Saturday, August 29, 2009

It Happens Only in India: The ABC of the 'A.B.C. Programme'

A lot of acronyms come to my mind when I see the title of this entry,A.B.C. and B.B.M.P. in particular.For those living outside Bangalore the B.B.M.P.(Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike) is the city municipality corporation and the A.B.C. is the famed 'Animal Birth Control' programme launched by the B.B.M.P. to counter a certain growing menace. Let me dissect the nuances of the programme based on things I have learned and perceived over the years.

A for Animal- The animal in question is man's best friend,the domestic dog. A spate of events involving citizens,particularly children,being attacked by 'pariah' dogs, has made the city municipality sit up and take notice.It isn't uncommon to see the most fascinating variety of mixed breed dog packs lounging around outside butcher shops and dumpsters.Little children,and adults with juvenile tendencies,often find themselves in the vicinity of dogs at the height of all kinds of canine activity;like squabbling,eating and even mating(yes Indian kids learn early).It is a well accepted fact that even the most docile house pet turns hostile when disturbed.The B.B.M.P. realized this after a spate of unfortunate and gory incidents where toddlers were killed by street dogs.

B for Birth- The cycle of birth and death is inevitable,even for the Indian street dog.For a species to survive,it is necessary for the birth rate to exceed the death rate. This probably explains the population explosion of stray dogs,given the fact that each female has around ten puppies every six months.Let us remember that only a handful from each litter live to attain maturity but the cycle repeats and the doggy demographic expands.Clever females have their puppies around places where food is available in abundance.Do dumpsters and butcher shops sound like nice places to hang out? For dogs,yes. For people,no.

C for Control- The B.B.M.P. realized that it was a lot easier to launch an Animal Birth Control programme as opposed to running a 'Keep Bangalore Clean' campaign(running two campaigns at the same time would have probably been a nightmare).The 'knights of the ABC',as I like to call them, are B.B.M.P. employees who move around in dog catching vans; carrying nets,rods and other equipment to catch dogs.Sterilized canine veterans who have been there and done that,sit nonchalantly as their compatriots are bundled into cages.The unlucky ones are 'euthanized' and the lucky ones(mostly friendly puppies) are sent back within a day,sporting a small cut in the left ear to mark them as 'sterilized'. There are also a set of dogs who are only too well versed with the methods of 'the knights of the ABC' to get caught.These are the animals who give birth every six months and over whom the B.B.M.P. has no control!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

More Haiku

In The Spirit of the Flu:

I cower and hide
In times of disease,counting
Numbers of death's strike.

To Etta James:

Dark angel, swaying
Voice,ethereal in irony;
Sings till I'm silent.

To James Joyce

King of the abstruse,
Erring in speech,confounding
Them who understand.

To the Art of Haiku

Truant sentences
Entwined in structure,crushing
Minds of sane poets.