Known as the ‘Ship of the Desert’ , Rajasthan and camels have a relation where one accentuates another. Camels are still used as postmen to deliver letters in the inaccessible parts of Rajasthan. They are used by villagers for travel, for transporting goods and even to draw water from the wells in parched Rajasthan. What makes them a preferred ‘ship’, is the low maintenance costs, given they sustain on dry grass and shrubs of the desert.
However, owing to rampant smuggling and illegal slaughter of the animal outside the state borders, the ship of the desert is fast sinking. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has already declared camels as an endangered species, the analysts claim population has reduced to one-fourth.
- Kishanganj (Bihar): 61 Camels were rescued by two Dhyan Foundation volunteers, including a lady, who are now fighting the unusual legal battle facing continuous threat from the trafficking mafia.
- Islampur (West Bengal): 36 Camels were rescued by Dhyan Foundation from being smuggled to Bangladesh for illegal slaughtering. The camels are safely transported to Sirohi.
- Malda (West Bengal): Supporting the rescue of 60 Camels again in the hub of trafficking mafia, i.e. Malda, enroute Bangladesh. There was continuous threat during transportation of camels to safety and also during the legal battle for taking the possessions of the camels from butchers.
- Jodhpur and Kotputli (Rajasthan): 60 camels in Jodhpur and 13 in Kotputli were rescued near the India-Pakistan border.
- Gurgaon (Haryana): More than 100 camels found in Gurgaon en route Dasna, UP for slaughter.
- Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh): 13 camels were rescued in Ghaziabad.
The above are some of the countless camel smuggling incidences in the last few months.
Know the Flaw
It is pertinent to mention here that camels fall under the category of restricted animal as per specified schedule of Wildlife Protection Act (1972) and therefore cannot be transported without obtaining the sanction of Department of Forest and Animal Welfare Board of India. Moreover Rajasthan Government has enacted the Rajasthan Camel (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act 2015, preventing unauthorized slaughter, transport and trade of camels. Strictures have been imposed on selling of camels at weekly bazaars in Rajasthan preventing farmers outside the state to buy them. There are also laws preventing bulk buying of camels.
There have been various litigations before high courts of Madras, Karnataka, Bombay, Kerala and also before Supreme Court of India challenging illegal export and smuggling of camels by transporting camels out of state of Rajasthan to other states. Directions have been passed by all these courts including the apex court directing various state agencies, animal husbandry departments including police to make a total ban and prohibition on illegal slaughter of camels.
And yet the camel is fast disappearing.
The Big Question
With the Rajasthan Camel Act clearly prohibiting the migration of camels outside Rajasthan – How can so many animals make it past Rajasthan’s border unnoticed?
How can they pass the toll gates of various states to be caught 14000km away on Indo-Bangladesh border? Is there a nexus brewing?
Many rescued camels were allegedly bought from Chadi Village Mela in Phalodi, Jodhpur, Rajasthan – but all concerned officials and law enforcers deny them being sent out of state. Did these camels land from space?
Camels which are bought at a meagre price in the melas, fetch Rs 70,000 to Rs 1,00,000 across the border – and the money from the trade is known to be pumped into funding terror outfits, arms smuggling, fake currency etc. Are we selling our country so that the terrorists in Pakistan and Bangladesh can feed off the camel meat?
It is time this is put to an end. Dhyan Foundation is working rigorously to move the authorities and government for a serious consideration; and volunteers are on the field saving camels daily. To help, #09810310987