Kashmir’s ‘Pied Piper’, assigned by the J&K government to draw over populated dogs out of Srinagar municipal limits, does not wear jack boots, German skirt, cap with a tail and, above all, does not carry a piper.
Khursheed Ahmad Mir (54), an agriculture graduate with an MBA degree, has been roped in by Kashmir divisional commissioner to bring dog population in Srinagar under control.
“Mir claims to make dogs leave Kashmir Valley without killing them,” said Samoon. He adds: “This is subject to the condition that he does not do anything illegal and does not kill the stray dogs. Based on the success of the programme more areas can be allotted to him on experimental basis.”
Srinagar has dog population of around one lakh and in entire Kashmir valley it has already crossed the 10 lakh mark, according to estimates of J&K's community medicine department.
Mir’s services were hired by J&K government in 2004 when a newborn baby was bit by rats at premier maternity hospital Lal Ded and the baby died the same night.
“I have cleared Srinagar’s premiere hospitals like Shri Maharaja Hari Singh and Lal Ded from rats. It takes us just 24 hours to shoo away rats in a hospital with our machines and resources. Earlier, a drive against rats would take fortnight to yield result,” said lean Mir to HT.
Mir said he loves to work on assignments that offer challenge.
“I cleared Rajasthan’s main Jaipur city’s several areas of monkeys long back and also cleared National Archives and Khuda Baksh buildings in Delhi,” said Mir, director of 4-H-Hub (India), with expertise of two decades.
“Scientists also work with me,” he added.
In a trial run on Sunday night, Mir said his team cleared his residential area in uptown Srinagar’s Sanath Nagar of 150 dogs.
“Dogs have made people’s lives hell. It is incumbent upon me to end this menace,” said Mir, who on experimental basis will work on a couple of municipal wards.
“I will not share the trick of the trade. But I assure we will take dogs away from Srinagar municipal limits without killing them. For ecological balance, we will keep a good number of doctors for necessary scavenging,” said Mir, who daughter is a doctor and son an engineer.
Mir is not touchy about being called Pied Piper. “Pied Pier epitomizes motivational skills. I will not play pipe to drive away dogs, trust me,” said Mir.
The J&K government has already chalked a multi-crore project to sterilize male dogs and shift them outside municipal limits in Srinagar.