Rajasthan, also known as the desert state of India, attracts tourists from across the world. Apart from its rich heritage and splendid traditions, Rajasthan is famous for it ‘Desert Ships’- camels. In ancient times, owning a camel meant the royalty and prosperity of a family. They form the basis of the cultural foundation so much so that it has slowly seeped in to the very literature of Rajasthan.
The camels are the best way to explore the desert. Initially they were the only source of survival and transport in the desert as it is the only mode of communication that connects the rural interiors of the desert with others.
Looking at the dwindling number of the camels along with the increased number of tourists, the state government has come up with a scheme to encourage camel breeding among the locals. Two years after declaring camel as a state animal, this scheme is set to promote and protect the species. Called “Ushtra Vikas Yojna” (camel development plan), this scheme will be launched on October 2 by the department of Animal Husbandry under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKV)
Under this scheme, the camel farmer will be given 10,000 INR on each calf birth of any breed of camel. The money transactions will be done in three steps- First installment of 3,000 INR will be given at the time of birth. Second installment of 3,000 INR will be given after the calf completes 9 months. And the third installment of 4,000 INR will be given after the calf completes 18 months.
Starting from October 2, the first phase of the scheme will be for four years with 3,135 lakhs kept aside for it.
In order to avail the benefits of the Ushtra Vikas Yojna, the camel farmer has to fulfil a few conditions to verify his authencity. To begin with, the camel farmer has to register his female camel at local veterinary hospital. He must have Aadhar Card and Bhamashah card including a bank account as the installments will be transferred directly to his account. His camel should also be registered under Bhamashah Pashu Bima Yojna. Benefits to the camel farmer will be given on the basis of bonafide at his native district.
Easy as it may seem, maintaining camel herds requires a lot of knowledge, expertise and hard work. The camels of Rajasthan cannot survive without their guardians. Through this scheme, the government is aiming for more breeding of camels and also for the welfare of both the camel and its farmer.