Now, Dogs Should Also Pay For Poop! Where’s Swachh Bharat Cess Going?

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If only dogs had wings, they could poop and fly away anywhere they wanted!

Unfortunately they don’t and are answerable to humans for their excreta. And God save you if you’re an animal lover and saviour in India, you will be held on a virtual gunpoint to justify your act of kindness and love. It’s almost like finding someone to blame to, release frustration on and draw a high from it!

Latest to join this exceptional scenario for dog lovers is South Delhi Municipal Corporation. It has woken up with a new order in its bid to have a cleaner city. That city which is more dirtied by the humans themselves, quite visibly so. The order says the “pet owners” who will not clean up their dogs’ poop from the roads will be fined Rs. 500.

Wait, did someone say, Fine? A common word, uncommonly heard, even more uncommonly put to action in India.

When was the last time you saw anyone giving a fine for anything in this country? India is a nation where more government officials are bribed on roads than the number of dogs seen pooping on them.

The total sum of cesses and surcharges applicable to each Indian amounts to Rs 1,69,662 crore. This figure is inclusive of Swachh Bharat cess. It has been reported by The Wire in a story that is bound to give you shocks of your life. The story tells how this amount is going down the drain, rather in the pockets of the babus, as there’s a clear under-utilization of the raised money. (Read full story here)

In this regard, the swift functionality shown by SDMC in issuing an order to fine the “pet owners” deserves a slow clap.

And it’s almost bizarre how SDMC is comparing India with foreign countries who follow strict rules and regulations for humans and animals alike. If you are one of those whose chord is again stuck on the ‘oh-if-other-countries-can-do-it-why-can’t-we’ syndrome, chances of you going back to school to learn the basics are as bright as SDMC’s law-makers who seem to be finding the guinea pig in a pet owner.

And, what according to SDMC is a “pet owner”? Let’s throw some poop… err..  light on thoughts that should strike to any sane, civilized Indian –

Human organs

Organs of a human being should fall under the purview of “pets” because they are living tools used to pee and poop in public just like a dog. This theory, obviously, doesn’t sound logical but then who’s trying to make sense here anyway!? In India, it is pretty much okay if you’re a human and taking nature’s call in public. Animals aren’t given this privilege. Why? Oh, because those who take decisions at government authorities are not animals. Get the connection?

Underprivileged caretakers

Are you trying to say the poor souls, beggars on roads who are seen loving dogs more than any educated being, who find a friend in a street dog, someone who doesn’t ask their bank balance, should pay Rs 500 fine because all they chose was love over hatred and they automatically become the “owners” of the strays. Ask them if they ever wanted to “own” a dog when they are barely able to make their both ends meet.

Cows

Do cows and its owners come under this ambit? Has any cow owner ever been penalized for the humongous amount of dung scattered on roads and footpaths? Why does the definition of ‘pets’ limits to dogs and ‘owners’ to visibly moving flesh with a leash?

Birds

How are you planning to stop birds from pooping everywhere possible? And, how are you going to find the owners of the birds? It’ll be very interesting to know.

Moreover, it is absolutely unfair to implement a law without giving alternatives or provisions to citizens to help them in not violating it. You can put a cyclist off the main road only when you provide a special lane to him. You ask people to not litter when you provide them with sufficient amount of dustbins at public places. Similarly, you cannot expect people to turn Aladdin and take their dogs on a magic carpet and make them poop out of this country. Where are the dog parks?

Animal rights activist Rishi Dev, along with other animal lovers, is leading a protest against this atrocious order by South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

In a Facebook post he writes –

“In a country where we have to wait in court for 10 years to get the PCA Act fine from Rs 50 to more in courts, and still the Govt doesn’t budge. In the same country they happily upgrade this useless fine just to extract money for 2019 elections? Like they did with traders. Shows how sensitive the Govt is. Supreme Court in 2009 has already stayed the Municipal Act. So Mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat is in Contempt of Court. She’ll receive our Notice on Monday. Then if needed we will begin contempt proceedings against her.”

Dev is urging all of you to make an appeal and write a letter to the Mayor, SDMC so that she is forced to retract the not so ‘fine’ decision.

You may be residing out of Delhi and not affected by this insane decision but this can come to your city too any day. Don’t wait to raise your voice wherever you are.

He’s asking all the animal lovers in India to send their protest letters to –

KAMALJEET SEHRAWAT
Mayor SDMC,
Flat No. 132, Guru Apartment
Plot No. 2, Sector 6,
Dwarka
New Delhi 75

Indian Government authorities must know they cannot take decisions in isolation and not be anti-animal lovers, owners and saviours.

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Now, Dogs Should Also Pay For Poop! Where’s Swachh Bharat Cess Going?