Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Good Doctor

This veterinary surgeon i Bombay has sterilised over 45000 stray dogs. Meaning, he has saved their lives: because the earlier policy was to kill stray dogs.
Several animal welfare associations and NGOs that he works for reveal that he charges a paltry Rs 100-150 as fees. Mrs Fizzah N Shah, honorary vice president of In Defense of Animals (IDA) says, “Private veterinary surgeons in Mumbai can charge even Rs 4,000 for sterilisation operations. NGOs don’t have much financial strength; we pay Dr Ghanwat a pittance in comparison. Sometimes, we are forced to pay him in installments, but he doesn’t complain. Also, the mortality rates, post-surgery, are negligible in Dr Ghanwat’s cases. We really need more vets like him.”

It’s passion, rather than money, that sustains Dr Ghanwat’s livelihood; unsurprisingly, he’s always harboured an enormous love for animals. “I grew up on a farm near Baramati. While other children would play once classes were over at school, I would visit the animals, wash them, feed them. It was fun, because there were 40 cows and 10 buffaloes, among other animals!” he laughs

Sterilisation, rather than killing, is the only humane and civilised answer to the problem of the stray dogs living on our city streets. Sterilisation, and good doctors.