Published: 07th September 2020
Why IIT Delhi's ad to hire a graduate 'dog-handler' is progressive and not meme-worthy
Preethi Ramadoss, an Anna University researcher was among the few who supported the institute's move to hire a dog handler
A certain notice put up by IIT Delhi a few days ago, created a certain amount of shock among social media users across. The institute had invited candidates for a walk-in-interview for the position of a dog-handler in the institute. The full-time position offered a remuneration of Rs 45,000 per month and was open to anyone with a BA, BSc, BTech or any equivalent degree.
The institute was quick to clarify that the advertisement was erroneous and the minimum qualification required for the position was ‘Bachelor of Veterinary Science to provide proper care of a large number of stray dogs on the campus. While it has been ridiculed by a majority of netizens, animal activists see it as a welcome move by the institute.
"This addresses a larger problem and is the much-needed solution," says Preethi Ramadoss, an animal activist and a researcher at Anna University. "I am proud of IIT Delhi for considering that the planet does not only belong to humans," says this researcher who feeds a group of strays in an around her university regularly. In fact, in the past, she had to face a lot of criticism from her university and faculty for the same. But this never stopped Preethi, who says that she had got at least 15 strays vaccinated and sterilised, using money from her own pocket.
While the world of social media has no scarcity of ridicule, criticism and a lot of defamatory comments about the ad and the profession advertised for, the institute wants to "put this behind and move on" according to its director Dr V Ramgopal Rao, whom we contacted over email.
Preethi, on the other hand, says that it is a great opportunity for a veterinary science graduate. "A BVS graduate cannot immediately practice and have difficulty finding a job. In that scenario, this is quite helpful. Also, there is no one to take care of these stray dogs. At the same time, it is quite sad to see learned people ridiculing it," she says. "Appointing a dog handler will solve the issues of both animal lovers and animal haters," she adds.
A lot of people also thought the dog handler was overpaid, while research scholars are paid lesser amounts. However, Preethi thinks that the argument is invalid. "This is a difficult job. A vet is also a doctor. They deserve the same respect that an MBBS doctor deserves," she reasons, adding, " "Most of these universities were constructed on forests. A lot of animals shied away from humans, but dogs stayed on. They love humans. We have to accept them."