Did You Know About India’s Donkey Sanctuary?


We much use the term ‘donkey’ to insult others or pull a joke or two but not many of us know that donkeys are incredible animals with excellent memory and tremendous bodily strength.

Many donkeys and mules in India toil extended hours on building sites and in brick kilns, as their human owners try to eke out a basic living. These animals often end up working long hours without food, water or rest, suffer open wounds caused by badly designed harnesses.

To address these issues, Donkey Sanctuary, established in the UK, works with many countries.

The Donkey Sanctuary came into being in 1969 when the Late Elizabeth Svendsen MBE, found seven of her animals in an extremely miserable state at the Exeter market in Devon in the United Kingdom. Fortunately, by then she owned a country house with an enormous piece of land where she could simply accommodate these animals. Donkey Sanctuary UK was registered as a charity in 1973.
The India program was initiated in 1998 and was registered as a charity in 2002. The organization, funded by Donkey Sanctuary UK, manages five projects in the country in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Gwalior/Rhajakhera, Sholapur and Sikar.

One of the primary avenues that DSI helps in is providing mobile clinics, which regularly visit areas where there is an elevated concentration of working donkeys. These clinics devote medical attention too. Donkey owners are trained to relieve minor ailments, which they do willingly.

Once the members of the donkey owning communities acknowledge the requirement for prompt medical attention to their animals, they favor taking more attention on these issues. In most places in India, there are locally based organizations that help take care of the needs of these beasts of burden and their poor communities. Donkey Sanctuary India works alongside them and they support each other in their work for the cause.

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