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Monday, December 29, 2008

Defenceless Victims of Reckless Driving

My mother tried to coax the little one to drink some milk, but he would not come anywhere near her. She chased him for a while, but he ran into the park across the road. So, she returned to her chair in the front-yard, where she and I were sunning ourselves that afternoon. A few minutes later I saw him running along the inside of the boundary-wall on the farther side of the park. A little while after that my mother noticed that he stood at the park's corner and was poised to cross the road. We resumed our conversation about something else and then heard him squeal briefly, once or twice, like he would when his brother bit his ear too hard, while playing. We did not turn around to see what might have made him do that.

"Woh pilla aap ka hai?" (Is that puppy yours?), said a woman's voice that broke the subsequent silence. She had been pruning some of the bushes in the park. The little brown dog's body lay sprawled in the middle of the road. The driver of the vehicle that crushed him had either not bothered to apply the brakes at all or not hard enough, since we heard nothing unusual.

The pup was one of three born to a stray bitch nearly a month ago. She was killed in a similar manner, a few days after giving birth, leaving her offspring in a hole in the ground, in the park mentioned earlier. My mother persuaded a couple of neighbours to take turns with her, to feed the young ones, with milk at first and then with biscuits or bread dissolved in milk. My friend Zakhmi guarded the orphans at night, coiled up on a mound of dirt next to their sleeping-quarters. They largely remained confined to the park until very recently.

Over the past few years, I have seen many such dogs, mostly young pups, mowed down by speeding cars around where I live. The drivers responsible for the deaths have little to fear in terms of complaints being lodged with the police (I am not sure if there even is a law in this country, regarding that.) or crowds gathering to beat them up and damage their vehicles or the news-media reporting upon their deeds, as might be expected if the victims happen to be human. Their own consciences appear to be the least of their problems, in any case.

The only plausible solution, it appears at the moment, is to construct speed-breakers on the road, but I do not have the resources and other local residents do not seem concerned. Government officials do not seem to have the issue anywhere on their list of priorities.

It would obviously be much better though, if people would drive more carefully and spare the lives of defenceless creatures that obviously can not be taught road-sense in the way that humans can be. I also hope that the readers of this blog-post will help spread the word around, since none of the animal-rights organisations in India seem to focus on prevention or to campaign for punitive legislation, even though some provide ambulance services for injured animals.


Sidhusaaheb said...

I do not doubt the nobility of your cause, I understand your compassion too. However, I would be more concerned about the strays living on roads and holes who “happen to be human.”
MP | Homepage | 12.29.08 – 3:27 pm | #


By all means!

However, that in no way disqualifies you from adopting the cause advocated here.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 12.29.08 – 3:49 pm | #


It is possible to support more than one cause. There is so much to be done in this world.

My best friend of 50 years, who died recently, was Jain and she taught me that it is good to be compassionate toward ALL living things.

I could not go as far as she did – I swat mosquitoes and take antibiotics without guilt – but I did learn that there is a great deal to be said for adopting a view of life itself being sacred and thus to be respected.

It might be interesting to note that where I currently live in the USA, animals, in many cases, have more legal protection than do homeless people, including many who are veterans of America’s numerous foreign wars.
Mai Harinder Kaur | Homepage | 12.29.08 – 8:47 pm | #


One of the kittens who had been born just a couple of months ago near my house too met a similar sad fate
Sriram | Homepage | 12.31.08 – 12:58 am | #


oh God…so sad…even though I dont really like animals too much…around the house..
utp | Homepage | 12.31.08 – 9:07 pm | #


Defenceless victims of RECKLESS EATING……p? c=mymmdba1208

Mai Harinder Kaur,
Most of the abusing and slaughtering perfection is practiced in USA…

cool geek | 01.01.09 – 9:06 pm | #


I am sure it must be a mistake…no one is so cruel to not care and run over some living creature on purpose…it is sad …but some are just born to live while others are born to die
cyberkitty | Homepage | 01.02.09 – 3:37 pm | #


Dear Cool Geek ji- My response was about pets and street animals only.

You are absolutely right; farm animals, exploited animals, in practice, have little protection, although there are protective laws on the books. I have watched those sad, disgusting videos from PETA and other animal rights groups and been horrified.

It is still a fact that pets and strays are often treated better by the authorities than are homeless people. I do not believe that the animals should be treated less well, I do believe that the homeless people should be treated with dignity, especially the Veterans.

BTW, I am a vegetarian. I will be a vegan, as soon as I can convince myself to forego paneer and curd (yogurt) and good cheese. In the meantime, I buy most of my dairy foods from a friendly farmer who treats his cows and goats well enough to satify my now deceased Jain best friend. And she was the pickiest person I’ve ever known about this ahimsa thing.
Mai Harinder Kaur | Homepage | 01.02.09 – 6:50 pm | #


Mai Harinder Kaur,
Delighted to know that you are a veggie…
Cool Geek | 01.03.09 – 11:06 am | #


Such a sad story. I don’t hear about strays that often in Southern California, but we try to do our part by fostering and helping out the local shelters and rescues.
Puppy In Training | Homepage | 01.08.09 – 8:16 pm | #

Sidhusaaheb said...

Though my mouth went open when I read that the poor puppy gave his life away =(

But do you think in a society where humans are worthless creatures … someone would actually pay heed to cries of such defenseless victims? :(
Asma | Homepage | 01.16.09 – 11:28 pm | #


And ABOUT time that you update :P
Asma | Homepage | 01.16.09 – 11:28 pm | #