People who trade and rear camels say that ever since this law was passed (in 2015), their business has come to a standstill. This matter is so serious that it has been raised in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly and the Rajasthan High Court has also taken cognizance in this matter. The purpose of this law was to prevent the killing of camels for food and to keep an eye on their movement outside Rajasthan.
Pushkar fair held in Pushkar city of Rajasthan is a fair of camels and other animals which is counted among the world famous fairs. It is the biggest fair in the world. It is the largest cattle trade fair in India. These days there is a discussion that due to a law made by the Rajasthan government, this camel fair is being affected badly. Every year a large number of camels, horses, bulls, sheep, goats, donkeys etc. are brought to this fair for buying and selling. Due to the long mustache competition, this fair attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists.
The fair is also called Kartik Mela because it is held at the end of Kartik Purnima. Located in the Pushkar city of Rajasthan, Pushkar Lake is also a holy religious place for Hindus. Lakhs of animals and tourists take part in this fair held near Pushkar Lake. But due to a law made by the Rajasthan government some time ago, sellers and buyers who came to participate in this fair have now started avoiding going there. A large number of people are opposing the Camel Slaughter Prohibition Regulation and Temporary Migration Act made by the state government. Those demanding to amend this law say that if this law is not changed then there will be a decrease in the number of camels in the state.
People who trade and rear camels say that ever since this law was passed (in 2015), their business has come to a standstill. This matter is so serious that it has been raised in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly and the Rajasthan High Court has also taken cognizance in this matter. The purpose of this law was to prevent the killing of camels for food and to keep an eye on their movement outside Rajasthan. This law prohibits the transport and sale of camel meat as well as carrying it for slaughter. There has also been a legal ban on sending a camel for slaughter inside or outside the state. A special permit is required to transport camels inside the state for agriculture and dairy use. Usually this permit is issued by a collector level officer.
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Due to this law, the movement of camels in and out of Rajasthan has come to a halt. When caught carrying a camel, the police and other officers harass the person concerned due to these laws and feed them till the air of jail. Due to this the buying and selling of camels has almost come to a complete halt. When the BJP was in power, the Vasundhara Raje government passed this law to protect and increase the number of camels. Then many cases of killing of camels came to light. It was learned that a large number of camels were being taken from Rajasthan to other states and killed. Due to persistent drought, farmers sold their camels in large numbers for slaughter.
The people of the Raika and Rabari community, who follow the camels, claim that due to this law, protecting the camels did not go away, on the contrary, their numbers started decreasing. There is a lot of difficulty in obtaining special permits for taking camels in and out of the state. They have to worry about going to government offices every day. Therefore, there is a significant reduction in the horse-trading to take them inside and outside the state. This can be gauged from the fact that in 2011, 8238 camels were brought for sale in the Pushkar fair and two years ago in the 2019 fair, this number came down to 3298. Due to this, the business of camels and their sale caused many financial problems to the family members. He is not taking much interest in camel rearing. Due to this the population of camels also started decreasing. Where the number of camels in the state was 3.2 lakh in 2012, it has now come down to 2.12 lakh. In Rajasthan, where 84 percent of the country’s camels were found, their numbers have come down drastically in the last three decades. Rajasthan Agriculture Minister Lalchand Kataria himself has given this information in the state assembly. He points out that now a committee is being appointed to look into the requisite reforms in the law.
Camel milk is also very useful. Gujarat’s Amul has also started selling camel milk across the country, but in Rajasthan, due to not much investment and farmers in this area, Amul is collecting it from camel farmers of Gujarat. A few years back, the Food and Drink Regulatory Association (FSSI) had set certain norms for camel milk. His milk did not meet these standards. The organization said that camel milk should have 30 percent lubricity, which is currently being found between 1.9 to 4 percent. It depends on the diet of the camel. Camel rearing is a special kind of business and like children, camels cannot survive without their parents. The size of the plains and the area of grass where they have been grazing is decreasing.
According to the organization of camel farmers, which includes seven eight thousand families of camel rearers, when the camel was declared the state animal of the Rajasthan government in 2014, we had hoped that something for the development and protection of this animal. Surely it will be done so that they benefit. But nothing of the sort happened. On the contrary, the government made our problems worse by making laws. Earlier, we used to sell camels for milk and movement in Haryana and other states, but now this has been banned.
There are various legends about where camels came from in Rajasthan. According to one, a person named Harman Raika had brought them from Lanka in the 14th century. According to another legend, Akbar started using them in the army in the 16th century. Gave. At the same time, Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner had prepared an army of 500 camels in 1889 and when the states were merged with the independence of the country in 1947, he disbanded it. There is a small island 10 km from the coast in Kutch in Rajasthan, where in the rainy season, a large number of camels come there from the coast, graze on the sea trees (mangroves) and survive by drinking rain water. Jats take care of them. For a long time, the Jat farmers considered it very bad to sell camel milk. This is the reason that today his milk is being sold on the internet for Rs 750 per liter.