Monday, 30 January 2012

Living the good, healthy life

HYDERABAD: There sits a woman by the pool, looking all pretty and stylish in white, holding a glass of wine, conveying that she has added another feather to her cap. It’s been over a decade since Shamita Singha won the title of Femina Miss Earth, India 2001, post which she got into modelling, VJ-ing, and also hosted a television show.

And now, she is also a Four Seasons evangelist --- promoting wine drinking as a safe option to consume alcohol, clearing myths about wine drinking, talking about different types of wine, wine etiquettes, among other things.“I started studying wine as a hobby around five-six years ago simply because I was curious.

I went to the UK for the same. Never thought I would take it up professionally.
But, now it feels great that I have been given a platform to promote wine,” shares Shamita, who was in the city on Sunday. More from the wine connoisseur: Wine is a fun drink Wine is the only alcoholic beverage that� consume. It is a simple and fun drink. It is not very boozy. You can just drink it for a nice buzz. It also has health benefits and is low on calories. Wine is a very flexible drink --- you can drink it during the day or at night, with a meal or without a meal --- it can also be consumed with a simple dal-chawal dinner.
Walking the ramp I started modelling right from my final year in college.
After that, I walked the ramp for various designers.

The experience has been phenomenal --- right from travelling, to that bond with fellow models, to witnessing fashion first-hand, it has all been very eventful.

However, now I have narrowed down my choices and I only do selective shows.
Animal rights activist I am a pure vegetarian. And this is because I am against animal cruelty. Though I am not a vegan yet because I love cheese! However, I try and do my bit for the animals --- take care of stray cats and dogs and help them find a home.

I support organisations like PETA and some other Mumbabased small organisations that works towards the protection of animals. Infact, I had a campaign with PETA to support vegetarianism. Health Mantra Being a vegetarian is the best way to stay healthy. It brings a glow to your face. Apart from that, yoga really works wonders. I believe that it has to be a perfect balance of eating right and having appropriate amounts of physical activity.
Style Statement Everyone should create their independent sense of style.

For me, I have my days when I want to dress casually in a pair of jeans and a white tee with flip-flops, and there are days when I wear a cocktail dress with high heels and wear bling ear-rings. However, I believe that if you can manage to make your hair look great everyday, everything else simply falls into place.
Hyderabad is like home I keep frequenting the city of Hyderabad because a lot of my close friends live here. I love this place --- it is a nice city with nice people, and also has great food. It is like home for me.

Eye on pet welfare, city to get new laws in 10 days

CHANDIGARH: Next time you visit a pet shop and find improper arrangements/treatment with the animal, you can immediately inform the UT administration for action against the owner.

With a view to keeping an eye on the mushrooming of pet shops and to ensure that pets are supplied adequate food and water, not sold at a tender age and without licence, Chandigarh administration has decided to implement the Pet Shop Rules, 2010, in city. With this, Chandigarh will be the first city in country to implement the said rules.

Confirming the development, UT joint director (animal husbandry) Dr Lavlesh Kant Gupta told TOI on Saturday that Chandigarh administration has nominated the animal husbandry as nodal agency for the implementation of rules. He added that the department would prepare the guidelines of rules within 10 days and thereafter it would be notified for implementation. He also added that once notified, Chandigarh would become role model in country for implementing these rules.

A meeting for implementation of rules was held on Friday by UT administration in which various NGOs of city, including Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), Society for Prevention of Cruelty against Animal (SPCA), People for Animals (PFA), and the officials of municipal corporation (MC) Chandigarh. NGOs would assist the administration in strict implementation of rules. As of now there was no deterrent law specific to ensure humane handling and comfort to animals in pet shops.

Member of Animal Welfare Board of India and eminent veterinarian of city, Dr J C Kochar, said though it is delayed move, it's a good start to eliminate the cruelty to animals in the city and would also end the hazardous breeding of pets for making fast money.

‘Implement ban on jallikattu’

Animal welfare organisations such as People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) have written to Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natrajan requesting her to implement her ministry’s notification which bans jallikattu, a bull taming festival, even as many bulls and competitors were injured during the event this year. 

Organisations from all over India such as In Defence of Animals (IDA), Plant and Animals Welfare Society (PAWS), International Animal Rescue Goa, Foundation for Animals Nellore, JBF (India) Trust Guwahati, International Animal and Birds Welfare Society, Anantapur, among others, have written to Natrajan on the issue as violations of the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules were duly noted by some organisations during the event. 

In fact, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had identified bulls as performing animals through a notification in 2011, which implicitly means a ban on jallikattu but the Madras High Court’s Madurai bench allowed the event to take place in Tamil Nadu this year. “We are asking the MoEF to defend its own notification in court as there can be no ruling which goes against a central notification such as the one issued by them. We compliment them on such a forward-looking notification but expect its implementation soon,” said FIAPO chief executive officer Arpan Sharma. 

The organisations said every year, during the festival, bulls are harassed, beaten, prodded and tormented. In fact, PETA conducted investigations at five jallikattu events and found that bulls were tied tightly, causing them severe discomfort, they were hit with fists and their tails pulled and twisted and they were wrestled to the ground. All these are violations of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, the organisatons said. 

According to news reports cited by the organisations, 19 competitors and 23 bull tamers were injured at a jallikattu in Avanuyeapuram on January 15, where 257 bulls were used. At another event near Tirupati, bulls were forcibly given country liquor and 18 persons were injured. 

Animal deaths catches Forest Officers off-guard

COIMBATORE: The fauna-rich Sathyamangalam forest has witnessed two casualties in the last one week. Two Schedule-1 animals — a 30-year-old female wild elephant and an Indian Guar — were killed on Hasanur-Mysore National Highway 209 after being hit by speeding vehicles.

The elephant was mowed down by a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus, bound for Mysore from Coimbatore. The elephant was hit when crossing the road. Earlier in an accident on January 21, an Indian Gaur died after it was hit by a speeding jeep on the Hasanur-Thalavadi route in the same region.

Environmentalists say these are not isolated cases in the Sathyamangalam forest in Erode. Once the den of forest brigand Veerappan, the place is now a habitat for gaurs and elephants.

“Around two months ago, a leopard was killed in an accident. Recently, at least four mammals were also killed. This could signal a dangerous trend, as there are plans to convert Sathyamangalam forest into a tiger reserve,” a wildlife activist said. 

As per the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, any incidents involving Schedule-1 animals should be booked by the Forest Department and the offender should be remanded in custody. No private justice is permitted by the officials. Spot fines are also not permitted by law. However, according to sources, cases have not been booked for both the above-mentioned incidents.“This violates the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972,” said a wildlife conservationist on condition of anonymity.

Wildlife activist N Lakshminarayanan of Wildlife Conservation Society says, “The incidents reinstate the urgent need to install speed controllers on this highway. The National Highways Authority of India cannot continue being apathetic of such gruesome deaths on the road, threatening the very existence of wildlife of the region. Since most of such incidents take place during the night, it is imperative to stop traffic at least for few hours during the night.”

However, when contacted, Sathyamangalam District Forest Officer N Satheesh said: “Both the cases do not violate the Wildlife Protection Act. In the case of the gaur’s death, the animal had rammed into the Bolero. It is unfortunate. Even the bus that hit the elephant was being driven within the permissible speed limit. The animal was hidden from the visibility behind bamboo shoots.”

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Five wild asses drown in Narmada canal

AHMEDABAD: The worst fears of conservationists over the under-construction Narmada branch canal meant to carry water to Kutch district came true on Friday when five wild asses drowned in the Little Rann of Kutch after getting stuck in water under a bridge being constructed across the canal. The incident happened near the famous wild ass sanctuary in Surendranagar district, which is the only location in India where wild asses are still found. A herd of 17 wild asses fell into a slushy cavity while trying to cross under the bridge and only a dozen of them struggled back to firm ground.

Officials said that the remaining 12 were rescued in an operation that continued till late in the evening. Earth moving machines were used to dump mud into the death trap to help pave a way for the animals which got stuck. The incident took place in Haripar village in Dhrangadhara taluka, just five kilometers off the sanctuary.

Forest officials were alerted early in the morning by villagers who saw the herd stuck under the bridge. District forest officer AM Chaudhari said the dead animals were still floating in the water.

The National Wildlife Board (NWB) had in 2008 given conditional approval to the canal which passes through 11 km area of the sanctuary. Officials said there were several doubts raised over the safety of the shy and sensitive animal. The Supreme Court had in 2009 upheld the decision of the NWB.

The canal construction was inaugurated by chief minister Narendra Modi in April last year after assurances by the Gujarat government in the Supreme Court that it would not pose any danger to the endangered species. Only around 4,000 wild asses survive in this desert habitat spread over 5,000 sq. km. The Indian wild ass (Equus hemionus khur), is known locally as the ghudkhar.

The only other two subspecies of wild asses live in the high arid plateaus of Tibet, making Gujarat the most accessible place to see wild asses in their natural environs.

Mumbai Journal: Let’s Not Forget Our Wildlife

 Animal activists, lawyers and vets say it’s a warped attitude that separates animals along the lines of a caste system. Shown, a horse carriage seen outside the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai on Oct. 4, 2011.

Sunday evenings, single horse-drawn Victorias dash along the seafront by the Taj hotel, carrying in their rickety neon-lit carriages loads of up to 12 people. As the horses slow to a trot to evade whizzing traffic, the carriages appear, as so many colonial relics tend to do, as yet another sad Mumbai anachronism, one that should have met its maker perhaps decades earlier. Indeed, if a Public Interest Litigation goes according to plan, the horse-drawn carriages will soon be phased out, their exhausted, abused carriers sent to rehabilitation homes outside the city, and their owners provided with other means of employment.

On one side, NGOs and animal activists argue that the horses, subject to inhumane working conditions, have no place in a city like Mumbai (tellingly, the local municipal corporation hasn’t issued a license for a horse stable since 1974.) On the other, the Victoria owners argue that these animals provide their only means of income, one that isn’t nearly enough to look after the wellbeing of their families and an animal. “The animal is last on the list because if you want to compromise on something, if you want to cut down, then definitely what is being deducted is what you spend on the animal’s feed,” says vet Manilal Valliyate of PETA India, who has worked extensively with these horses and horse owners. Even the well-intentioned owners, he adds, must make the excruciating choice that most often doesn’t fall in favor of the animal.

Their tussle represents Mumbai’s increasingly tortured relationship with animals, and more significantly our vastly complicated attitude towards animals, wild, working and domesticated. As the near extinction of our tigers and the dilapidated state of our local zoo make abundantly clear, we’ve strayed far from Mahatma Gandhi’s oft-quoted moral check that “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.” Peculiarly, India’s animal protection laws – the Animal Welfare Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act – are some of the most comprehensive and oldest in the world. The PCA, drafted in 1960, was among the first to grant “performing” animals the right to food, water and shelter, while the AWA gives them the “freedom to express normal behaviour for the species.” A proposed amendment to the AWA, still awaiting approval in Parliament, will significantly increase fines for animal abuse, up from a minimum of 50 rupees ($1) to as high as 100,000 rupees and imprisonment.

For once, India’s laws are not the obstacle. Instead, animal activists, lawyers and vets say it’s a warped attitude that separates animals along the lines of a caste system. Cows, deemed holy, elephants, rats or any creature that either shares a place in the pantheon of our gods or in our mythological tradition, sit high on the totem pole. Dogs and horses, seemingly bereft of status and thus protection, are much lower. Maazie Dallas, an animal therapist who has fought for animal rights for the last 15 years, blames religious classification. “I find the same people who see an elephant on the road and give it money, will not help a stray dog. With an elephant, it reminds them of ganpati [Ganesh], so it comes down to thinking things might go better for me if I give the guy 10 rupees. The same goes for cows,” she says. “And it’s educated people who do this.”

For others, it’s a simpler moral issue. With millions of Indians homeless and malnourished, humans, not animals, should be given first priority. That we haven’t yet been able to accomplish this is beside the point; it’s license enough to abuse and neglect animals, something painfully evident at Mumbai’s zoo, where bears and tigers are viewed for entertainment rather than educational purposes. Visit Byculla Zoo and you’ll see visitors throwing stones and litter at the listless inmates, many of whom look sick and underfed. The zoo, incidentally, is now being investigated on claims of animal cruelty.

At a recent session at the Jaipur Literature Festival, India’s most famous tiger advocate, Valmik Thapar, said tigers will only flourish if state chief ministers exert their authority and make conservation their pet project. A former chief minister of Rajasthan, sitting in the audience, offered this riposte: politicians, she said, only care about the vote bank, and vote banks are made of people, not animals. It wasn’t right she argued, but it was the reality. She may well have been speaking of the fate of all animals in India.

“There is no doubt at all that the veneration Indians had for nature is being eroded,” says Bittu Sahgal, a renowned environmental activist and founder of Sanctuary Asia magazine. “We worship Durga, yet allow the tiger to be killed. We worship Ganesh, yet the ivory trade thrives. We worship Shiv, yet the snake skin trade is booming. What most Indians, and certainly our planners, do not realize is that giving wild species the space to survive is no ‘charity.’” 

‘Keeping birds as pets is abominable, punishable’

HYDERABAD: Hyderabad's Murgi Chowk is India's largest illegal wildlife market that stocks over 20,000 birds and animals at any given time. Name a bird, the 140-odd shopkeepers on this street, nestled few metres away from the historic Charminar, make it available in a matter of few hours. Mahesh Agarwal, an animal activist, who has been crusading against cruelty to animals for nearly a decade says that so far neither the state government, police nor the forest department have initiated any action against the shopkeepers despite being aware that wild birds and animals are being sold openly here.

Agarwal who is the general secretary of Sahayog Organisation says that birds and animals from various parts of the world are caged in unhygienic conditions in the market. Reeling out names such as the wild hare, sparrows, macaws, civet cats, monitor lizards, owls, hard shell tortoises and snakes among a host of others that the traders sell here, the activist says that birds are sold in bags much like grocery, when as per the Wildlife Protection Act, one cannot even touch them. Having observed the decades-old market closely, he reveals that wild birds are supplied from this market all over AP and also from neighbouring states. One-and-a-half month ago, 200 parrots were transported to Bhongir (Nalgonda district) from here, he adds.

He says that by choosing parrots as pets, people are committing a punishable offence under the Act. It warrants a three-month imprisonment, fine of Rs 25,000 or both. Agarwal, who fought with the city police in his bid to supply grains to the hungry pigeons at the Mecca Masjid when a curfew was imposed after communal clashes in March 2010, insists that India has some of the best animal protection laws in the world. The main reason for the persisting cruelty according to him is lack of awareness and non-implementation of the laws that are already in place.
Pointing out the non-local kabutar among the thousands settled on the minarets of the Mecca Masjid, he maintains that the centuries-old mosque happens to be the only place in the city where pigeons can be found in such numbers. However, he adds that compared to about five years ago, the numbers have dwindled to half. "There are 35,000-40,000 pigeons in the mosque now. Around 8 sacks of grains are their daily feed brought by people from all communities," says Agarwal attributing the massive decline in the numbers to cell phone towers and the kite festival.

Agarwal's organisation has rescued 1,000 snakes in the last six years alone, a chunk of them during Nag Panchami. He himself has suffered snake bites four times during the rescue. "This is a religious belt and it is considered auspicious to feed milk to the snake on Nag Panchami," he says, adding how thousands of reptiles go through a horrifying period during this time. They are defanged, their poison glands are removed and their mouths stitched from the sides by the mafia that captures the reptiles about a month ahead of the festival. 

After the festival, they are killed as their skin fetches money. Furthermore, every gram of venom is sold for a whopping Rs 20,000. This way, the snake population has reduced drastically over the years. "Due to this, the rat menace is not under control. Animals are becoming easy prey for human greed. They are soft targets for any one trying to make a quick buck. People need to be aware of the place of animals in our lives and the need to give them due respect," he says. If the state government takes some stringent measures, these casualties can be reduced, he signs off.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The elephant who never forgets to pack his trunks: Rajan the retired sea taxi enjoys a paddle in the Indian Ocean

After thirty years of service, some workers may never want to work see their employer again, but   Rajan the elephant who is retiring at 60 years old, doesn't want to leave his boss behind.

Looking forward to relaxing: Working aquatic-elephants like Rajan used to be a regular sight in the Andaman Islands, south of India, yet this 60-year-old five tonne Asian elephant is the last of his swimming kind

Replaced by motorised boats, the five tonne Asian elephant no longer needs to swim miles as a sea taxi around the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.
So now he swims alongside his human keeper, known as a 'mahout', who has used him as a ferrying service for over 30 years.

Enjoying healthy swimming sessions in the twilight of his life, Rajan swims for ten minutes twice a day with his keeper, completing about 500 yards before heading back to shore.

Brazilian Photographer, Daniel Botelho, 30, travelled to the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean after hearing stories of islanders swimming with the giant beasts.

'The elephant always swims at four o clock in the morning as he does not like the sun,' said Daniel. I needed to be very careful, as the animal could smash me at any time.

'I would swim between him and the sea bottom - but I almost got killed by the elephant during one photo shoot. Suddenly swell came and took me and the elephant by surprise.

'I was stuck in the sand because of the crash of the wave. He says the elephant simply rolled on top and away from him, but it was an 'amazing experience.' Despite his scarily close encounter with Rajan, Daniel still thinks fondly of the intelligent beast, and explained his significance as the last of his kind.

Leisurely pace: In his retirement Rajan can now enjoy swimming purely for pleasure with his human keeper, who is known as a 'mahout'

'Local people used elephants as we used horses to work,' said Daniel.'When something needed to be built on an island they moved the animals by swimming long distances with them.'Now nobody has an economic interest in spending ten years training elephants to swim. As this is the last elephant to dive, he represents the end of an old culture.'

Indian animal activists crack down on dogfighting

Animal lovers’ unwillingness to sit by idly and watch as animals are abused for sport has become the shot heard round the world. The Hindustan Times, of India, reports:
Incidents of betting over dog fights, an illegal practice, have come to light in the city [of Gurgaon]. Some villagers in the Badshahpur area and Sector 47 are allegedly involved in the business. Dogs often sustain serious injuries, while some die during such fights. The acts contravene the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Public Gambling Act.
The article goes on to note that a group called People for Animals (PFA) conducted a sting operation on Tuesday at a location where word was received of an impending dog fight. A reporter for the Times posed as a prospective client in order to infiltrate the ring run by a man named Anil.

The reporter learned that the dog fights are arranged based on client interest and revealed shockingly that “he enjoys the patronage of local police officials to hold dog fights,” adding that his only concern was of the media getting hold of the story. 

Man-animal conflict: Karnataka HC sets up task force

Karnataka high court has set up a task force to help in resolving the man-animal conflict in the state, responding to a suo motu public interest litigation seeking steps to prevent elephant deaths in Karnataka.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen set up the task force, which will be headed by Dr Raman Sukumar of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Other members of the taskforce are Ajay Desai, member of Project Elephant, Sharat Chandra Lele, sociologist and member of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, Dr CH Basappanavar, retired forest officer, Dr SS Bisht, former director of Project Elephant, N Ravindranath Kamath and BR Deepak, advocates, and MK Madhusudhan, elephant expert and Green Oscar awardee. The division bench of the high court asked the taskforce to present its report on April 15.

The division bench gave the following directions to the task force:
Look into the entire gamut of issues related to human-elephant conflict in Karnataka with special reference to Hasan–Kodagu area and make recommendations to bring about a more effective conservation and management regime for the species and its habitat in Karnataka with focus on participation of local communities.

Study the composition of the elephant population in Kattipura area and its movement pattern.Examine a report on feasibility of providing a proper corridor or habitat, if need be, by acquiring private land and recovering the encroached land within the periphery of forest lands.

Consider the need or feasibility of translocation of elephants or local inhabitants from the relevant habitats.

Examine and report on the present status or steps taken by forest authorities in respect of electric fencing and trenching or any other corridor formation within and outside the forests in Hassan–Kodagu area and whether such steps are ill-advised or improperly implemented. Examine and report on the achievements made or present status of or implementation of short- and long-term comprehensive action plan submitted to this court. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Ruling the roost!

It’s all fowl play on Nehru Road as a henpecked temple cock stops terrorising local residents after they find him a mate — but he still can’t resist the occasional tipple  

This isn’t quite a ‘fowl’ story, since it seems to have a happy ending. A rooster, who had been throwing his weight around near the Sant Gadge Maharaj Math on Nehru Road has now become quite popular with local residents as something of a local pet. Having started out terrorising the people around with a rather aggressive demeanour after he was abandoned there, he soon lost that fighting edge and endeared himself to local residents — as soon as his fighting energies were channelled elsewhere. 

When the cock first came to the area around six months ago, his presence brought fear into the hearts of some concerned parents, since they allege that he used to charge at their kids while they were playing. To deflect his attention away from frolicking children, some local youths brought in a fighter hen to mate with the rooster — after which they say the chasing and aggression magically stopped.

The feathered couple stay, supported by local residents, in a coop near the area’s temple and mostly live off devotees’ offerings

Popatrao Gaikwad, a fan of the bird, said the rooster stays around the 90-year-old Munjoba Temple, which was intially located off the road. “Now the temple has come onto the road and the two birds keep circulating around it, relishing offerings devotees leave there. The rooster is so famous that he literally keeps small kids and new people under check,” he said. 

Kanhaya Naidu, a local resident, said that the rooster was first abandoned in the area after it was brought there by an unnamed devotee to be slaughtered at the altar — but he was persuaded not to do so. “The bird was lean back then, but has now become nice and beefy. Earlier, the rooster was chased around by cats and dogs. Now, he throws his weight around strangers and is loved by all here. Some local drinkers even drop a little liquor into his food bowl, which he happily laps up,” he said. 

Mandal workers have built a small coop near the temple where the feathered couple live together, under the watchful eyes of local residents.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Karmapa: An important environmentalist

For many years I have been railing against the Tibetans: for one thing the Dalai Lama is the only head of a religion who ate meat openly.  The momos, dumplings sold on the street, by the Tibetans almost always had dog or cat meat. The entire smuggling of big cat skins was done by Tibetans. I saw a horrifying film made by Belinda Wright in Tibet where practically every Tibetan owned a big catskin and monks sold them openly on the road. For years I have wanted to throw the Tibetans out of our country. But things are changing for the better. The Dalai Lama has become vegetarian for the most part and he has asked the Tibetans to stop dealing in skins and never to wear them.

But it is not the Dalai Lama but the young Karmapa who has won my heart.
Orgyen Trinle Dorje (1985-) is the 17th Karmapa .The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, ranking with the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama in the Tibetan spiritual hierarchy.

Born in Tibet, Trinley Dorje was seven years old when he was recognized by a search party following instructions left by the previous Karmapa in a prophetic letter and hidden in a locket. He was installed at Tsurphu Monastery, the traditional seat of the Karmapa in Tibet. At the age of 14, he escaped to India through Nepal, arriving at McLeod Ganj in 2000. He resides at Gyuto Monastery in Sidhbari, near Dharamsala. His principal seat in exile is the Dharma Chakra Centre at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India. The Karmapas are the Living Buddhas belonging to the oldest line of Tibetan reincarnations, stretching back to the 13th Century.

The boy''s parents said their son would often ride off on jackals and goats into the mountains alone.” He built toy monasteries and a throne of stone and earth, where he would sit and recite prayers. When others were killing animals, he would look at them with great compassion and shed tears."

The Karmapa turned vegetarian in his teens and, unlike the Dalai Lama, was not afraid to become a proselytizing vegetarian endeavouring to change a community that is almost 100 percent carnivorous Kagyu Monlam is an annual prayer ceremony in Bodhgaya, where Sakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment.

This is the time when Buddhists from all over the world gather together for eight days to pray, meditate, and discuss teachings. At the event, the Karmapa gave a powerful speech on vegetarianism on January 3, 2007. He called for all who belong to the Kagyupa School to give up meat. He said that, with immediate effect, the buying and cooking of meat within his monasteries and centres would be stopped. No monk or student was to be involved in the business of buying and selling meat; there was to be no killing of animals on Kagyu premises and no monks would buy or sell meat. He ordered the slaughterhouse at Tsurphu to be closed.  He quoted spiritual masters from the past who had condemned the practice of using Tsok (offerings during a gathering) as an excuse for eating meat and drinking alcohol.

Leaving absolutely no room for interpretation, Karmapa said that anyone who used meat and alcohol as Tsok was not part of Karmapa’s lineage. He said, “Any monastery that belongs to Kamtsang Kagyu, the monastery kitchen cannot and should not make any food with meat. And if you bring meat and cook it in the monastery kitchen, then that means that you are not taking me as your teacher, you do not belong to Karma Kagyu. And there is nothing to discuss about that. ” By quoting some of the Buddhist scriptures and discourses of past lamas, such as the Mahayana, the Vinaya, the Bodhisattvayana, Do Lanka Shepa, Na Nyen Le Depa Do and Mikyo Dorje, etc., he supported his point that eating meat is prohibited in Buddhist tradition.   

To help the attendees quit the meat diet step by step, the Karmapa asked the thousands of devotees present to take vows on whether they would be willing to eating meat only once a day, only once a week or only once a month, not eating meat on auspicious days, giving up eating meat for a period of time like one year or three years, or reducing the eating of meat slowing and then stop it completely.

At the next Kagyu Monlam, Karmapa again urged students to eat less meat. He said “If a Mahayana practitioner, who considers all sentient beings to be like their father or mother, eats the flesh of another being out of carelessness and without any compassion that is not good. All of us Mahayana practitioners, who accept that all sentient beings have been our mothers and fathers, need to think about this. Many monasteries in India and Nepal have done such great, positive things as giving up meat and cooking vegetarian food instead. We should contemplate the Mahayana teachings and the precious teachings of the Kagyus.

The earlier Kagyu masters gave up meat, took up a vegetarian diet, and developed pure love for sentient beings. If we ourselves can take up even the smallest aspect of this sort of action and start with something small, it will turn out extremely well, I think." It is wonderful to witness a religious leader openly emphasize the importance of being vegetarian which used to be considered impossible in Tibet. The Karmapa speaks often of his childhood as a poor nomad in Tibet.  It was the practice of nomads at a particular time of year to gather together the animals that were to be slaughtered. 

At these times He was completely distraught with concern for the suffering of the animals. Whatever his family tried they could not contain his sorrow.  Since then He said that He has studied so much of the Dharma and practiced so diligently and yet in all of the study and practice He has never found anything that could be created that was more precious than this naturally arising kindness towards other beings. He urged us all to connect with that innate goodness in ourselves. The other Tibetan spiritual leaders have come to the same spiritual point. The Dalai Lama''s World Peace Ceremonies, starting from the one in Amravati in 2006 only serve vegetarian food.

The Dalai Lama criticizes factory farming and meat consumption, and urging Tibetans to stop the trade in wild animal skins. "These days there are many Tibetan groups in India working for vegetarianism and spreading compassion for animals, such acts are extremely good and something to rejoice. Most of the monasteries have also turned their kitchen into vegetarian which is really good.". His Holiness requested Tibetan monks and nuns become vegetarian. A group, Tibetan Volunteers for Animals (TVA) has converted over 14,000 Tibetans to vegetarianism. The group campaigns for vegetarianism in Tibetan settlements throughout India, Nepal and Sikkim. They are opening vegetarian restaurants in Tibetan communities.

The Dalai Lama''s Spiritual Advisor HH Kyabje Lati Rinoche supports monasteries going vegetarian. At their public teachings in the US, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche have asked their students to stop eating meat, following Karmapa''s request.

Chatral Rinpoche, considered to be one of the most highly realized Dzogchen lamas, is an outspoken advocate of vegetarianism. At a retreat with Drupwang Rinpoche here last year, more than 70 people took a pledge never to eat meat again.

Whole villages in Ladakh promised to shut down their meat markets for one day a week after he visited there. If the Tibetans can turn vegetarian, there is still hope for the world. More power to the amazing Karmapa. He is an important environmentalist and next week I will tell you about his environmental orders. 

Spare the mice, use the mouse

New concepts: Such models are ideal for dissection and study

UGC recommends an end to animal dissections and the use of computer models
Who has not heard stories of students losing consciousness while conducting a laboratory experiment involving dissecting an animal or insect? 

Practicals, being a pre-requisite, force the students to carry out the dissection, irrespective of how uncomfortable they are, or how cruel they find the whole procedure. 

Soon undergraduate students will no longer be required to dissect animals and dissection will be optional for postgraduate students. 

The University Grants Commission (UGC) – the apex regulatory body for higher education in India – has published official recommendations calling for an end to animal dissection and animal experimentation for university and college zoology and life sciences courses in a phased manner. 

Members of the expert committee that advised UGC estimate that this move will save the lives of approximately 19 million animals each year. “By eliminating animal dissection and phasing out animal experimentation, Indian's top university governing body is making sure that students use the most modern education tools possible, meaning computer models over animals,” said People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India Science Policy Advisor Chaitanya Koduri. PETA was one of those organisations that had spearheaded the campaign.

Medically speaking…
In 2009, the Medical Council of India (MCI) officially amended its Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) regulations to state that “experimental work on animals can be demonstrated by Computer Aided Education,” clearing the way for medical colleges to eliminate their use of animals in student-training laboratories. 

Though this policy change allows medical schools to adopt completely non-animal training curricula, many MBBS programmes in India still use live mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits and frogs in physiology and pharmacology classroom experiments. This, when 95 per cent of programmes in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. use didactic methods, state-of-the-art human patient simulators (HPS), supervised clinical practice and interactive computer-aided learning (CAL) simulations to train students. 

Recently, to familiarise medical faculty in India with how modern, MCI-approved simulation training methods can replace animal use in MBBS classroom laboratories, PETA India sponsored a medical education workshop in Bangalore. Speaking on ‘Computer With Mouse – A New Experimental Animal for Learning' at the workshop on ‘Modernising Medical Training,' David Dewhurst, professor of e-Learning, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, said, “Faculty of medical education have a crucial role to play in deciding learning outcomes, especially when animals are replaced with alternative means in physiology and pharmacology training.” 

“All over the world, there are ethical objections to the use of animals in medical training. We must understand that there are good alternatives available, which have proved to be educationally effective,” he said, speaking from the experience of using computer-aided simulators since 1985 in place of animals for teaching his students. As of 2009, medical colleges in the U.K. used 1,703 animals for training, he added. 

Prof. Dewhurst demonstrated some in vitro and in vivo simulations of rat blood pressure, Lagendorff Heart and other procedures. The programmes use mathematical models and algorithmic structures to respond to the users' inputs. “For instance, we can determine the effect of a particular dosage of a drug when administered. The programme will simulate the corresponding reactions, thereby minimising the need to use animals,” he explained. 

He said that the hardest part was convincing the teaching staff to adopt non-animal models and alternatives. “I understand some old-school faculty will resist the use of computer simulators. All it takes is some convincing. It is not merely about saving animals. Computer-aided alternatives are effective in diagnosing students' learning problems and save a lot of time,” he added. 

MIL to deploy animal trappers at airport again

NAGPUR: On Saturday evening, Indigo's Kolkata-Nagpur-Raipur flight crushed a rabbit on the runway of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport indicating animal menace is far from over.

Though airport officials claimed no such mishap occurred, sources confirmed that inspection staff recovered the carcass after the flight took off for Raipur.

This incident occurred just after civil aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi directed city airport operator Mihan India Ltd (MIL) to ensure that all issues related to airport safety, including runway resurfacing and intrusion of stray animals in operational area, were taken care of.

MIL, which had scrapped the contract of an animal trapper, has now decided to appoint other trappers who will also guard the runway and operational area round the clock. They will also trap and relocate the animals in nearby forest areas, said Abadesh Prasad, chief operating officer of MIL. MIL has called for offers in this regard on Monday.

Since traffic at the airport has increased manifold, Prasad said that MIL is also initiating other steps to avert any untoward incident. To check movement of animals on the runway, shrubs and bushes were being removed regularly from operational areas, he said.

Last year animals had turned airport a chaotic place. On May 15, a deer was hit by a JetLite flight. Two pigs were crushed under the wheels of an Air India flight on June 22. A four-horned antelope was hit by an Air India aircraft on June 27. As many as 17 major mishaps were averted in the last five years.

TOI has already highlighted the issue and reported several times that animals like deer, monkeys, dogs and pigs frequent the airport operational area. On the same lines, stray dogs were seen welcoming passengers on the tarmac while boarding aircraft; monkeys and pigs run across the runway. These animals endanger flight safety, since they can cause major mishaps if an aircraft hits them while landing or take off.

Even chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had ordered an enquiry into the recurring mishaps and the incidents where stray animals have ventured on to the runway jeopardizing lives and causing a nuisance to aviation staff.

Khan Sisters oppose caged animals in zoos

New Delhi: Celebrity siblings Nigaar and Gauahar Khan have teamed up with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for an ad campaign against caged animals in zoos.
The sisters, who are currently seen on the TV show ‘The Khan Sisters’, appear wearing zebra-striped bodysuits while caged in a zebra-striped box in the campaign, which reads "Think Outside the Box: Boycott Cages, Boycott Zoos".

"You don`t learn anything from looking at a sad animal locked up in a zoo. If you want to learn about animals, view them in their natural habitats - visit a nature preserve, or watch a video or read a magazine about them. Don`t support the keeping of animals in unnatural confinement," said Gauhar.

Her elder sister Nigaar too feels animals shouldn`t be caged.
"Like people, animals need freedom. Instead of spending money on breeding animals or capturing them in the wild, we should be spending money on protecting the animals` natural habitats or on creating reserves and national parks where they can live in peace," said Nigaar.

The ad for the animal rights organisation will be featured in an upcoming episode of ‘The Khan Sisters’.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Empty cages, big plans

Now in its 151st year, the zoo at Jijamata Udyan in Byculla needs revitalisation

As you enter Jijamata Udyan, popularly known as Byculla Zoo, the signs of ageing are clearly visible. Empty cages welcome you and it is clear that Mumbai’s lone zoo, now set for its 150th anniversary celebrations, awaits a much-needed makeover from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Empty enclosures, dry grass and boards of non-existent animals await visitors during their trip to the zoological garden. With an entry ticket of Rs 5, it is an abode for young couples. The cat family is absent, with the exception of one lioness, whom the crowd screams at and teases. Snakes have been shifted, temporarily, to an animal shelter nearby, as the reptile section is being renovated. There is one female Himalayan black bear.  

The animals that were earlier in the zoo but have either died or have been shifted — like tigers, snakes and lions — will be the first to be added in the next couple of years. Officials admit that the zoo has suffered due to the modernisation plan being on the anvil, but not put into effect, for 10 years. “We cannot bring in any new animals as the plans are being worked out for renovation of the zoo. Several animals have passed away and some are in their last stages,” says an official associated with the zoo development. The condition of the zoo has suffered because of the delay in implementation, as there have been several revisions in the layout, adds the official.

According to zoo officials, however, all is not lost. They remain optimistic about its future. "This will be one of the most beautiful zoological gardens in India in some years. We plan to start work to modernise the area from 2013. Animals like the zebra, leopard, civet cat, jaguar and Indian bison will hopefully be brought in,” adds a zoo official. The ambitious authorities also plan to add penguins to their list of species on display.

Animal rights activists are, however, not happy with how things are at the zoo. Members of the NGO People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has visited the zoo on many occasions. In November 2003, PETA India staffers and the then Deputy Mayor of Mumbai, Rajesh Sharma, took a round of the zoo along with officials. Sharma had requested the officials to ensure that immediate steps were taken to improve the living conditions of the animals, according to PETA.
In August 2004, after trying to work with the zoo authorities for almost a year, PETA India prepared a comprehensive report on the zoo and submitted it to the authorities.

“One of the immediate outcomes of this report was that the Mumbai Zoo did not get the necessary recognition from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) under the Zoo Rules of 1992 at that time,” says Poorva Joshipura, PETA India’s Chief Functionary. This, according to PETA, clearly reflected the fact that the zoo’s conditions were not up to the mark.

PETA officials further add that the CZA has banned elephants from being kept in zoos because zoos are wholly inadequate environments for elephants. PETA appealed to the Byculla zoo to release its own elephants to a sanctuary where they can live as elephants were meant to live. “The zoo has yet to move its elephants, despite the CZA order. A person was killed when he entered the elephant enclosure,” says Manilal Valliyate, PETA’s Director of Veterinary Affairs. Valliyate adds that keeping a few penguins at the Byculla zoo in the hope that they will draw a crowd will do nothing to help protect the species.

As for the 150th-year celebration, the anniversary actually fell in 2011. Insiders say that that the celebrations were delayed by inadequate funds, but some officials claim that celebrations did, in fact, begin last year. “As part of the celebrations, special nature trails had already begun in 2011,” says a senior zoo official. The official programme list, however is awaited.

Zoo officials add that nature trails and activities designed to create awareness about environmental issues will be part of the anniversary celebrations, expected to go on till the end of 2012. BMC will organise these events, which will officially commence in February.

Despite all these issues, there has been no drastic decline in the number of visitors to the zoo. The atmosphere and greenery attract an estimated 5,000 visitors every day. The zoo received 1.6 million visitors in 2011-12. “The zoo may not have too many animals, but I still frequent the place because of the peaceful surroundings and colourful flora. It is one of the best places to relax in Mumbai, since it is affordable,” says Harish Gupta, an octogenarian who visits the place at least thrice a week.

As Byculla Zoo prepares itself for a makeover, officials are hoping that it does not fall prey to further bureaucratic delays. Jijamata Udyan is a landmark of Mumbai and particularly of Byculla, and the zoo deserves much better.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Software replaces animals in labs

PUDUCHERRY: In 1989, when Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education (JIPMER) wanted to cut down on the number of animals being used to teach undergraduate students of medicine, Prof R Raveendran developed a computer-assisted learning package. 'ExPharm' reduced the number of animals being experimented upon and also improved teaching.

"Students could keep repeating the experiments," says Raveendran, a professor of pharmacology. He was speaking at a medical education workshop on alternatives to the use of animals in MBBS programmes being held in JIPMER on Tuesday. It is part of a series of workshops organised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) India in medical colleges across the country.

Though ExPharm was developed in 1989, Raveendran could not use it for the next five years due to lack of hardware facilities. "We used the package for the first time in 1994 to demonstrate the effects of drugs on blood pressure and heart rates of dogs. This helped replace experiments on live dogs," he says. "We began developing a set of computer-simulated alternatives to animal experiments as we could not find suitable alternatives in the market."

The professor says ExPharm can be effectively used to simulate animal experiments and to demonstrate drug actions on different animal systems. The package is user-friendly, interactive and full of animated sequences that make the experience realistic.

"We used a lot of frogs but have stopped since last year," says Raveendran. "We have also cut down on the number of guinea pigs, mice, rats, rabbits, dogs and rabbits being used." He says that the number of mandatory animal experiments to be performed by students to pass final examinations was reduced to three from 15 in JIPMER with the introduction of the package.

Dr Raveendran utilized the Rs 1.2 grant lakh extended to him by the International Network for Humane Education to distribute 3,000 free CDs to colleges in India and abroad. He has also distributed 1,000 CDs through the Mahatma Gandhi Doerenkamp Centre for Alternatives to Use of Animals in Life Science Education ( MGDCA), Trichy. The package can be downloaded free of cost from MGDCA's website.

Elsevier India, professional information provider, has also decided to launch an advanced version, 'ExPharm Pro' in the commercial market soon.

Kolaveri di singer Dhanush voted 'Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity 2011'

Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat and Kolaveri fame Dhanush have been voted 'Hottest Vegetarian Celebrities 2011' in a poll by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), overcoming competition from veterans Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini, among others.

"Thousands of people cast their votes to help PETA India determine the Hottest Vegetarian Celebrities of 2011, and Dhanush and Mallika Sherawat have been declared the winners," the animal rights advocacy group said in a press release.

National award-winning Dhanush and Mallika beat out early leaders Vivek Oberai and Vidya Balan and faced further competition from Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Sonu Sood, Shahid Kapoor, and Kareena Kapoor, PETA India said.

"If I had to pick the very best thing about being vegan, it's my clear conscience", Mallika was quoted as saying while Dhanush, who shot to national fame with his chirpy video "Why This Kolaveri Di" was quoted as saying he felt light and healthy being vegetarian.

"There's nothing sexier than someone who exudes passion and compassion and our winners have plenty of both," PETA India's chief functionary, Poorva Joshipura, said.

The winners were chosen based on the total number of votes each celebrity received, plus other factors, the release said and advocated following a vegetarian style of diet, as it helped reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer "and saves animals from a lifetime of suffering on cramped, filthy factory farms."

‘Melting Himalayan glaciers can threaten animals, humans’

The melting down of the Himalayan glaciers due to climate change may be solving the current water crisis, but can also have a devastating effect on animal and human lives in the long run, environmentalist and polar explorer Robert Swan has said.

“What scares me is that people think that it is fine for the glaciers to melt. What they need to realise is that getting so much of water through melting glaciers can have hazardous effects in the future,” Swan said. He was speaking at the Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS) on Monday.

Swan emphasised that India has to play an active role in solving water crisis by means of rainwater harvesting and other methods of water conservation rather than relying on the melting

On the issue of global warming, he said, “People mistake climate change to be global warming. Due to various reasons, the earth is going through a climate change and getting warmer. This is called global warming.”

Maintaining that rising population can critically harm the environment in the future, Swan said, “There’s a threat that the natural resources will be over-consumed. Educating people about it and finding technologically sound ways to conserve the environment can solve the hazardous effects of growing population on the natural resources.”

He also stressed on the role of technology to preserve environment. “Technology is extremely essential for the conservation of environment. The United States, China, Europe and India need to work in collaboration and find ways to explore various prospects of technological growth in the preservation of climate and environment,”
he said.

Swan is currently an advocate for the protection of Antarctica and renewable energy. He is also the president of 2041, a company which is dedicated to preserve Antarctica. Swan is also the co-author of the book Antarctica 2041: My Quest to Save the Earth’s Last Wilderness. He is the first person to walk at the North and South poles unsupported.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Vet For Your Pet::First Aid for animals in distress

by Dr. Sunil Srivastava, B.V.Sc & A.H.
Many a times we come across stray animals in distress. They suffer due to various reasons such as accidents, fights, infections, etc. At times like these one feels like reaching out to them but sometimes you feel as helpless as the animal because professional help is not readily available. In such situations, a first aid box and knowledge on how to use it comes to the rescue.

As a first step volunteers should contact animal welfare organization or a veterinary doctor or take the animal there. In the mean time the volunteer can provide first aid to the distressed animal. On arriving the shelter or clinic the volunteer must inform the veterinary doctor about the first aid treatment given to the animal.
First aid box contents
- a small roll of cotton
- one bandage each of 2, 3 and 4 inches
- a pair of blunt small scissors
- a pair of tweezers (one blunt and one pointed)
- anti septic lotion – savlon or cetrimide, soframycin tube, burnol and lorexane
- small bottles of tincture of iodine or benzoine
- medicinal turpentine oil and oral betadine
- crystals of  potassium permangnate
- splints (ideally wooden)
- tablets of paracetamol or novalgin, perinorm or stemetil , septran, dependal-m, ciplox-tz, etosys or vitamin K, ivermectin, wysolone and phenergan or cetrizine, ampilox-250, 500mg., terramycin or oxy tetracycline 250, 500 mg, becosules or multi vitamin tablets, syrup normet or diaba-m, syrup metrogyl-f and ciplox eye/ear drops.

Muzzle the animal. Bleeding wounds should be cleaned with antiseptic lotion. In case you notice any foreign body like nail, glass, twig, etc., remove it with tweezers and apply soframycin or betadine. Use a pressure bandage in case of profuse bleeding.
Septran and novalgin tablets should be given. If bleeding is profuse etosys or vitamin-K tablet can be given. Cold packs may be applied on sprain and haematoma (accumulation of blood under the skin). Give paracetamol or novalgin tablets to relieve pain.

Maggoted wounds 
Muzzle the animal. Pour turpentine oil or apply lorexane cream. If possible plug the wound with a gauze or cotton. Unrestrained animal may run away as turpentine is irritating. In such cases lorexane cream is a better option.

Please note that crushed naphthalene balls, chloroform, liquid phenyl or diesel should never be put on a wound whether maggoted or not.

Septran or ampilox capsule, ivermectin tablet (not to be given to pups or Pomeranian dogs), novalgin or paracetamol and multivitamin tablets should be given.

A breach in the continuity of bone is called fracture. It is characterized by swelling, pain, loss of movement, deformation and a crackling sound. In the management of fracture, restriction of movement is very important. The affected part can be immobilized by tying splints with the help of bandages. Splints should not be tied very tightly.

Novalgin or paracetamol tablets should be given to relieve the animal from pain.

Muzzle the animal. In case of mild burns, the affected area should be flushed with cold water or cold saline. Ointment burnol or soframycin may be used as burn dressing. In severe burns, burnt tissues and debris should be removed and a mixture of 50ml of lime water and 50ml of linseed oil should be applied. Use soothing ointments like burnol or soframycin. 

Septran or ampilox capsule should be given in addition to pain killers. To counter shock dexona/wysolone tablets should be given to with strong tea/coffee.

In case of acid or alkali burns, acid burns should be treated with soda bicarb solution where as alkali burns should be treated with solution of vinegar or lemon juice.

Septran or ampilox capsule should be given. Paracetamol or novalgin tablet can be given to relieve the animal from pain.

Please note nothing should be given orally to an unconscious animal.

Animal should be pushed away from the live wire with the help of as bamboo or wooden material. Victim should be wrapped immediately in a blanket or a pre heated thick cloth. Muzzle the animal. Massage the heart area. Apply burnol or soframycin on burns. Use oral betadine if burns are in the mouth.

Dexona or wysolone tablets to be given with strong tea/coffee to counter shock.

Please note nothing should be given orally to an unconscious animal.

Epistaxis (bleeding from nose) 
Muzzle the animal. It is very important to give complete rest to the animal. Animal should be kept in a cool place if veterinary help is delayed. Ice packs should be applied.

Etosys or vitamin K tablet should be given. Adrenaline /epinephrine injection can be put drop by drop into the nostrils.

Perinorm tablet can be given. Give etosys or vitamin K tablets if there is blood in vomit.

Dependal-m or syrup metrogyl-f can be given. In case of foul smelling stools ciplox-tz tablets to adults and syrup normet or diaba-m may be given to puppies. In bloody diarrhoea etosys / vitamin K tablets should be given additionally. Also internal parasites/viruses may cause diarrhea/bloody diarrhoea. Vet will decide the medicine as per parasites.

Reddening of eye with or without swelling or pain, eye infection or minor injuries to eye may be treated with ciplox eye drops. For allergy due to dust, smoke or fumes, betnesol /dexona eye drops may be used. Dust particles or any other foreign body should be rinsed out with water.

Ear infection 
Swelling, pain, discharge, etc indicate towards an infection. A wound, whether maggoted or not can be a big cause of discomfort for the patient. Ear may be cleaned with betadine lotion.

Paracetamol and septran or ampilox capsule may be given to control pain and infection. Ciplox eye/ear drops to be put 4-5 times a day. If the wound is maggoted then it should be treated as per the procedures mentioned for maggoted wounds.

Wasp, bee or scorpion stings 
Stings may produce allergic reaction on the skin and a lot of pain and discomfort. Sting should be removed with the help of tweezers. Vinegar or lemon juice or soda bicarb/baking soda may be rubbed at the site. 

Phenergan /cetrizine and wysolone/dexona tablets may be given.

Snake bites 
Don’t let the animal walk. Tie a handkerchief or a bandage rolled into a string little just above the bite area. A cut in the shape of a cross can be given in the bite area and few crystals of potassiun permanganate may be put on it. This cut wound should be squeezed and if possible suction should be done with a syringe. Never try to suck the venom orally.

In this article, I have listed allopathic options for different conditions. In the following series of articles I will provide homeopathic, ayurvedic and naturopathy treatment for each condition mentioned above.