Dog menace is back to hound students at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and this time, visually-impaired students are at the receiving end.
Members of the JNU Vision Forum and other students, working for the rights of the visually-impaired, held a protest outside the administrative office of the university demanding that the rights of the affected students be protected.
Holding placards reading 'Animal rights are not above human rights', students also submitted a memorandum to the vice chancellor asking for a permanent solution to the problem. "Dogs are everywhere on the campus, in hostels, cafeteria, dhabas, and also washrooms. For students like me, who are visually-impaired, it has become a serious issue. Sometimes we step on them unknowingly and they bite us," said Sonu Yadav, convener, JNU Vision Forum. Yadav was bitten by a dog a month ago.
Attendants at the JNU health centre said they received around 15 cases of dog bites every month. “The number of patients that come to us for anti-rabies vaccine is high,” said an attendant.
The protesting students said the authorities had made efforts to address the problem but no solution had been found.
“The vice chancellor has assured us that a solution will be found,” said Sidhartha, a student at the Centre for Political Studies. Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the authorities to set aside specific feeding sites for dogs. But not many adhere to these guidelines.