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Intense deliberations to further assist the populace on aspects of veterinary health care led to the conceptualization of certain avenues, many of which were tried at 54 Advance Field Veterinary Hospital

“I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to a country than the improvement of its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a laborer’s care.” (George Washington)

Maximum households in Jammu and Kashmir have livestock and poultry in their backyards. This not only provides dairy and poultry products for family consumption, but also generates income. Moreover, owning cattle and land is considered a source of pride and prosperity.
The Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) of the Indian Army has contributed immensely in this direction to bring harmony with the aim of enhancing the soldier-citizen connection. Apart from being invaluable to the armed forces, RVC has always come to the aid of the Kashmiri brothers by treating sick animals and organizing “Vet Aid Camps” in remote areas where veterinary support is not readily available. . The specialized cadre inherent in the RVC is a prime resource and is used effectively for animal welfare in UT. RVC units have organized veterinary aid camps to establish a physical connection with livestock farmers and pet owners. On average, about 50 veterinary help camps are held at various locations in the Chinar Corps area per year, and about five to six veterinary clinics are available year-round to help herders. Even the migrant grazing population is helped in these clinics and veterinary aid camps. RVC, through its expertise, Veterinary Services is able to serve all segments of society, from wealthy animal owners to the poor who raise livestock for a living. Broadly, they include pet owners, cattle and sheep farmers, and veterinary and allied fraternities.
Intense deliberations to further assist the populace on aspects of veterinary health care led to the conceptualization of certain avenues, many of which have been tried at 54 Advance Field Veterinary Hospital, Haft Chinar, Srinagar and found to be viable.
Illness occurs unexpectedly and the provision of prompt and continuous veterinary help is important. In a quest to serve sick animals, the “Chinar Hooves and Paws Veterinary Clinic” in remote nodal areas was conceived. Four veterinary clinics in Haft Chinar, Chhatabal, Khundru and Khunmoh have been opened. This not only established an ongoing physical connection with pet owners, but also ensured continued veterinary care until the animal was fully recovered. Stepping forward, Chinar Hooves and Paws Veterinary Aide Clinic in Haft Chinar is equipped with state-of-the-art veterinary laboratory facilities and surgical and medical facilities and expertise. Haft Chinar Veterinary Clinic serves as a specialist veterinary clinic for other satellite clinics.
Veterinary vaccination camps are held in Srinagar at various locations, to protect animals from infection by diseases with a “social mandate (rabies and foot-and-mouth disease)”. This is a new method of connecting and educating the ‘Awaam’ of ‘Zoonoses’ and preventive measures to be taken.RVC units take care of ailments and injuries of ponies and mules used in tourist destinations and of pilgrimage like Vaishno Mata and Amarnath to various clinics.
An effort to integrate veterinary resources from Indian Army, State Government and Autonomous Institutes has been initiated by 54 Advance Field Veterinary Hospital. This is a major step forward in improving the abilities of youngsters as well as budding vets. The integration will not only provide quality veterinary help to sick animals, but will also help organize the veterinary fraternity and initiate the concept of “continuing education” for veterinarians in the valley. Since 2005, 54 Advance Field Veterinary Hospital has been running capsule internship programs, lectures and demonstrations, and hands-on training programs for aspiring veterinarians. Some events being planned are the organization of veterinary aid camps in urban areas, technical conferences, pet shows and livestock management capsules for youth employment and entrepreneurship.
These will not only provide employment opportunities for young people, but will also lead to paid engagement of the workforce. Veterinary healthcare-based start-ups and entrepreneurship avenues can also be generated. Capsule courses on sheep farming and management, commercial poultry farming, rabbit management and fisheries management are some of the tracks that can be taught to young people. Technical expertise and knowledge on state and central government programs will be provided by the respective departments. Capsule courses to train young people in the basics of veterinary first aid are provided by various state and autonomous institutes for the employment of young people as veterinary assistants. There are a significant number of pets in and around Srinagar. Pet owners proudly display their precious pets as a status symbol in their social circles. Interested young people can be trained to promote business proposals such as pet shops, kennels, breeding, fairs, etc. Kashmiri youths have a slim and athletic physique, some of them are good horsemen. If they receive formal training in horsemanship, they have the potential to excel in the equestrian sport. Currently, there is no footprint of the sport in Jammu and Kashmir, nor any state involvement in the national equestrian sport. With the initiation of equestrian sport in the state and the presence of equines for tourist engagement, basic training in farriery can become a source of income. Many tourists are “birding enthusiasts” and young people with a good knowledge of the topography and biological habitats of birds are organized into teams. These teams conduct bird tourism and this is designed as an alternative employment avenue.
The Chinar Corps is always at the forefront of providing necessary assistance for positive developments in the valley. The avenues mentioned above are not exhaustive, the veterinary profession presents innumerable options for constructive engagement and gainful employment of the masses.