Chennai Corporation’s dogcatchers have to endure poor working conditions and low pay.
What’s it about? The 75 dogcatchers contracted by the Corporation endure long hours, low pay, and abuse from residents while trying to catch stray dogs with minimal equipment. Most of them are Dalits, and the stigma surrounding the job is hard to shake off. On a typical day, they catch five dogs based on public complaints and take them to animal birth control centres.
- They start their day at 7 am and continue till 3 pm. It’s the toughest when it rains. With the long hours and low pay, some have to take up side jobs to make ends meet.
- Most of them have been working for a decade and get paid ₹10,000-13,000 a month with an annual increment of ₹14-24. They lose pay if they don’t work for a day.
Necessity & limitations: Per the state health department, 22 people have died from rabies across the state till October this year. On average, nearly 50,000 dog bites are reported in the state each month.
- There’s no permanent employee option for the dogcatchers, but their salaries are cut if they’re on leave. They’ve been asking for a pay rise and health insurance coverage.