About Me

My photo
Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An earlier article on Indian dogs trained as sniffers in Chhattisgarh

India's legion of street dogs are being offered the chance to make their country proud by joining a crack cadre of the country's military.
The elite Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College (CTJWC) last year picked four mongrel puppies from the streets with the hope of transforming them into a unit of explosive-detecting sniffer dogs.
The mongrels — Lily, Sally, Teja and Kareena — have just passed an intensive nine-month training course with flying colours. After they were found to be “tougher, harder and sharper in battle” than their pampered pedigree peers, there are plans to collect more for similar work.
Brigadier B.K. Ponwar, the head of the college, told The Times: “They may have been a little temperamental at times, but they hardly ever require a vet, they never fall asleep on duty and their endurance over jungle terrain is formidable. They are, after all, locals. They won't let you down.”
The dogs' main job will be to counter the Naxal movement of Maoist rebels whose influence extends across half of India. Described by Manmohan Singh, the Indian Prime Minister, as the “single biggest internal challenge ever faced by our country”, Naxalites have stretched security forces close to breaking point in recent months with a series of increasingly audacious raids on security force bases and convoys carrying cash and gold bullion.
Particularly deadly has been the group's use of improvised exploding devices (IEDs) — home-made bombs, usually buried under the surface of a road. With IEDs accounting for up to 95 per cent of security force fatalities in some Naxalite strongholds, canine conscripts are being called up to combat the threat.
The street dog project was begun partly to save money — a trained sniffer costs between 85,000 and 125,000 rupees (£1,000-£1,600) to buy, while packs of semi-feral mongrels are a fixture of India's cities and villages. Packs of stray dogs are often nurtured by Indian Army garrisons so that they can act as an alarm system — especially at night, when they bark at intruders.
But the mongrels, picked from streets in Chhattisgarh, a hotbed of Maoist insurgency and where the CTJWC is based, have exceeded all expectations. One drill found that three of the four original street dogs out-sniffed the two pedigree labradors they had been trained alongside.
The former strays recently discovered their first IEDs while on a real-life mission. On the strength of the initial batch's performance, two more street puppies — Rambo and Millie — were recently recruited.
The Naxalite rebel movement, which claims that poor Indians are being exploited and should revolt, was born in 1967 in a peasant uprising in the village of Naxalbari in the state of West Bengal. Since then it has claimed about 7,000 lives and grown into a force of 40,000 permanent armed cadres and 100,000 militia members, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, a research centre based in Delhi. Naxalites dominate the so-called Red Corridor, a broad swath of territory from West Bengal to the border of Nepal, and are active in 16 of India's 28 states.
Security chiefs say that they are closing the military gap with the Naxalites after being badly outmanoeuvred in recent years. However, they admit that public sympathy for the movement is growing and that canine recruits alone will not tackle the threat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...