Our Scientific and Technical Manager for the India projects Dr. Gowri Yale has been chatting to members of our dog catching team to share their experiences. This week, we met Naresh Matre, a catcher who began his Mission Rabies journey in 2014! This is his story.
My family live in a small village in Madhya Pradesh, central India. My father is a farmer and we grow rice and wheat every year. My mother helps with the farming and takes care of the home. I have a younger sister and a younger brother and I help my father pay for their education.
Before joining Mission Rabies, I worked as a construction labourer. I studied up until standard nine and tried to pass the level 10 exams but in vain, so left school when I was 15. So I was very happy when the opportunity came to join the Mission Rabies team.
I joined Mission Rabies in 2014 and I really like my job here in Goa. I love the days when we have a lot of dogs to catch, as it's less interesting when an area does not have any dogs.
Rabies is a deadly disease that affects both humans and animals. I know how important this work is. Rabies is spread by dog bites so it feels good to get rid of this terrible disease from Goa.
I feel I have become a better and a more responsible person since working for Mission Rabies. I feel I have a chance to make a name for myself in my society through this kind work.
We work in two shifts per day, starting our day at 6:30am and working until 11:30am. We take a break for lunch and rest during the early afternoon. Then we start working again from 3pm to 6pm.
We vaccinate between 50 to 100 dogs per team per day and are walking up to 10km on an average day.
I am proud of my new responsibility which is to train new boys who join the team. I train them to catch dogs, make nets and to handle dogs in a humane, gentle way.
Mission Rabies have given me a much better outlook on life and I am very happy to share that I will also be getting married this year. I hope to continue being a good support to my family and help my siblings settle down well, as well as continuing my dog catching and training work.