Punjab Government Supports Rabies Free India

Chandigarh: Setting out to make Chandigarh a model city for rabies and dog-bite management, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and Peedu’s People launched a campaign ‘Rabies Free India’ through an event – “The Myth of Rabies: Understanding Rabies Management’. This event, which saw the confluence of government officials, animal activists and the media, sought to raise awareness on rabies and dog bites and discuss effective strategies to combat them.

Government officials from Punjab’s animal husbandry, local government and health departments attended the event – Additional Commissioner, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation – Mr. Saurabh Mishra, Additional Commissioner, Mohali Municipal Corporation – Mr. Sarbjit Singh, Director, Animal Husbandry, Chandigarh Union Territory – Captain Karnail Singh, Deputy Director of Statistics, Animal Husbandry Department, Punjab – Mr. Desh Deepak Gupta, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Mohali – Mr. Parmatma Swaroop, senior veterinary officer, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation – Dr. Kamboj, and senior medical professionals Dr. Harjit Kaur and Dr. Nisha Sahi were amongst the notable personalities who supported the campaign.

Acting on a proposal from Peedu’s People, Chandigarh’s Ministry of Health had earlier set up counselling facilities for dog-bite and rabies patients in the two civil dispensaries at Sector 19 and Sector 38 of the city. Here, dog-bite and rabies patients receive information about the disease as well as support.

Efforts are under way with four government departments to scientifically and humanely reduce human-dog conflict in the state – urban and rural department, animal husbandry, education and health. This holistic approach to rabies and dog-bite management is pertinent in light of the position of the Supreme Court, which in July strongly reprimanded individuals who were killing street dogs in other parts of the country.
Varda Mehrotra, Director, FIAPO said “It is necessary to tackle rabies holistically–we believe that offering students and victims information and support can go a long way in the peaceful coexistence between humans and dogs. We urge government officials in Punjab to cooperate with us to put in place systems for a holistic redressal of the conflict.”

Inder Sandhu, Founder, Peedu’s People, said “Through this campaign, we are promoting a scientific method to eliminate rabies in an area. The focus must be on the source of the rabies and containing the virus at the source. It is through this that we will be able to systematically eliminate rabies and restore the citizens’ faith in the government.”

Date : 7 October 2017