SRINAGAR: It might sound funny but it is a fact. Officials in private interactions see the number of dog-bites as one indicator about the footfalls on Srinagar streets – the greater the number of bites, the greater the number of people moving out on a particular day.

A graph offering the absolute numbers of dog bite cases reported to SMHS Hospital’s Anti Rabies Clinic.

This unofficial, yet effective yardstick of measuring the mass movement of people did actually reflect a change after August 2019 and more recently the Covid-19 lockdown. The number of bites fell sharply. He trend continues even today.

On World Rabies Day the total number of dog bite cases reported to the anti-rabies clinic of the SMHS Hospital was 14. This is a fairly small number if compared to the pre-August 2019 era when it would be almost triple.

A group of puppies desperately seeking signs of human existence outside Maisuma in Srinagar. March 2015 photograph

Officials manning the clinic – the major facility in Srinagar city, told Kashmir Life that apart from the 14 cases, there were 33 follow up cases.

“The numbers are fairly down this year,” one senior official said. “In the last six months, we got around 2300 cases, which are much lower in comparison to 2019. We had more than 6000 cases last year despite that almost half of the year, people stayed at home.”

Numerically, Srinagar sits at the top of the dog bite cases in Kashmir. At a special function to commemorate the World Rabies Day, the doctors were given details of the shocking numbers. In the last 10 years – excluding 2020, Srinagar reported 54898 dog bite cases.

In The Name Of Dogs


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