Camels ‘the Ship of the Desert’ are a gift of nature, gifted to the drought-stricken people on the earth! It was the humans and their wisdom, which let them domesticate the animal that has the capability to cope with the harsh and hostile environment that came with the onset of the natural climate, thousands of years ago!
Did you know? Earlier, the main task given to these beautiful creatures was to provide food in conditions where other forms of livestock had difficulty surviving! Interesting, right?
Just like us humans, they are also different from each other. In this sense, there are two types of camels present. The Dromedary Camels (Camelus Dromedarius) and the Bactrian Camels (Camelus Bactrianus). The major difference between these two camels is that one has two humps and the other has one hump. Can you guess which is which? If you do, let us know too!
(We’re kidding! We know who is what! We just want to give you something interesting to find out for yourself!)
In the desert areas, camels were considered a significant source of milk, but with time, they got loaded with other forms of work, such as transportation, sports, meat, and others. With time, we’ve forgotten the importance of these animals and what they bring into our lives and so has the importance of their herders!
Today, on 22nd June, we celebrate World Camel Day to mark the importance of these desert animals as a food security agent in the climate change scenario.
Do you know the reason behind the date 22nd June being chosen as World Camel Day?
No? We’ll tell you! The date to be chosen was 21st June, because it is the longest day in the year, and camels have the ability to produce in harsh and hostile environments and can even adapt to the soaring heat and long thirsty days. However, 21st June has been specified for Father’s Day, so 22nd June was selected.
An interesting fact. The difference between these two days is just 2 seconds, so it doesn’t matter whether it is the 21st or 22nd. We’re celebrating these animals, which means a lot!
When the future of the camels is secured, it means the lives of the camel herders will be secured.
The camels belong to the deprived and abandoned populace Hereafter, it is rarely considered in any country’s research and developmental strategies. Selling camels would get the camel herders good prices, but its products have not reached the markets properly, which leads to a lower income for these herders! The camel herders are poor, uneducated, and are incapable of finding proper markets for their products. Living in poverty and unable to invest financially in their camels, leads to lower production and lower economic returns. These are just a few of the issues being faced by camel herders, there are a lot more issues, which are never-ending. We were shocked too when we found out!
With the increase in the developments, there has been a dramatic decrease in the population of camels. Did you know? According to the 20th Livestock Census, the population of camels fell by a staggering 37.1% between 2012-2019. From 4 lac camels in 2012, their population fell to 2.5 lac in 2019. That is a number that must be noted significantly!
Not just the camel population, the livelihoods of the communities such as the Raikas & Rabaris who have been known to be camel herders for generations. They are pastoralists by nature and they move with their herds within a stretch of 250-300kms, where the camels will have a vast variety of vegetation to feed themselves from! These beautiful animals share a special bond with their breeders and the camels in India are not feral, they are domesticated and cannot survive on their own in the wild.
India is set at the eastern end of the distribution range of the one-humped camels who have successfully been able to adapt to the dry environment, but they cannot live beyond the Aravalli Hills. Thus, you will be able to find most of the camels in Rajasthan & Gujarat.
It’s a globally-known fact that the camel culture in India is very unique and it has a traditional taboo on using camels for their meat. It is said that the camel pastoralists in India consider these camels as their children and have never used them for their meat or sold them for slaughter.
However, we’ve been wondering what the camel said after looking at the desert! One fascinating answer to this is, “Long time no Sea!”
We’re not joking around. All we’re trying to do is keep things light for you to be with us!
But on a serious note, these beasts of burden can thrive well on meagre resources under extreme climatic conditions, which makes them different from other animals but we need to create awareness about them, their issues, their sufferings, etc. and we need to do it now!
What can we do for them?
It’s very simple. By creating awareness, we will make more people know about their situation, which will help in creating a proper living habitat for the camels and livelihood for their herders. We can help set up camel health camps, donate towards them, etc. Their population is on the decline, and we need to do something about it and we must take steps now. It is now or never!
What else can be done? Talk about this topic on your social media handles, engage with people, let them know about these beautiful animals, and help them. One last thing you can do is, share this video around. This will do it all!
It’s their day, and we at Aadvik have decided to create awareness about them and make this day more special. Help us play our part in their lives.