Camels, better known as ‘the ship of the desert’ are getting poached at an alarming rate and a day may come soon when this one-humped animal would desert our country. ‘Bakri-id’, as the name reflects, involves slaying of ‘goats’ for their meats, but the camels too are not spared.
Rajasthan and camels are the two hooked entities, where one accentuates another. Camels are somewhat the identity of Rajasthan. They are still used as postmen to deliver letters in the inaccessible parts of Rajasthan. Villagers avail themselves a lot of benefits from camels like travelling on it, drawing out water from the wells, transporting bag-full of grass and many more. The upper hand regarding camels is that their rearing is low cost, for they sustain on dry grass and shrubs.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has already decreed camels as an endangered species, after the camel-count dropped down to less than 50,000. As per the analysis, camel population has reduced one-fourth due to illicit slaughtering of them outside the state.
The delight in its meat has fuelled up its smuggling to the southern end of India including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and through Bihar to Bangladesh. Gangs from Bhagpat in Uttar Pradesh volunteer the trading of camels. Camels are crammed in trucks and transported to Haryana. They are slain in Baghpat and meat is sent to Meerut and Hyderabad while some are sent to Bangladesh via Bihar.
Despite the ban from the side of FSSAI, the police had blindfolded themselves to the cruelty imposed upon camels.
In July, 2014, the Rajasthan government passed an Act declaring the camel a State animal. Following in March 2015 came the Rajasthan Camel (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Bill, 2015, which banned the slaughter, trading and unauthorised transportation of camels. Strictures on selling of camels at weekly bazaars were imposed and no farmers from outside the Rajasthan hold in permission to buy it.
Even if the illegally-transported camels and the callous poachers are caught, the court does not stick to its stern penalty releasing the seized animals back to the poachers.
Join hands and save these emblematic animals of India before the species loses its existence.
By Prerna Daga