-to-be-released report by experts at the Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences will show the results of the Animal Birth Control programmes vis-a-vis amounts spent! That should be interesting, to say the least. The figure will be so preposterous that it will provoke the ‘concerned’ minister to say it would be cheaper to announce cash prizes to citizens per stray brought in!

The dog days are coming up and man, are things heating up or what?

6 Comments so far

  1. M O H A N (unregistered) on March 6th, 2007 @ 11:34 am

    Ha ha ha..
    Good reading and post ravi.

    When government records are fudged for beneficiares who are long dead, the dogs too have done thier service!

    A classic case. I woudnt be surprised as the buck starts getting passed and finally stops at NGO’s themselves.


  2. jellicles (unregistered) on March 6th, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

    oh smugness!

    dogs have to be vaccinated EVERY YEAR. and NGOs have been alloted specific areas by BMP. today is march 06, 2007. i can assure you that the vaccination/immunisation programs didnt start on jan 01, 2007, but have been going on for some years now.

    the census conducted by the animal husbandry dept in jan ’04 says that the number is 56000. while the number of stray dogs in the census year 2000 is said to be 70000.

    there is no need to have high expectations about the state of indian journalism and news reporting either. facts are merely a distraction to mob violence. who needs such irrelevant things..yes?


  3. VS (unregistered) on March 6th, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

    Dear Jellicles, read this..
    http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/mar62007/city31545200736.asp
    “Of the 56 lakh population, stray dogs account for 984 cases, which means only 0.001 per cent of the City’s population has been affected every month,” she said. ”

    So what number of dog biting cases per month would you consider for this to be a menace? Apparently 984 cases/month is not enough for one of your fellow dog-lovers. :)


  4. Yasmine Claire (unregistered) on March 6th, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

    FYI the numbers include pet dogs and dogs vaccinated and sterilised at rural camps( outside Bangalore). it is also the total stray and pet dog count in outlying areas that are not within official Bangalore city limits. The numbers are not of stray dogs alone. The pet dog population in Bangalore is more than the stray dog population. The media will only take those sentences that cause the loudest gasp of breath and the longest wagging of fingers. Please check the truth for yourself and then comment.

    as for the NGO’s they have annual external audits..open for anyone to check. I cannot speak for the BCC. So I do not know anything about their projection of numbers.


  5. Ravi (unregistered) on March 6th, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

    @Mohan: Glad you liked the post. Thanks for reading and your comments.

    @Jellicles: Oh I love that description “smugness”. I’m actually very open to learning every single day. I’m also a nice guy. So should you want a post here with your point of view, do let me know.


  6. jellicles (unregistered) on March 6th, 2007 @ 11:01 pm

    ravi, i didnt mean it in a condescending manner.

    and yes, the ‘interview format’ you mentioned elsewhere in the comments section sounds interesting.



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