Tarusha is a young multi-disciplinary researcher who takes keen interest in action and qualitative research methods such as interviews, participatory observation, and focus group discussions. She is an urbanist, with commitment towards equity and rights-based approaches for understanding women, children and animal-related issues in cities. She is currently working as an Action Researcher at HumanQind, where she is fulfilling her ambition of making Delhi a compassionate city. She is a geographer from Miranda house, Delhi University and completed her post graduation in Urban Studies from Ambedkar University, Delhi.
The Drowning Dogs of Mumbai. Exclusionary Management & Dog Vulnerability in Urban Floods.
Joining the league of countries like Costa Rica and Mexico, India took its very first step towards including animals in disaster management policies. The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries issued the first disaster management plan for livestock, poultry and aquaculture. However, it left behind a very important category of animals, i.e. the stray animals. The study argues that exclusion of management of stray animals in disasters is problematic on the basis of two factors i.e. i) Right to the city: the city space is inhabited by the humans as much as by the animals, hence they should be provided government support, & ii) the humans remain at equal risk of catching diseases as these animals can be agents of carrying various diseases that can be fatal to both humans and non-humans animals. The presentation aims at understanding non-human ecologies of urban street dogs in Mumbai, an Indian metropolitan city space during a natural disaster i.e. floods within the conceptual framework of urban metabolism, using the theme of reproduction of inequalities in cities. It attempts at exploring the changing human-animal relationship during the times of floods and conducts vulnerability analysis of stray dogs of the Rajanpada Chawl in Malad, Mumbai to re-establish the fact that how important it is to include urban street animals in disaster management. It will also throw light on the human-animal conflicts that arise along with exploring the role of the state and civil society in managing these animals in disasters.