KOCHI:There has been an alarming increase in their numbers and they leave behind a slew of injured, mauled and sometimes critically wounded victims. And so far we have just one quick fix to tackle canine menace - indiscriminate culling.
The autobiography of a Stray Dog, the 51-minute documentary by Sohan Lal, takes a reality check on the issue without getting biased or taking sides. “Media reports were piling up on scary incidents involving dogs. I was really skeptical at first, I was no dog lover nor did I want them killed. But working on the subject gave me a clear perspective,” says the director.
It’s the monologue of a fretful stray dog that forms the first segment of the documentary.
“The dog narrates his backstory, just like a film. We address all sides of the issue. The documentary talks about how a 65-year-old woman was mauled to death by a pack of dogs in coastal Kerala and how they still remain a threat to pedestrians and motorists. At the same time, it also checks what instigates the dogs into sudden violence,” he adds.
According to Dr V George Mathew, a psychologist and a consultant for the documentary, canines have the ability to sense psychic vibrations. “If you are hostile to them and treat them brutally, they will react,” he says.
The next part examines the reason for their growing population, how the garbage piles in every street corner feed hundreds of dogs. “It’s a human-generated menace,” he adds.
While analysing the situation, the film also zooms into the life of a British couple who stayed back to protect stray dogs. It also follows another lady who lives with stray dogs, taking care of them and nursing their wounds.
The documentary conveys one message loud and clear- that killing is cowardice and protecting other creatures makes us more human. “Man and dog share a long-and-loving history. It’s the most domesticated animal, the loyal companion of man from the Stone Age. The only solution now is to build more animal shelters and sterilise the current population,” says Sohan Lal.
Autobiography of a Stray Dog is produced by Byju John while Ravi Vallathole has handled the narration.