Other than the stalls of various countries at the India International Trade Fair 2012, what is stealing people’s heart is the wonderful Dog show titled ‘Silent warriors’ at the Indian Defence Pavilion.
A pack of 12 Army dogs and 15 handlers are exhibiting various exercises and drills to the delight of visitors, especially children.
These canines have been called upon from different parts of the country, where they are serving the armed forces. They have participated in various counter-insurgency operations and are much decorated by different regiments of the army.
Director of the exhibition, Colonel Tarun Bhatia, informs us, “Dogs form an important part of our defence force. They are used in various procedures like detecting explosives, dead bodies, tracking terrorists and alerting defence personnel of unfriendly elements beforehand. To make the general public aware of their important contributions, we organise the Dog Show at this fair every year.”
“Surprisingly, the enthusiasm among people regarding this show has only been increasing over time. Earlier, we used to hold two shows a day. Now we conduct three shows – at 11:45, 3:45 and 5 pm. This has been done basically because of the children who want to go on seeing the dogs in action and don’t enjoy leaving the pavilion.”
The squad has German Shepards and Labradors. They perform obedience exercises following only the hand signals of officers; exciting obstacle courses; and are experts at different formations like creating a Lotus; are well-trained in mine detection; tracking explosives; sniffing exercises by tracking hankies dropped by volunteers and even detecting intruders. Their skill and discipline amazes everyone.
Colonel Bhatia adds, “Visiting families get their pictures clicked with the dogs and the children just love them. It is, in fact, all this attention which keeps the interest of the canines alive and brings them back to the fair year after year.”