We often come across heartwarming stories of people’s empathy and compassion towards dogs, who are our silent best friends. But as we all know, the world is not utopian after all, and there is certainly a gloomy side to this story.
India alone accounts for more than 30 million stray dogs, who are often the victims of human atrocities and public distrust.
The government did come up with a series of population control measures in the form of Dog Rules 2001 directing the municipalities and animal welfare organizations to work together in order to implement the “Animal Birth Control” programme that was formulated by WHO.
But still, according to recent estimates, every year more than 55,000 people die due to rabies and around 15 million people are treated with the post-bite anti rabies vaccination.
So how did this problem become so hazardous?
The major factors that contribute to this alarming situation are the lack of implementation of the Animals Birth Control (ABC) programme, meagre state of animal welfare organizations, and lack of effort on the part of government and Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) towards sterilization and immunization of stray dogs.
A way to address the issue is to work towards achieving a bilateral objective that is the protection of both, humans and dogs.
Taking that into consideration, Enactus Motilal Nehru College, which is a student-run social entrepreneurial organization, came up with the DESI Model (i.e the Duty to Empathize Sterilize and Immunize stray dogs) in various localities across India.
The primary course of action of the DESI model is as follows:-
1. Under the ‘duty to empathize’, the model runs a narrative that propagates a compassionate and empathetic attitude towards the street dogs.
2. Under the ‘duty to sterilize’, the model proposes sterilization of dogs in order to control their population that is rising at an exponential rate.
3. Under the ‘duty to immunize’, the dogs are treated with the anti-rabies vaccination to protect both, dogs and humans from rabies.
The DESI model works by bridging the gap between the Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) and animal welfare NGOs.
Due to the lack of execution of animal welfare schemes by the government, the RWAs are often obligated to pay a hefty sum to private organizations to get these dogs sterilized and immunized. On the other hand, Enactus facilitates the sterilization and immunization of dogs by the NGOs, which in turn charge a nominal amount from the RWAs for the purpose.
In order to generate revenue to implement the DESI model, Enactus MLNC markets and sells dog commodities such as collars and leashes that are manufactured by a group of underprivileged women, who live in a slum in Chanakya Puri, and in turn get a small part of their gross earnings.
The model was first initiated in Motilal Nehru College where stray dogs were often subjected to inhumane treatment by the students and administration. Due to the implementation of the DESI model, the 14 dogs in the campus are sterilized, immunized and of course, cherished.
By now, the DESI model has been implemented in various colleges and localities across Delhi and NCR such as Mayfields Garden, Satya Niketan, and Sri Venkateshwara College amongst others.
For the implementation of the DESI model at an extensive level and to facilitate a collective response to the situation, Enactus MLNC has come up with a crowd funding campaign.
Another point of concern is the petty situation in slums for both, humans and dogs due to outbreak of rabies on an extensive scale. The amount received shall also be used for vaccinating dogs that live in these slums, along with sterilizing them to control the stray dog population in these areas.
The survival of our silent best friends is in jeopardy, and the DESI model might be one comprehensive solution to this widespread problem.
So let’s take action, let’s take a step forward towards a world where humans and dogs live together in complete harmony!