Richmond Crawford Vet Hospital vs. “RC Shopping Mall”
Presented before the court of Karachi citizens and animal lovers of the world, the case of the proposed commercialization of the space of the Richmond Crawford Veterinary Hospital:
It is being reported that the Richmond Crawford Vet Hospital on M. A. Jinnah Road is proposed to be turned into a shopping mall. In addition to this, the Jang of March 25, 2006 reports famous social worker Abdul-Sattar Edhi’s angst on this idea, as well as possible commercialisation of Saddar’s Jahangir Park. Edhi denounced the materialistic mentality behind this scheme. He has gone to the extent of offering to purchase the vet hospital himself for Rs. 10 Crore (Rs. 100 m) and operate it. The Edhi Welfare Association alreadi operates an animal sanctuary.
Cowasjee logged in his views on the matter in DAWN:
One of the few sanctuaries that care for Karachi’s animals is now at great risk. The only government hospital for animals, aptly named after able and caring commissioner Richmond Crawford, is scheduled to be closed down by the city government so that it can allow yet another hideous temple to consumerism to be raised in its place. What sort of government have we voted in? (Read more…)
PAWS, the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society, notes that “successive city governments since the Zia-ul Haq era have had designs to turn it into a shopping mall.” PAWS is run by Mahera Omar of the Janu Janwar program fame.
The rapid commercialization of the city so far has gobbled up alloted space for many parks, cinemas, hospitals, and led to evacuation of the poor from shanty towns. It remains to be seen whether one more of these “schemes” will finally succeed in de-humanizing Karachi further into a utter concrete, corporate, consumerist jungle. No wait, a jungle is an animal sanctuary. With plans of some kind of “RC Shopping Mall” in place of the vet hospital, Karachi becomes a lesser animal-friendly city.
The case of RC Shopping Mall (imaginary name) vs. The Richmond Crawford Vet Hospital is now in the court of the citizens: who wins?