The dwindling number of camels is not just a matter of grave concern in the Middle East. It’s an environmental peril in India as well. Alpana Bhartia, one of the founders of People for Animals (PfA), believes that the population of Bactrian Camels has fallen to the thousands. The figures support this belief as fresh demographics count only 30,000 camels left in India. Rewind 20 years back, this number was a lot more and these majestic ship of the desert could be seen on the roads being used as beasts of burden.
There are several reasons that can be attributed to the fall of their numbers. One of the main causes is the use of these royal beasts as a source of meat. The rampant slaughter of camels for their meat is creating a gap in their reproduction cycle. Recently, People for Animals saved 87 camels from the guillotine in Telangana. These camels had been smuggled for illegal camel slaughter, which would be conducted in the most brutal way in the open as Food Safety and Standard Authority of India does not recognize camel meat as a food product.
Even though the state animal of Rajasthan is a Camel, the resident rearers sell these helpless animals to smugglers in camel fairs. To help, PfA has often tied up with state authorities to bring poachers and smugglers behind the bars. As for the rehabilitation, this NGO established by Alpana Bhartia and her friends makes sure the camels are first treated medically. PfA runs veterinary hospitals, emergency rescue teams, and a 24-hour wildlife rescue service.
People for Animals was established in Bangalore in 1996 by Alpana Bhartia, Namrata Dugar, Gauri Maini, and Ayushi Poddar. This national movement also educates the country about violence against animals and how to fight it. They have recently compiled a book that teaches you all about the animal protection laws in India. Hopefully, with PfA in the scene, India will never lose its diverse and beautiful animal kingdom.