A tragic incident occurred in Batamaloo, where a 10-year-old boy lost his life at Children’s Hospital, Bemina. The boy, Ahmad Bin Javaid, fell into a drain while being chased by stray dogs and sustained severe injuries. Despite being rescued and admitted to the hospital on May 28, he tragically passed away after 13 days.
This unfortunate incident highlights a recurring problem in the region, as there have been previous cases of children suffering from dog bites or falling into drains while being pursued by stray dogs.
Asrar Ahmad, the Executive Engineer of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), explained that the uncovered drain in question was above ground level and played a crucial role in drainage clearance. Due to ongoing construction work for the Doodh Ganga project at the site, the drain was not located on the main road. Ahmad expressed his sorrow over the incident, stating that people usually don’t walk in that area as it is not a common drain on the road.
Dr. Saleem Khan, the Head of Department of Community Medicine at Government Medical College (GMC), expressed concern about the escalating number of stray dog populations in Srinagar. He emphasized that this issue is reaching a critical point where it poses a significant public health concern. While measures like Animal Birth Control have been implemented, they are insufficient to address the exponential growth of the stray dog population. Dr. Khan mentioned that other measures such as dog ownership and establishing dog pounds are not practical in Kashmiri society.
Dr. Khan stressed the importance of collective efforts from stakeholders to implement strict measures that reduce human-dog conflict and the associated risks to human life and limbs. He also highlighted the need for proper disposal of municipal waste, as haphazard waste disposal attracts packs of dogs and makes certain areas unsafe for human movement.
This tragic incident serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to address the stray dog issue in the region and ensure the safety of residents, particularly children