CANINE TERROR
Kashmir Life|March 28, 2021
Free-roaming dogs in Kashmir bite thousands every year. Though the authorities assert that they have been sterilising the dogs and managing the waste food, the availability of lot of free food is a key factor in the dog population surge, reports Syed Samreen
Syed Samreen

On a bright Saturday afternoon in early March, Azhar Manzoor, 8, accompanied his mother to the market to shop for his school uniform. He was going to school two days later following a year of ‘literal confinement’ to his home due to Covid-19 lockdown.

Little did Manzoor know that he wouldn’t survive seeing his school again? Back home, when he went out to play with his cousins, the neighbourhood dogs mauled him to death.

Manzoor’s father, Manzoor Ahmad Rather, a daily wager in the Power Development Department in Pingelan, Pulwama rushed to the district hospital Pulwama with his injured son but unfortunately, the doctors declared him brought dead.

“We can’t get over the incident. Manzoor went away from us too soon,” Imtiyaz Ahmad, his uncle, said. “His mother isn’t able to get out of the trauma.”

Earlier in December 2020, Abdul Majeed Rather, a noted lawyer hailing from Dewan Bagh Baramulla succumbed to multiple dog bite injuries at the SMHS hospital.

SURGING NUMBERS

Dog menace has been growing in Kashmir. From the older generation to children, everyone has become vulnerable to the growing population of canines in Kashmir.

According to the records maintained at the Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College (GMC), close to 60,000 cases of dog bites were reported in the Kashmir in the past decade.

From April 2020 to February 2021, the number of dog bite cases from different districts stood at 4101. Of these cases, 3039 belonged to Srinagar alone. Similarly, 194 cases came from Budgam, 140 from Baramulla, 65 from Kupwara, 156 from Bandipora, 169 from Ganderbal, 127 from Pulwama, 54 from Shopian, 54 from Kulgam, 50 from Anantnag and 53 from other districts.

The idea is to curtail the availability of food to dogs and sterilisation. As far as the waste management is concerned, we have started door-to-door waste collection in four wards in the first phase of the pilot project. With this, there won’t be dumpsters full of waste on roads which will curtail the availability of food to dogs.

MANAGING BITES

The severity of a dog bite varies from person to person, according to Dr Hilal Ahmad Rather, registrar AntiRabies Clinic SMHS Srinagar who is a demonstrator and carries out procedures on the injured. A dog bite, he said, is of three types.

Category one or Class one case is when a human comes into contact with a dog. However, there is no cut or a scratch and the skin is intact. In this case, Dr Rather said, there is no need for a procedure.

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