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Dinesh Kumar Dubey - One Of India's Billion

By Rajat Kumar Mishra
The aim of this column is to tell the extraordinary story of the ordinary people of India, for it is they who make the country. For this edition we interviewed Dr. Dinesh Kumar Dubey.
Dr. Dubey currently works as the Chief Veterinary Officer at Maitrty Garden zoo in Bhilai. Dr. Dubey completed his M. Sc. from the College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Jabalpur (MP). He then went on to complete his diploma in ‘Endangered Species Management’ from Kent University, UK.
Dr. Dubey’s inspiration to work as a vet came from his mother. His mother was a caring person and had deep compassion and love for animals and birds, a love that he inherited. His father was a school principal and was often posted in the remote jungles of Madhya Pradesh. Dr. Dubey thus spent a considerable amount of his childhood in close proximity to the exotic beauty of wild life. His mother and his childhood experiences have gone a long way in moulding him into the man he is now. He fondly recollects the memories of him and his mother feeding birds, leaving out water for them and observing them for hours together. The emotions he feels are clearly visible in his eyes.
Dr. Dubey’s work involves breeding endangered animals in captivity, tending for them and then reintroducing them into the wild. The zoo he works at is also involved in research into various diseases that these animals are prone to. They also strive to generate public awareness regarding the importance of wildlife and get them involved in the wildlife conservation effort. Dr. Dubey describes his work as personally challenging, but adds that his love for animals and will to protect wildlife makes it enjoyable for him. When treating sick animals he has to take utmost care to see to it that the healthy animals aren’t affected. Tending to aged animals is also a challenge. Their needs such as diet, medication etc. require  special attention. Also, handling these animals is difficult as old age tends to make them more aggressive. He goes on to say that whenever the animals get sick (especially a lion or a tiger) the whole staff is under immense pressure, for they will need to answer to higher authorities. He appreciates the support of his family, his wife Rajni Dubey and his son, for helping him through thick and thin.
In the course of his duties, Dr. Dubey has been involved in several touching as well as dangerous incidents. He recounted a few for our benefit:
In the early part of his career he was working in Nandan Van, a zoo in Raipur. A lioness was caught and brought there, but her paw had been badly injured by the trap used to catch her and the wound had turned septic. She was in a critical condition, but after an operation she was able to recover completely. She (Shankari) later became one of the oldest lionesses to live in the world and passed away 2 months ago.
On another occasion Dr. Dubey had to treat a lion with a severe dental infection. However anesthesia couldn’t be used because of the lion’s bad liver. Dr. Dubey extracted the tooth when the lion was still in its senses. “Yes, danger is there” he says, “but with the necessary precautions one can avoid ugly incidents”. He also stresses that there is no point in being afraid, for fear serves no purpose.
When asked about the condition of wildlife in India, he says the scenario isn’t as dismal as it appears to be. People involved are always alert and ready. The negative publicity by the media is an insult to the efforts of these people, for it portrays only their failures and none of their successes.
As we left Dr. Dubey his parting message was:  “Everybody should spend at least some time to protect these animals who cannot express their pain or sorrow, else we risk losing these precious gifts of nature.”


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Let The Good Times Roll Magazine is an online youth magazine
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