The Barmer district administration has started an awareness campaign to encourage cattle-rearers to go for camel breeding, an effort to check the dwindling numbers of the state animal of Rajasthan.
According to the last livestock census of 2012, the population of camels in the state dropped from 7.46 lakh in 1992 to 3.25 lakh in 2012.
In a camp organised at Dandali village, district officials made cattle-rearers aware about the benefits provided under a government scheme for camel breeding. A camel-rearer is required to register his animal at the nearest veterinary hospital to avail of facilities given under the camel development scheme (Usth Vikas Yojna).
Barmer district collector Sudheer Sharma, who took the initiative to organise the camp along with the animal husbandry department, said he found that many efforts to prevent decline in camel population proved fruitless.
“Cattle-rearers reside in remote desert areas. Due to lack of resources, officials are not able to approach them to make them aware about the scheme.”
About 440 camel-rearers, who participated in the camp, were not aware about benefits under the government scheme, Sharma said.
“They are not aware that the state government is promoting camel rearing by providing incentives and ₹10,000 to a camel owner.”
The first installment of ₹3,000 is released when camel cub is born, another ₹3,000 is given when the calf is nine months and the rest when it is 18 months. Sharma said financial support would spur camel breeding by cattle-rearers.
“Cattle-rearers were also not aware that there are insurance and free health facilities, and registration benefits. We also made efforts to ensure benefits of Bhamashah Pashu Bima Yojna to camel-rearers,” Sharma said.
Hameer Singh Bhayal, BJP legislator from Siwana constituency, said, “Earlier camel was the main mode of communication in remote desert areas, due to which it was known as the ship of desert. With modern means of communication, camels lost their importance.”
He said, “Rearing a camel is also expensive, due to which rearers prefer to sell the animals. We are hopeful that such camps will encourage cattle-rearers to go for camel breeding.”