Know your dogs’ rights: A Case Study on taking on a Resident Welfare Association (RWA) wanting dogs removed – ‘The Pet Parents’ association vs the RWA of North Nirvana Country, Gurgaon [Part I]
Posted on | April 8, 2013 | 11 Comments
This is an interesting case study of a battle that’s playing out even now, as we write this, at an upmarket apartment complex called Nirvana Country, South City-II, Phase-II, at Sectors 49, 50, and 57, Gurgaon, developed and constructed by Unitech Ltd. There are 2 apartment blocks – the Close North, and the Close South. This is playing out at the Close North.
This real life account involves an RWA, of course (or the Association of Apartment Owners as it is also known as) & of course it involves dogs : several pet dogs ; and 2 stray dogs that mostly live within the apartment complex. The RWA has been exceeding its mandate, and trying to impose unreasonable restrictions on pet owners, such as, through this ‘Pet Etiquette’ notice that they’d put up, here : Read more
Spread some love for animals in distress: Whom to petition and why in the AWBI & the Ministry of Environment and Forests!
Posted on | March 29, 2013 | 7 Comments
Each time there is an animal cruelty case, petitions or demands of actions are made to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). AWBI is a bureaucracy within an bureaucracy (Ministry of Environment and Forests) AND subservient to it – that can’t be a recipe of pro-activeness! Ms Menaka Gandhi is the next best stop for action – but Ms Gandhi works on a range of issues that are brought to her notice the best she can and surely she can’t be the default for all action. So is the fate of India’s animals hanging in balance on one AWBI or are there more government agencies? There ARE and this is an appeal to rope all the required institutions to get the action that we want for the animals in India. Note: This is not intended to be or to suggest a substitute for legal action, or filing cases, or lodging police complaints where those are necessitated.
In the backdrop of news such as this : “Jumbos in distress after circus abandons them” ; and in the backdrop of the daily ‘animal welfare’ grind, where fight against daunting odds for the very basic rights of animals, and for the sort of welfare and well-being that every sentient life form should be able to take for granted, the question that frequently arises is, who in India should we petition for the same.
Who is to be questioned, and who is to be approached, given that animal welfare seems to be a non-issue in the national scheme of things. There are laws, but they seem largely to be on paper. Additionally, the penalties, such as those prescribed under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, are pathetic, and a joke. They are no deterrent at all. In fact, they serve to emphasize that animal welfare is a non-issue, and of little relevance.
Consider the news article, the link to which is posted above. What it says, sadly, is this :
“When the elephants see us, they begin to perform circus tricks. We feel sad seeing them starve and go without care,” said Santhosh K S, a native of Punnapra. “The smell from their dung is unbearable. Authorities concerned should take immediate steps to shift them to a safe place,” he said. Heritage Animal Task Force (HATF), a forum for animal-lovers in the state, approached the state government demanding protection for the elephants.
“From 2010, union forest minister Jairam Ramesh put an end to the display of jumbos at circuses was banned after the elephant was declared a national heritage animal. minister issued this order based on the recommendations of the Mahesh Rengarajan Commission. The commission also had recommended that the union ministry allot Rs 500 crore towards rehabilitation of elephants.
The government was supposed to undertake measures for rehabilitation,” said HATF secretary V K Venkitachalam. “However, the union ministry did not allot a fund. This has resulted in a situation where neither the state government nor the forest department has any idea as to the process of rehabilitating elephants that belong(ed) to circus groups,” he said.
These elephants are clearly suffering badly, because though their display at circuses was stopped, the Union Ministry forgot to allot the recommended Rs. 500 crores for their rehabilitation !!!
In fact, whether a scheme for their rehabilitation was planned out before the Government “made news” with banning the display of jumbos at circuses, is highly doubtful.
The knee-jerk reaction when confronted with issues such as these, or abject abuse, and mindless cruelty that animals are easily subjected to, is to write to the Animal Welfare Board of India. But is the Animal Welfare Board actually empowered, or at least, invested with adequate infrastructure, including man power, and perhaps even the funds required to address various animal welfare issues, and combat the cruelty that is rampant? We think not. Read more