Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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‘How would it appear if a stray dog were to enter an air-conditioned auditorium and give a menacing ,bark, sitting by the side of a diner in a five-star hotel?’. This is a question asked by Rev Father Reginald D’Souza, Director Nazareth Hospital. He told the Patrika in an exclusive chat on Sunday morning : ‘This applies to Azad Park(Alfred Park) as well.

It has been beautified in a manner that gives it the appearance of a five-star establishment. How then can stray dogs be permitted to enter the park’?
I am told that morning walkers, who carry pets with them, can do so only by paying for their entry as well. Or they will have to keep their pets locked in their cars till they come back from their stroll. I am not so sure whether pet dogs are allowed free or charged money or banned entry.. However, there is no restriction on the entry of stray dogs. Why are they being permitted entry? They can’t even bribe the guards. And yet they are inside the park, tormenting those in particular who go there daily for jogging
. One such visitor is the Director of Nazareth Hospital, Rev Father Reginald D’Souza, who goes there daily, early in the morning, pays Rs5 for entry and then refreshes himself by breathing in the pure air and then doing some exercise by jogging on the well-laid tracks. He told me: ‘Those stray dogs are a nuisance. When I start jogging they sometimes chase me menacingly. It is quite a frightening situation. Some of these dogs bark at you, some even threaten to bite you’. I had half a mind to ask him: ‘Father, is it possible that these dogs have deliberately been let loose by some owners of rival hospitals and nursing homes to disturb you, torment you if not to bite you because they envy your good administrative qualities which have made Nazreth so popular as a patient-friendly hospital as compared to others, some of which are considered to be not healing centres but fleecing centres, a few among them even notorious for not releasing the bodies of the dead patients unless the relatives clear their inflated bills? ‘ But I refrained from doing so as the matter was too serious for light gossip.
The previous District Magistrates did visit the park off and on and ordered corrective measures whenever these were required. How about the new DM taking a round of the Park too?

Making love !
When I spoke about Fr Reggie’s doggy comments to another regular Park visitor Rajiv Dave, he said: ‘He is right. But he is too polite to mention some of the horrifying stray-dog scenes that I have seen’. Rajiv goes on: ‘It becomes terrible when these dogs start making love on the jogging track and some mischievous youngster, passing that way, puts on his mobile tape to play the romantic song’, ‘Pyar hua iqrar hua hai, pyar se phir kyon darta hai dil’, as if to provide rhythm to the stationary jogging of the quadrupeds’. He says: ‘ Condemn the mischievous mobile owner, curse the dogs as also the municipality which does not care a damn if the Park literally goes to the dogs’. Hello Garden Superintendent, are you listening?

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