The Indian Army has shown their gratitude and respect for their Warrior Canines. This was long due and finally the honourable Dogs will be recognised.
We are about to see our Silent Four Legged Heroes from the Indian Army march down the Rajpath on 26th January 2016.
The Indian Army dogs (1200 approx.) are trained in sniffing bombs, hunting down enemies, leading along with guarding, locating secret places and fetching evidence. The Army generally uses Labradors, German Shepherds and Belgian Shepherds, depending on the nature of work and surroundings.
This Republic Day, we will watch 24 labradors, 12 German shepherds and as many trainers proudly marching for the Country. They have been practicing for the past 4 months, 3 times everyday.
Here is what the Senior Army Officer said: "They share the burden of operations, especially when it comes to duties like Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism (CI/CT). So we thought it is time they share the spotlight too," .
"We need those men who can keep the dogs fully under control. Since dog behaviour is critical to the success of the show, how well the men march comes second. We have been practicing three times a day since the last four months," said Captain Anurag Boruah from the RVC. Since dogs are known to not react favourably to the increased noise levels like what will prevail on Rajpath, there is practice for that too. Captain Boruah added, "We have been simulating the environment we will face at Rajpath, especially in terms of noise so that dogs do not panic or react differently." If there was a gap between saying and doing, trainer Amrendra Kumar who handles 'Kako', a German shepherd, swore it hardly mattered. "The lesson we draw from our experience with these dogs is that if you befriend them well they are there whether it is the parade or a life-threatening mission, they will never let you down," he said, as he patted Kako's forehead.
The army says it maintains a file on each and every dog which serves as a member of the force. These 36 who've made it to the contingent, and nine more who are on the standby have had their records 'checked up'. "Yes, their past behaviour matters. There is no taking chances at this stage," explained an officer.
Good News: The Army had come under severe criticism from the common people and dog lovers across the world after it was revealed in an RTI reply last year that dogs, horses and mules are put to sleep after their retirement. Following a PIL, the government had in September informed the Delhi High Court that it would come out with a policy on the issue within six months. Though a final policy is yet to be adopted, the Army has stopped further killing of ageing animals, except for those suffering incurable, terminal diseases and injuries.