Dogs are at play on the campus of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), while doctors see no solution in sight.
The latest one to have been bitten is Fatima Begum (43), a cancer patient from Kasipur village in Uttar Pradesh.
Last Friday, Dr Sharat Chandra, a senior neurosurgeon at the hospital, was bitten by a canine.
The AIIMS administration says it is helpless in tackling the problem.
“If we remove them by force then we are blamed for cruelty to animals and if we don’t, they obviously reproduce and increase in number. I really don’t have a solution for tackling the problem,” said Sailesh Yadav, deputy director, administration.
Incidents of dog bites seem to be on the upswing at AIIMS.
“This is the fifth incident of dog bite on campus this month and the administration isn’t really doing much,” said Dr Rahul Bhargav, a senior resident in the department of haematology at AIIMS and president of the Resident Doctors’ Association.
It is a common sight to see strays roaming the wards and corridors of the country’s premier institute.
While there are no exact numbers to back the claim, the population of strays seem to be on the rise. “There are at least 3-4 reported incidents of dog bites and sometimes even more every month. Many go unreported,” Bhargav said.
“We will have to study the problem. With the help of NGOs, we need to sterilize the dogs and then rehabilitate them somewhere far,” Yadav said.
But the deputy director had no idea when was the last time dogs on campus had been sterilized.
Yadav said the administration had managed to deal with the monkey menace earlier. “Monkeys eat vegetarian food and when it was not provided to them, the entire group moved away. But dogs can survive on garbage.”
Relatives of patients at the institute are also upset, as they are the ones who bear the brunt the most.
“Since we sleep in the corridors, it is very risky. I have woken up because of dogs many times in the past four days,” said Ram Nivas (36), a resident of Ram Nagar in Uttar Pradesh. His sister, Shilvati is undergoing treatment for a broken knee in the AIIMS.