This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and are not a reflection of Ping! as a whole.
It’s been four years since Ping!’s last report on canine affairs on campus, and like everything else in the cycle of life, the matter is beginning to see the light of day once more. A recent mail – not approved for the students mailing list but later forwarded to the student body by a professor – reads as follows:
Dear College Authorities,
I’m sending this email to draw attention to one of the campus’s significant issues, “The vicious dogs”. I was returning to my room yesterday after watching Avatar 2. It was early morning, around 5:30 a.m., and three dogs started attacking me near the JC. I initially assumed they were playing and was under the impression that IIIT dogs are usually calm. But it turns out I was wrong. They attacked me and started biting me on my leg through the cloth, thankfully leaving no scratches. Finally, the dogs fled away when I picked up some stones for self-defence. However, the incident could have been far worse.
This is not an isolated occurrence. A lot of the students have had to face such issues. One of my friends got bitten near JC and was asked to take five doses of vaccines for rabies. My other friend was chased around by the dogs, and ultimately he hit his head on a pole, suffering minor injuries to his head. Many more such incidents have happened in recent times. It’s appreciable that the college is taking care of street dogs, but in a community where students come to study, it is necessary to ensure students’ safety before anything else.
When I informed the situation to one of the CCC representatives, the responses were like this,
1) “We gave chewable bones to make them stop biting.”
2) “Gave sleeping meds to make them less aggressive.”
3) “Hit them every time they were aggressive.”
It’s disheartening to hear this from CCC. I understand the canine committee is working hard to keep these dogs calm, and I appreciate their efforts. But it’s just not enough, as their measures are never going to guarantee students’ safety completely.
I request the college to step up and look into the matter as soon as possible and take absolute measures to handle the issue.
PS: Please don’t overlook students’ safety.
Through this article, we would like to share a few scary experiences that campus residents have been through.
“I was walking back to the hostel (OBH) around 5:30 am, and near JC, three dogs attacked me. Initially, I thought they were playing, but things got serious when they started biting me. Thankfully the dogs fled away when I picked up a few stones for self-defence. I reached back to my hostel safely, but things could have gone nasty if there had been more dogs.”
“While walking back after class during afternoon hours, a few dogs attacked me. When I consulted Aarogya, I was taken to a hospital, and the doctor advised me to get five doses of a rabies vaccine.”
“Last semester, the same thing happened with me. I was returning to OBH from the workspace around 4:30 am, and a dog started attacking me out of the blue. Somehow I managed to get rid of him.
He first started coming near my legs, then my slipper fell off, and he ran away with it. It could have been much worse, though.”
“A few dogs came after me near VC. They chased me for a few minutes, until I lost my balance and hit my head on a pole. Thankfully I sustained only minor injuries to my head.”
There have been many such incidents. Based on these and other experiences, it is my sincere belief that if the dogs are allowed to roam freely, these incidents will only increase, and the student’s safety will be in jeopardy.
Editor: Abhinav S Menon
Image Credits: Dogs of IIIT H.