Target: Vasundhara Reje, Prime Minister of Indian State of Rajasthan
Goal: Thank government of Rajasthan for working to protect the local camel population
In 2003, the world had around 500,000 camels. Just a little over ten years later, there are 200,000 to 300,00 remaining. Rajasthan, India’s largest state, is the first in the country to notice and respond to this issue. This is a problem beyond the fact that camels are living creatures who deserve a certain level of respect. Camels are also a huge part of Indian culture and economy, from their use on farms and to carry cargo, to their prevalence in stories and festivals.
There are a few reasons as to why the camel population has dropped so suddenly. While the camel is revered in India, there is a high demand for camel meat. In the face of new technology, camels are now less needed for traveling across deserts and on farms. Farmers are taking away grazing land from camels to make room for cash crops. They are also building fences around land that camels would normally graze on. The domestic camels that do exist also do not receive good health care, and often die from disease.
Because of all this, Rajasthan is now making some efforts to revitalize the population. It is now illegal to slaughter a camel in the state–much like the cow in India. Also, they are trying to incentivize farmers to raise camels by offering them financial assistance to buy camel food. They are upping this in times of drought, when farmers start to streamline their farms. And there are more conservation efforts on the way.
We want to thank Rajasthan for working to save what has been dubbed India’s second most scared animal–after cows–before it is too late. We hope to see other places, in India and around the world, follow this lead.
Dear Prime Minister Reje,
Camels are a huge part of Indian culture, and have been vital to the thriving economy for a long time. Because of their use in literature and festivals, their ability to trek through the desert, and their ability to be trained for farm use, camels are often a vital part of Indian life.
Therefore, it is sad to hear that the camel population has dwindled so quickly–by 40 percent in just 10 years. However, it is nice to hear that the state of Rajasthan is trying to save the camels. It is not just one person’s fault that the camels are under threat, but it is nice to see that the state is trying to help. We hope that other states follow your lead, in terms of camel conservation and all animal conservation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jordan Busson via Wikimedia Commons