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Showing posts with label By Invite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label By Invite. Show all posts

Friday, July 5, 2019

Article from Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi



Organic farming for me is as important as animal welfare. Both save thousands of species and make the world a better place for humans. When I became minister for Women and Children, we started a new project: we hold an annual Mela in Delhi Haat, the best location, for 15 days, in which 300 women organic farmers are called from all over India to sell their produce. This year we sold Rs 2 crore worth. We also send 50 women to a huge organic mela in Ahmedabad organized by Srishthi and now we are preparing for one in Mumbai in February.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Article By Maneka Gandhi



If you were an alien that dropped in on the planet and you heard that most people on the planet had access to less than a bucket of water a day, because other people used ridiculous amounts of water to grow, feed, clean and kill animals so that they could eat them – when they didn’t need to – what would you say? In the cult book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the Universe has decided that Planet Earth must be flattened and removed to make way for a highway. We don’t have to wait for the universe to kill us – we are doing this to ourselves every day.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Article from Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi



Recently the Hyderabad based Muslim seminary Jamia Nizamia, started in 1876, issued a ban on Muslims eating prawn, shrimp, and crabs, calling them Makruh Tahrim (abominable)

According to Islam, there are three categories of food : Halal (allowed) , Haram (prohibited, Makruh (strictly to be avoided as abominable)

Most Muslims eat meat, every kind. In fact the religion defines itself by the eating of meat – even though the Holy Prophet was a vegetarian. However, most Muslims have no idea of what they are allowed to eat. The maximum they know is that butchery is divided into two – Muslims eat Halaal and non-Muslims eat Jhatka. (It is another matter that the animals slaughtered in India are neither halaal nor jhatka and make a mockery of both religions) If you have Muslim acquaintances, you could pass this on to them.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A hundred years from now, if scientists have their way, many humans will be partly pig and baboon writes Maneka Gandhi



A hundred years from now, if scientists have their way, many humans will be partly pig and baboon. I mean really, not metaphorically.

Scientists are working on transplanting entire hearts, liver, kidneys, pancreas and lungs from animals to humans. The increasing demand for organs, tissues, and cells, and the dearth of available human organs, have focused scientific interest in taking organs from animals . The term for the transplanting of organs from one species to another is called xenotransplantation and so far it has not worked at all. However entire corporations are at work, slicing and dicing animals so that one day humans can be part pig and part baboon.

The arguments, in favour of animal to human organ transplantation, is that these organs would be available whenever required, instead of making patients wait for months. An immediate transplantation would perhaps result in improved survival. Instead of waiting for a dead human, whose organs are already slightly damaged, the organs could be taken from healthy animals under anaesthesia.

The pig has become the animal of choice for most companies. Thousands of pigs are being killed to use in human bodies. But, before they get to humans, scientists first transplant their organs into the bodies of baboons to see if they can go into a different species.

Why baboons? Humans and baboons have 90 percent of their DNA in common, so the captive animal becomes a stand in for a human. Why pigs ? Their organs are of the same size as humans.

Which is the ideal animal species for organ transplants. The animal should have the same sort of anatomy, so that the organ can function well in humans. He should not have any disease that can be transmitted to humans. He should be immune to human diseases. He should have no genes that affect human immune systems. He should be inexpensive to breed and keep and have lots of babies every year. And he should be an animal that humans don’t mind killing.

There is no such animal.

Primates may be somewhat alike in anatomy, but they give and get human infections easily. They don’t breed quick enough and humans ( except scientists) don’t like killing them.

The pig has large litters several times a year and is cheap to feed. The problem is that its blood and all its genetics are far too different. The pig is an entirely different species . It has been 80 million years since the pig and human diverged on the evolutionary scale. Is it possible to “outwit evolution.”

Not so far. Millions of killed animals later scientists are no further along. The very basic aim – to replace a baboon’s heart with a pig heart – has still not been achieved.

Organ transplants fail because each mammalian species has a system and blood unique to itself and its immune system is built to reject foreign organs. As soon as human blood is sent through pig organs, the antibodies in the human blood cells are activated against pig cells. Companies are working to add human thrombomodulin protein to pig cells to make them seem more human, so that human cells are less likely to reject them. Through microinjection techniques, and in vitro fertilization, five human genes have been added to the pigs' livers, kidneys and hearts.

The pig has a galactose oligosaccharide enzyme, Gal, which humans don’t. When a pig organ or cells are transplanted into a human, this enzyme causes immediate rejection. Scientists have genetically created a pig that "almost" doesn’t have Gal. However, clinical testing has not finished. The genetically manipulated pigs are called GalSafe pigs.

Unfortunately for the scientists, pigs also have retroviruses in the genome of every porcine cell. These will inevitably be transferred with the donor tissues. This is a grave potential risk, as retroviruses don’t create illnesses in their natural hosts but are devastating to humans. The scientists have discovered a retrovirus in the pig called PERV. Research – published in the journal Science – shows that Perv can make their way from pigs into humans. Opponents of xenotransplantation fear that these viruses, when introduced into a human system, might cause epidemics of diseases for which we have no immunity and no cure.

Large commercial companies like eGenesis claim that they have removed these threatening viruses from the animals' DNA. They have cut out genes and blasted the rest to eradicate all Perv activity to make Perv free piglets.

Scientists say major obstacles remain. “Even if organs from these gene-edited pigs could be safely used to overcome virus transmission, there remain formidable obstacles in overcoming immunological rejection and the physiological incompatibility of pig organs in humans.”

Experts in these fields worry that transgenic pig organs, whose organs are no longer completely porcine genetically, may be even more susceptible to viral infections. The humans that get these genetically modified organs would have to be on immunosuppressants for the rest of their lives. While xenotransplantation may theoretically increase the survival time, it is unclear whether the negative impact on the human’ quality of life would be worth it.

The risk of getting and transmitting disease to the recipient and to society cannot be accurately estimated. What impact will it have on the human race, should a new zoonotic infection be introduced, for which we have no cure? Ebola and Aids have killed millions.

If, in the distant future, a pig organ is ever ready for use on a human, these questions arise:

Should the members of a community therefore be consulted if there were any xeno-transplantation donees in their region? Someone will go to court demanding that, in the greater interest of society a person with an animal organ in their body should be restricted from having physical relationships and socialising, to prevent the possible risk to the wider public from zoonosis. This may result into temporary detentions at home – something written into the contract before consenting to xenotransplantation.

How would a patient give an informed consent to the future restrictions of one’s liberty. Would he not challenge the legality of any such agreements later. They could reasonably argue that they have agreed to the restrictions under duress because of a lack of viable alternatives to xenotransplants.

Even if they were available, the treatment would be immensely expensive. Production of a pathogen free donor organ would involve rearing animals in strictly controlled environments. This means huge costs in developing a sustainable work force to provide transplantation and post-transplant surveillance of the patient. Insurance providers may not cover expenses of a xenotransplant. Public health care providers may decline to provide this treatment, as it may not be cost effective. Only the very rich will be able to afford it with serious implications for fairness. If public health authorities were to fund expensive interventions like xenotransplantation, other routine treatments of greater medical benefits to society may be jeopardised.

Religions like Islam and Judaism feel that pigs are ‘ritually unclean’. They may therefore not approve of people who have pig organs. Would these recipients be socially acceptable?

The ethical view is that animals have rights similar to those considered appropriate for humans. Is the prolonged suffering, in the form of constant physical manipulation, isolation and death of an animal, moral? Sheep that have been genetically modified to grow more wool are born blind with legs so weak that they cannot move. What are the physical consequences in a genetically modified pig .

Wouldn’t it be easier to find a way to grow human organs, rather than killing animals, or modifying them, to become more huma ? Three-D technologies have come in. Meat cells have been successful multiplied to make non-animal meat hamburgers. Grow the person’s own organs and tissues and then use them for auto-transplantation.

In this amazing world of ours, a human will eat and drink the wrong things, not exercise, abuse his body and spray pesticides everywhere. When his organs start failing he will look for women, poor people and now animals, to give him organs so that he can live to carouse some more.

I am totally against this massive slaughter that is going on in the name of scientists getting jobs and pretending to work for the benefit of human kind. Why not go into a brave new world without any moral barriers and raise humans for the purpose of harvesting their organs.





Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Saturday, May 11, 2019

All living beings require vitamins, essential micronutrients, and these should come through the diet, writes Maneka Gandhi



All living beings require vitamins, essential micronutrients, and these should come through the diet. An extra dose of vitamin has very little nutritional benefit if you are already healthy, but if you are deficient in any vitamin you will require supplements so that your cells and tissues can grow properly. Vitamins facilitate the chemical reactions that produce among other things, skin, bone and muscle. If there is serious deficiency in one or more of these nutrients, you may develop a deficiency disease. Even minor deficiencies may cause permanent damage. Some well known illnesses connected with vitamin deficiencies are beriberi, pellagra, scurvy and rickets.

In 1910 Vitamin B 1(thiamine) was discovered by Japanese scientist Umataro Suzuki and its food source was rice bran. In 1913 Vitamin A (retinol) followed and its food source was considered cod liver oil. Between 1920 and 1948 all the other vitamins were isolated. The last one was Vitamin B 12 (cobalamin) and its source was liver, eggs and any other animal products.

In the 1930s the first commercial yeast-extract vitamin B complex and semi-synthetic vitamin C supplement tablets started being sold. From then to now, the consumption of vitamins and multi-vitamins has become a common practice in many households. Thirteen vitamins are recognized at present and each one has a particular function. Some function as antioxidants, others, especially in the B group, help enzymes to work.

Vitamins are classified as A, B (including B1 Thiamine, B2 riboflavin, B3 Niacin, B5, B6 (Pyridoxin), B7 Biotin, B9, B12 (Cobalamin), C, D, E and K. As supplements become an integral part of our lives, it is important to know where they come from. The B group has other common names which are on the packaging labels : (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate).

Most Indians would be surprised to know how many vitamins are derived from animals and are not vegetarian. Product descriptions are not always honest. While the law directs manufacturers to display the contents of their products, it is not mandatory for them to display the source of these ingredients. Many vitamin supplements are not vegetarian.

Whether or not one opts to continue consuming these vitamins is a personal choice, but you must be aware of their animal content.

Vitamins tablets or capsules usually contain additives that aid in the manufacturing process, or the way the vitamin is digested by the body. These are some of them :

Gelatine is the most commonly used animal ingredient in vitamin supplements. It forms the basis of most capsule shells and is also used in the coating and filling of tablets. Gelatine is derived from boiling hooves, stomach, and other tissue linings, of pigs, cows and goats.

Other components of fillers and lubricants, on the coating of vitamin supplements, are magnesium stearate and caprylic acid. Magnesium stearate is derived from stearic acid, which is a fatty acid found in pigs, chicken, cows, fish, milk and butter. Caprylic acid comes from the milk of goats, cows and sheep.

Many tablets are coated with colours to make them look attractive. Many of these colours are animal based. A commonly used red food dye is made from carmine, which comes from the dead bodies of scale insects similar to beetles.

Lanolin is another animal sourced material used to manufacture vitamin D supplements. It is obtained from wool-bearing animals. (D3 is also made from fish oils. This is dangerous because it may have a hidden mercury content). Vegan vitamin D3 supplements, sourced from algae, are a viable alternative. Or, stand in the sun.

Another common ingredient is cod liver oil, which is used as a source of vitamin A and vitamin D. This comes from oils extracted from the liver of cod fish. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is often derived from organ meats, especially liver, from lamb, veal, beef, and turkey, fish eggs, clams, mackerel and crab meat. So are Vitamins B 2, B 3, B 5 , B 6, B 7.

Omega-3 supplements usually use products based on fish, fish oil, eggs, meat etc..

Duodenum substances are used in many vitamins to help in the absorption of vital nutrients. These are derived from the digestive tracts of cows and pigs.

Lipase is an ingredient used in digestive enzyme supplements. This comes from the tongues of calves and lambs. Pepsin, which is sometimes included, comes from the stomach lining of pigs. Bone meal is used as a source of calcium in some vitamin supplements. This is basically crushed animal bones.

Calcium supplement tablets have glycerine, which can be extracted from soy or palm but is usually taken from animal tallow (animal fat) . Cholecalciferol, used in all vitamin supplements, is extracted from sheep wool.

Do not listen to people who tell you that some vitamins have to be from meat/dairy extracts. There is no vitamin which is exclusively found in non-vegetarian food. Each vitamin has plant based alternatives.

Vegetable cellulose caps are an alternative for gelatine. Stearates used as fillers and lubricants on coating can be derived from palm oil, rather than animals. There are also vegetable sources of caprylic acid which come from coconut or palm oil.

Alternative sources of Vitamin D include yeast extract ergosterol, algae and, of course, exposing skin to sunshine. Cyanocobalamin, which comes from soy, can be used for Vitamin B12 supplements. Kiwifruit seed oil, chia seed, fig seed oil, hemp, flax and black raspberry are good sources of Omega-3.Vitamin A can be made from carotene.

There are ways to derive lipase from oilseed and cereal seed for use in digestive enzyme supplements. Crushed animal bones, used for calcium, can be replaced by a number of vegetarian sources, including calcium carbonate, kale, mustard greens, soy, broccoli, leeks, spinach, beets, vegetable compost, plant mulch, dolomite and clay.

Despite these vegetable ingredients being available, the hugely profitable health supplement industry often chooses to use animal based products because they are easily available, from slaughterhouses, and cheap.

Apart from plant alternatives, almost all commercially sold vitamin supplements can also be made from synthetic vitamins. There are no chemical differences between vitamins produced synthetically and those derived from plant or animal sources. Synthetic production is becoming more popular, as, such vitamin tablets are easier to produce and found to be even more cost effective than animal products.

More funds need to be channelled, into the R&D of plant alternatives, for use in vitamin supplements. We need to chart a path away from the unnecessary violent methods of producing vitamin supplements. An increase in the consumer demand for plant based supplements will push the industry in a better direction. There are many multivitamin brands that come from animals, or use animals, in their production. Some of these are : Inlife Multivitamin, Centrum, Herbalife, Healthvit, Muscle Pharm Armour V, Revital, Univita, Amway Nutralite, Opti-Men, Muscle Tech Platinum Multi Vit Supplement among others. You need to write and ask the company.

Vitamin supplements don’t promote health, or prevent disease. They simply treat deficiency. As much as possible, we should rather eat a variety of more whole foods directly. This is more sensible, not to say healthier, than trying to derive micronutrients from these same foods and consuming those in tablets.





Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Friday, April 5, 2019

NATION FIRST, PARTY NEXT, SELF LAST by LK Advani

On April 6th, the BJP will celebrate its Foundation Day. This is an important occasion for all of us in the BJP to look back, look ahead and look within. As one of the Founders of the BJP, I deem it to be my duty to share my reflections with the people of India, and more specifically with the millions of workers of my Party, both of whom have indebted me with their affection and respect.

Before I share my thoughts, I take this opportunity to convey my most sincere gratitude to the people of Gandhinagar, who have elected me to the Lok Sabha six times since 1991. Their love and support has always overwhelmed me.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

What the industry feeds you by way of animal organs and glands in one form or another? , Writes Maneka Gandhi

Vegetarianism, at its most superficial level, is the not eating of animal flesh. And should include milk which is liquid animal flesh. But do you keep track of what the industry feeds you by way of animal organs and glands in one form or another?

Different industries use the animal brain, spinal cord, pancreas, stomach, liver, lungs, kidney and ovaries, endocrine, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands.

The glands are extracted and frozen. The surrounding fat and connective tissue are trimmed off. They are placed on waxed paper and kept at −18 °C. When the glands arrive at the pharmaceutical plant they are chopped and mixed with different solutions for extraction, or placed in a vacuum drier. After drying, the glands are milled into a powder and made into capsules, or used in liquid form.

Brains and spinal cords are a source of cholesterol. This is the raw material to make vitamin D Cholecalciferol. Vitamin D is added to dairy products, juices, and cereals that are then labelled as “fortified with vitamin D.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Is the chicken you get in commercial large scale food vendors, in products like sandwiches, chicken? Perhaps not.

 
Is the chicken you get in commercial large scale food vendors, in products like sandwiches, chicken? Perhaps not.

Subway is a group that targets health conscious folk, who avoid other fast food. Is it healthy? A recent investigation by CBC Marketplace shows that the chicken used in Subway chicken sandwiches is only 42.8% chicken. The salad chicken, which they claim as healthy oven roasted chicken, is only 53.6% chicken! What is the rest: Genetically modified cheap soy protein, known to be problematic for health. About 50 ingredients were found in the tested sandwiches with an average of 16 ingredients in the chicken itself.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Maneka Gandhi shares her observations on CSIR -NEERI report on poultry farms in India

One of the most important reports to come out in the last few years is the August 2017 CSIR -NEERI report on poultry farms in India.

The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute(NEERI) is an excellent scientific research institution. When I was Minister for the Environment I used them as my resource base. The report has been done by a team of 8 scientists headed by Dr Rakesh Kumar the Director of NEERI, and Dr S.K. Goyal the Senior Principal Scientist.

Poultry farming means raising domestic fowls, including chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks, for the production of meat and/or eggs. The total poultry population in India is 729.2 million, which is 12.39% higher than numbers in the previous census (Livestock Census, 2012). The most common poultry breeds in India are:

Broilers: Young males and Females raised for meat. They grow from a hatch weight of 40 g to a weight of approximately 1.5 to 2 kg within 6 weeksonly.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Mahamilawat or Gathbandhan – A Race to the Bottom , by Arun Jaitley


India is today at the cusp of making history. Industrial revolutions bypassed us in the past. We had to fight the menace of poverty and lack of growth. A regulated economy for over four and a half decades had added to our woes. When we broke away from ideological shackles of the past, India has witnessed a much higher rate of growth. Today we have reached a situation where we grow faster than others in the world. We are expanding the size of our economy. Our revenues are growing and we are finally being able to transfer more resources to the poor to offer them a better quality of life. Our infrastructure in terms of better highways, more airports, better railway systems, better urban infrastructure, surplus power, more port capacity, are growing every year. If this trend continues for the next two decades, India would evolve into a new league.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The most important animal in your life, no matter where you are, is the mosquito writes Maneka Sanjay Gandhi



The most important animal in your life, no matter where you are, is the mosquito. Therefore, you should know the facts about it. Separating fact from fancy can help us better protect ourselves.


All mosquitoes are the same:

Fact - Mosquitoes of different species are as different from each other as a lion is from a housecat. They have different behaviour, very different preferences of what they want to eat and where they might live. Urban species don't do well in the country and some species thrive only in one specific region. Which mosquitoes like your environment can have an effect on the types of diseases you're exposed to.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

It just takes the determination of one person to change a system, writes Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

A few months ago, a friend of mine said that his son wanted to do hotel management but he was not going to allow him since he didn’t want his son working with meat and eggs in any form. It was then that I remembered Mr Luniya and his crusade.

It just takes the determination of one person to change a system. I know – because in many a case I have been that one person. There is a saying attributed to Mahatma Gandhi “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” And another by union leader Nicholas Klein in 1914 “And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.” So many things that are now taken for granted, whether red and green dots on food, no animals in circuses, camels off the beaches and banned for slaughter, dissections in schools, and other educational disciples, hundreds of protection rules… to name just a one millionth of the changes. I know hundreds of change-makers across India and it is a delight to work with them because they are knowledgeable, focused and brave.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Life is so complex. We think of all beings as animals or plants and this means a lot when you are vegetarian and determined not to hurt.



Life is so complex. We think of all beings as animals or plants and this means a lot when you are vegetarian and determined not to hurt.

What characterises a being as one or another.

An animal must feed on other living things because it cannot obtain energy directly from sunlight. Animals have an embryo stage in their life cycle. The cell walls in animals are mostly soft and animals depend on skeletons or shells for strengthening and protecting.

Plant cells get their strength from cellulose. These contain little green packages called chloroplasts. Chloroplasts use the energy of sunlight to produce the substances needed to make plant tissues, in a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis consumes carbon dioxide and produces oxygen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The word Nandi means joyous. In real life the bull leads a life as a victim of beating, torture, starvation and early death, writes Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi



I feel so sorry for the magnificent animal that is the bull. I was at a banking mela organised by the local administration in Alwar. A bull wandered in and walked about harmlessly. Almost every stall keeper – selling/displaying nothing but banking information - hit him. Passers-by hit him. Security guards hit him. His only reaction was to try and dodge the slap or lathi which, given its size, was impossible. Finally, he left, bruised and sore.

Bulls go to sabzi mandis to eat the thrown away vegetables/leaves and fruit. So many are attacked with acid that it is difficult to find a bull that doesn’t have acid burns. In Gorakhpur, the city named after Gau Raksha, the municipal administration catches them regularly, puts them into pounds and refuses to feed them. They die within the week, spending most of it lying down as they have no energy left. No gaushalas take bulls, so they roam the streets and are beaten every day. Many are rounded up at night and sold to illegal butchers. Some are taken by fake mendicants, branded with trishul images, painted and paraded for alms. Some are grown for fighting, as in Jallikattu, where they are starved and blinded, made mad with alcohol and then let loose to be jumped on and their horns torn off. Ancient Tamilians considered the bull a sign of masculinity and valour, so naturally the human has to be bigger and stronger. Those that live are shipped to Kerala the next day to be killed.

The word Nandi means joyous. In real life the bull leads a life as a victim of beating, torture, starvation and early death. Our great passion for Nandi the bull, exists – as it does for Hanuman and for Ganesha – in temples only. In fact, the three animals – the rhesus monkey, the elephant and the bull - are extremely violently treated.

No one feeds them as they would cows. No one wants them. And now, as they grow rarer, your children will never see them in all their glory and might.

Nandi is the Mount and gatekeeper of Shiva and Parvati. He is the Chief Guru of 18 spiritual masters, including Patanjali and Thirumular. He is the controller of 18 siddhis or spiritual attainments. Not only is he the being that meets you first in a Shiva temple, there are many temples devoted to Nandi alone. In Sanskrit the name of the bull is Vrishabha, which means righteousness or Dharma . He is the protector of Dharma and the chief of the team of Ganas, or attendants of Shiva. It is important to seek the blessings of Nandi before proceeding to worship Lord Shiva. He symbolizes purity as well as justice, faith, wisdom, virility, and honour. He provides the music to which Lord Shiva performs the Tandava or the cosmic dance. In the Brahaddharma Purana, Nandi is the commander of Lord Shiva's army.

Spiritually, Nandi represents the individual soul focused on the Atman.

In the Saura Purana, Nandi the bull is described in all his splendour, with ornaments that glow with the fire of thousand suns, three eyes, and a trident held in his hand. The most common depiction of Nandi is a sitting bull with folded limbs. He is either black or white and wears a necklace with a bell. Other depictions of Nandi show him as half human, and half bull. His body resembles that of Shiva in proportion and aspect, although with four hands — two hands holding the Parasu (the axe) and Mruga (the antelope) and the other two hands joined together in the Anjali (obeisance).

Brahma Vaivarta Purana says Krishna himself took the form of a bull as no one else in the Universe can bear Shiva. According to the Vayu Purana, Nandi was the son of Kashyapa and Surabhi.

Some Vedic texts give the story of Nandi as follows: The great sage, Shilada performed penances and prayed for an immortal child. The child that emerged from the fire of the yagna was named Nandi by Shilada and, by the age of seven, was well versed in all the sacred scriptures. But Shilada was told the child would die in a year. Grief-stricken, he shared this with Nandi who prayed to Lord Shiva. The god responded by giving him a necklace with the bell, transforming him into half man, half bull and gifting him immortality while making him head of the Ganas and his own Vahana. Shilada and Nandi went to Lord Shiva's abode, Mount Kailash, and dwell there for all eternity.

Another story speaks of how during Sagar Manthan, or the churning of the ocean, the snake king Vasuki was used as a rope. The churning brought out such deadly poison that none of the devas or asuras wanted to go near it. Lord Shiva drank the poison. Some of it spilled out. To save his master and all life, Nandi drank the spilled venom. Lord Siva calmed their fears saying, "Nandi has surrendered into me so completely that he has all my powers and my protection". Nandi survived the poison and even the Devas - the gods - and Asuras - the demons - were struck with awe at his massive power.

He is said to have taught Kartik, the son of Shiva and a great warrior, the art of warfare.

Many people whisper their prayers into the ears of the Nandi bull. This comes from another story. Shiva decided to meditate and, ofcourse, Nandi decided to do so as well and sat in front of his lord. During this meditation, the asura Jalandhara abducted Goddess Parvati. The gods asked Lord Ganesha to inform Shiva, but he could not bring his father out of his meditation. Then Ganesha whispered the details into the ears of Nandi the bull and Shiva heard and awakened. From there comes the belief that anything told to Nandi reaches Shiva.

Once Ravana mocked Nandi. Nandi retaliated with a curse that Ravana’s kingdom would be burnt by a monkey. This came true when Hanuman went in search of Sita.

The largest Nandi in India is in Aimury in Kerala. The largest number of bulls are killed in Kerala. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu has large Nandi temples. See if you can find any bulls either on the road or in Gaushalas. All over India, the little male calves are killed even before they can mature into bulls. Those that are fortunate enough to reach adulthood, rarely make it past 4 years of torture.

In the new temples devoted to Shiva, the scrotum of Nandi is not sculpted any more in case it embarrasses the same women who come to worship Nandi and ask for fertility. And truly, no one wants the uncastrated bull any more. Either he should be a bullock, with his testicles crushed to a pulp with stones and then made to work. Or he should be a cow – milked and then eaten. But a wild natural creature that roams free and defies use – why not just keep beating and starving him till he dies or better still, catch him at night as he poses a danger to humans, break his limbs so that he doesn’t be a nuisance on the truck and sell him to the butchers. Instead of using his virility to impregnate cows, we can do it with semen collected from bound creatures who deliver semen artificially which is induced into the cow by vets.

Shiva is Nandi. He refuses to be domesticated. He refuses to behave as society wants him to. He is sometimes the progenitor of his Goddess’ children but never their father. He will not be fettered. And just as we are scared of the goddesses who will not be married and depict them as ugly, wild and drinking blood – as against the tamed, beautiful consorts, Shiva is shown as wild and angry. This, unfortunately, is our opinion of the bull – a dangerous, wild creature, who should be eliminated.

Feed the bulls in your area. Stop them from being killed. They represent a part of you which is dying. You cannot be a Shiva bhakt and allow the bulls to die.





Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Monday, January 28, 2019

Inevitability of governance paralysis in the next six months



Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s mouthpiece Organiser in its latest issue has predicted a “Hung House” in the 17th Lok Sabha and pronounced the inevitability of governance paralysis in the next six months.

It said, “A governance paralysis for the next six months will be inevitable. Most disconcerting would be the likelihood of a “hung Lok Sabha that would imply political instability which would be adverse from the national security point of view.”

Who could have imagined the media speculating that days of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister are numbered, that the countdown has started and even if the BJP manages to cobble a majority in next year’s general election, Narendra Modi may not remain the Prime Minister?

But the defeat of the BJP in the three crucial state elections to the Congress in direct contests has sent alarm bells ringing. All political pundits were earlier agreed that Prime Minister Modi and BJP could not expect to repeat the performance in 2014. BJP, they held, could lose a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 100 seats in the Lok Sabha and that it would have to make up the loss from new BJP turfs like the North-East, Odisha and West Bengal.

What has taken even the pundits by surprise, however, are rising voices within the BJP and the RSS in favour of projecting a new prime ministerial candidate. Not surprisingly, letters have been written to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat that both Modi and Amit Shah had become liabilities and that the Nagpur MP and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari be projected as an alternative. His proximity to RSS leaders and headquarters at Reshambagh at Nagpur is of course an advantage.

Gadkari himself has been striking independent notes. At a time when the Government was gloating over what it believed to be the impending extradition of Vijay Mallya from London, Gadkari spoke up and said that it was inappropriate to describe a one-time loan defaulter as a scamster and fugitive. He also left nothing to imagination when he asserted that some people in the BJP loved to speak and that such people need to learn to speak less. While he pointedly said he was joking, nobody was left with any illusion about the leaders he was referring to.



NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Intelligent India

Superstitions kill animals - Article by Maneka Sanjay Gandhi



Superstitions kill animals. This is the third article enumerating what illegal animal parts are being sold, by so called Hinduism sites, to gullible buyers in search of magic to change their lives for the better. People who have reached such a level of frustration and fear, that they are prepared to spend money to destroy every other species in the hope that this will bring a change in their fortunes. There are more lies about so-called Sacred Objects than any other items in the world – shaligrams (ammonite stones) rudrakshas (seeds of the Elaeocarpusganitrus tree) for instance, but I am only taking those that involve animal lives.

I have already written about hathjodi, the penis of the monitor lizard and SiyarSinghi, the imaginary horn on the head of a particular jackal(neither the species, nor the bone exists).

The biggest fraud of all is the Nagamani, the magic stone that supposedly comes from the forehead of a cobra. It supposedly can be amber yellow, honey, dark green, light green, red, white or black (depending on the plastic available!).

It purportedly emanates light all the time and can be used at night as an alternative to an electric bulb. It can be seen from miles away like a helmet worn by a miner. (Except on the snake’s forehead where it doesn’t glow at all.) However, according to the sites, who need to have built in alibis when the items they sell for lakhs of rupees don’t work, the “light emission is proportionate to the age of the snake, who should be older than 30 years, and the stone from a younger snake does notpossess that much light as that of an old snake gem. So nagamanis which aregenuine from snakes but are not old enough or grown enough do not emit enoughlight.” Some emit a pale green light only at night and only if they have been kept in the sun during the day. Some emit light only when they are kept on tree leaves, others when kept on flowers, some only do it outside the house and others – when no one is looking. Some light up on amavasya or no moon night. If it doesn’t light up at all, then it is an ‘ichhadharinagamani’ which is even rarer and costlier in that it will light up at will !!!” Considering that the life of a King Cobra is about 17-20 years in captivity and half of that in the wild and normal cobras are even less, the chances of a finding an electric bulb in its head are non-existent. One site says that an opaque nagamani that doesn’t emit light is also a nagamani except that it is a second level one and its real name is Snakestone.

Some nagamanis are solid like stone. Others are transparent. The sites hasten to add that the nagamani cannot be identified by a gemology laboratory, only by people who are experts in the Vedas (where it is not mentioned at all). There seems to be no settled idea of what a nagamani is – except its price and what it brings to the buyer: protection from snakes, devils and chronic diseases.

Every site accuses the other of selling fakes made of plastic or stone. Some say only the black ones are real and all the other colours are fake. Others say that only the blacks are fake.
Bill kiJer or Bill kiNaal is the umbilical cord of the cat which is almost impossible to get as the cat eats it immediately on giving birth. The only way it can be gotten is if you tie up a cat while it gives birth, subject it to physical torture and cut the cord yourself. This so called cord – which is probably a human umbilical cord as these are often thrown away in hospitals- is meant for gamblers, stockbrokers, share investors and they must energise it with an expensive puja. It will then give lots of money and many buildings.

No one knows what the Garudmani or Eagle Pearl is. Even the sites do not explain which part of the eagle ‘s body this amazing stone comes from, but it is probably petrified and baked faeces. Its buyer, according to them, will develop keen eyesight, hunting skills, powers of observation, dominance over others, focus. He will soar like a bird and retrieve territory, becoming hugely popular as he swoops down. He will keep Rahu, Mangal and Shukra under his wings. All this in one piece of faeces evicted by the bird.

The same sites are selling lion teeth which have been “washed, brushed and cleaned properly”. Made into amulets they give strength and power and every judge, ruler and army officer has only risen to the top because he keeps energized teeth in his pants. If I find any buyers, after this site owner gives his list to the police, they will also be head prisoners in jail.

The Gajamukta/Hathimani, or Elephant pearl, is touted as found in a very rare species of elephant (there are only two, the African and Asian). They come from “Airavata elephants” (a species only known to Indra the raingod and are a synonym for clouds). The pearl is a dull white piece which is a mixture of ivory, pearl, bone marrow, calcium, Vitamin D and the secretion of the elephant’s brain! And this unlikely mix is supposed to cure cancer, arthritis, impotency, childlessness and make you rich.

How do the sites identify it as authentic? All water touched by it turns to milk. It throbs in your hand. It drinks coconut water. To test it, sit in the Northeast direction with the gajamani in your right hand and close your eyes for 90 minutes. If you are a good person and your chakras are clean then you will feel terrible pain in your heart, spine and head. If you feel nothing then you should buy it since you need to get your chakras cleaned up!

Owl feet are commonly found in the market and on sites. This extremely useful bird is now very threatened because it is captured and its feet cut and dried and sold as amulets that bring protection against illness and the evil eye.

Imagine a table full of lizard and jackal penises, bird faeces and feet, predator teeth, bits of elephant bone, pebbles and plastic, seeds and stones. Do you think this crackpot collection will give you riches and poweror cure your diseases? Do you not sound mad?

Two sadhus met. What are you searching for, asked one. “I am looking for where God is” replied the second, “And you?”. “I am looking for where God isn’t.” said the first. God and success lies within you, not in sticks and stones and the blood, bone and faeces of killed animals.



Maneka Sanjay Gandhi



Pl. add: To join the animal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in, www.peopleforanimalsindia.org

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Intelligent India

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Oil Prices and the Hypocrisy of the Opposition by Arun Jaitley



The challenges thrown up by the increase in the international price of crude oil cannot be resolved by either the tweets or television bytes of some opposition leaders. The problem is serious. The oil producing nations have capped their production, thus creating a demand-supply mismatch.

The political crisis in Venezuela and Libya has adversely impacted the production in those countries. The US sanctions on Iran have increased the uncertainty towards Iran’s supplies to its buyers. The commercial supply of shale gas, which was intended to balance the high crude oil cost, is running behind schedule.

The high cost of crude oil has also impacted the currency situation. India’s macroeconomic fundamentals with regard to its fiscal deficit, inflation, foreign exchange reserves etc. are fairly stable. Tax collections are encouraging. However, a high cost of crude oil adversely impacts the Current Account Deficit. That, in turn, impacts the currency. Additionally, the hardening of the dollar has further impacted most global currencies. Both the above factors have an impact on the cost of fuel available to a citizen.

The cost of crude increased in the month of April and May. Thereafter, it softened a bit and then increased to its highest level in the past four years. The cost of oil does not move in a straight line. Depending on the global factors, it increases or decreases. A section of the media excessively reports the increase when the prices rise and blackout the reductions when prices fall. Government critics rejoiced the political consequences of the increase of the crude prices. This was evident from their comments. When the price was reduced yesterday, the critics did a volte face and argued that this is bad economics. Let me categorically assure all that there is no going back on deregulation of oil prices. Even Rahul Gandhi, whose party had inflicted a double digit inflation on India during the past five years of UPA-II, gave television bytes and released tweets advocating a price reduction.

The NDA Government has an exemplary record of fiscal prudence. We have maintained the gradual glide path since 2014 to bring down fiscal deficit. We will continue to do so.

No Government can be insensitive towards its people. In the last four Budgets, the Modi Government, to the section of small and middle tax-paying population, has consistently given some direct tax relief each year. The cumulative effect of these income-tax concessions already given is Rs.97,000 crores each year. The reduction of GST rates in the first 13 months itself with regard to 334 commodities has given a Rs.80,000 crore annual relief to the consumer. Last year, in the month of October, when the oil prices were rising, the Centre cut down its excise duty by Rs.2. We have requested the States to make a similar cut. Most of the BJP-NDA States did so. The others refused to do so. I had always maintained that in extraordinary situation, the capacity of an economy to give relief will depend on it’s fiscal strength. In view of the increase, particularly in the direct tax revenue, the Centre decided to give between central excise and the absorptions by the OMCs, a Rs.2.5 relief to the consumer. We requested the States to give a similar relief.

The Centre’s oil tax revenues remain static. The Centre charges a fixed amount. What the Centre gets as tax revenue, 42% of it is passed on to the States. The States independently charge their VAT. The average VAT rate in the country is about 29%. Thus, the States were getting 29% of the lower cost price a few months ago. They now get 29% on the increased price. The States benefit from higher oil prices. The Centre’s collection remains the same. Thus, the capacity of the States to give a Rs.2.5 benefit is within their capacity. Their extra tax collection, because of increase in oil prices, is much larger since their taxes are ad valorem. Yet we have a situation where a number of non-BJP non-NDA States have refused to pass on any benefit to the consumer. What are the people supposed to conclude? Are Rahul Gandhi and his reluctant allies only committed to tweets and television bytes when it comes to give relief to the common man? Depending on the ad valorem rate of VAT in the States and after collecting the VAT and getting 42% of the Centre revenue, 60-70% of the total oil tax goes to the States. Must not the non-BJP States be candid with the people and tell them that both in 2017 and 2018 they refused to give any relief to the people even from their higher revenues. They sent out tweets and gave television bytes but when it came to performance, they looked the other way.

Courtesy : https://www.arunjaitley.com

Monday, January 22, 2018

By Invite , Maneka Gandhi




Why do people eat certain animals and keep others as pets? Very often because they think that the animals they eat are not sentient, do not feel fear, pain or stress. But all these animals feel exactly as you do, and they show their stress as well.

For instance, in farms where cattle are grown for slaughter, the cow will try to give birth to her child in a secluded place, and if she sees humans going there she actually tries to draw them away by pretending she is going to her calf somewhere else. It is as if she knows she is in a concentration camp and needs to give her child a fighting chance to escape.

In a few countries (it is now banned in most parts of the world including India and the EU) it is common for pregnant sows to be kept in “gestation crates” for their entire 16-week pregnancy period. A gestation crate is a metal crate or cage with a bare, slatted floor, which is so narrow that the sow cannot turn around and can only stand up and lie down with difficulty. How does the sow respond to this terrible stress? She goes into clinical depression, sham chewing and bar-biting, indicating severe frustration and stress.

Tail biting in pigs is considered an abnormal behaviour, where a pig bites or chews another pig's tail. This is a sign of extreme stress in the animal. Tail biting typically occurs in indoor facilities with a high density of pigs housed in a confined area with poor ventilation and/or poor feed quality and accessibility. Chickens show the same stress when they are cooped up with other chickens. The birds try to bite each other, or scratch each other’s wings off. Instead of making the place less stress free for hens, the poultry owner responds by cutting of the beaks and toes of chickens, making their lives even more stress and pain filled. Sheep that have restricted space, poor feed, and are maintained in indoor systems, start pulling out the wool of other sheep. It is usually one member of the group that initiates wool pulling and this catches on. This stress created behaviour has a social ranking as well, where the lowest ranking sheep usually are the victims of wool pulling.

Horses are built to walk and eat and have social relationships, and when these are thwarted, abnormal behaviour results. They weave their heads to and fro and keep shifting their weight from foot to foot. Crib biting is an abnormal, compulsive behaviour which involves the horse grabbing a solid object, such as the stall door or fence rail, with its incisors, then arching its neck, pulling against the object, and sucking in air.

When cattle are confined in intensive factories, they express stress through rolling their tongue, curling and uncurling it inside or outside their mouth, partially swallowing it and gulping air. Licking objects and biting bars is common.

Calves raised for 'white' veal are generally fed a milk-like diet from birth until they are slaughtered at about four months of age. The calves are prevented from eating any solid food, like grass, so that the colour of the meat remains pale. With a few days of this unnatural diet calves go into extreme stress. They spend hours per day in what appears to be 'vacuum grazing'. They extend the tongue out of the mouth and curl it to the side in what appears to be the action that cattle use to grasp a bunch of grass and pull it into the mouth, but the calves do this simply in the air, without the tongue contacting any physical object.

Calves without their mothers try to take hold and suck parts of the pen and buckets with their mouth, or even the skin of other calves. They prefer to suck ears, nave and scrotums. Their body position and posture resembles a naturally sucking calf, including pushing movements.

In order to measure stress in sheep, researchers at CSIRO in New South Wales devised an experiment to look for changes in behaviour that give away an animal’s mood. When humans are feeling anxious, we pay more attention to things that seem threatening. Scientists call this an “attention bias.” If farm animals do the same thing, then testing how attentive they are to threats could be a simple way to measure how anxious they are.

60 female Merino sheep were divided into three groups. A control group went through the experiment with only their natural level of anxiety. The researchers artificially increased the anxiety of the second group of sheep by injecting them with methyl-chlorophenylpiperazine or mCPP—a drug that “has been reported to induce anxiety in a range of species,” they write. The third group of sheep got a relaxing shot of diazepam, also known as Valium.

Each sheep was led into a walled yard with a food bucket sitting in the middle. A window in one of the walls revealed a dog sitting quietly outside. After 10 seconds, the window was shut so the sheep couldn’t see the dog anymore. Each sheep stayed in the yard for about three minutes while video cameras recorded its behaviour.

Every sheep froze when it saw the dog. But what happened after the window was shut?

Sheep in the control group spent about 22 seconds staring in the direction of the window after it was closed. Sheep injected with the anxiety-increasing mCPP spent almost 40 seconds like this. But sheep injected with the anti-anxiety drug stared for just 14 seconds, on average, before moving on with their lives. More than half of the diazepam sheep then ate from the bucket. Hardly any control sheep could bring themselves to eat and none of the high-anxiety sheep ate a bite.

The more anxious the sheep, the more attention it paid to the perceived threat – just as a human would. While the experiment, that anxiety (or lack of anxiety), was drug-induced. But it provided a way to measure the anxiety sheep feel from their everyday experiences.

Farmed fish live in very stressful conditions, vastly different to what they have evolved to cope with in the wild. Fish in aquaculture farms are forced to live in crowded tanks and endure unwanted interactions with other fish, handling by humans, struggles to get food, and sudden changes in lighting, water depth and currents. Cooped up, these fish live a life of suffering. Up to a quarter of fish in fish farms have stunted growth, and so acute is their mental trauma that they float lifelessly on the surface of the tanks. These fish are known as 'drop outs.' According to new research by Royal Society Open Science, these fish exhibit behaviour and brain chemistry identical to those of very stressed and depressed people.

Put yourself in their place. You don’t just kill them once, when you eat them. They die a thousand deaths every day.



Maneka Sanjay Gandhi



Pl. add: To join the animal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in, www.peopleforanimalsindia.org

By Maneka Gandhi



I never thought the day would come when I would recommend the drinking of milk! But it has and I am recommending the drinking of camel milk. The Foods Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has, on December 2, 2016 , put camel milk on its list of animal products that can be marketed for human consumption. This decision has come as a result of sustained lobbying by Sahjeevan, the NGO that is working to save camels and pastoral breeders. However, since FSSAI is, after all, ruled by government bureaucracy, they cannot do anything without making major mistakes. So some worthy (read idiot) in the Food Standards Bureau has written that the standard for camel milk has to be 3.0% fat. This is unrealistic, as camels in India are open grazed and their milk has 1.5 - 2.5% fat. FSSAI has been made aware of this discrepancy and has agreed to revise the standards when a study by a credible agency samples fat in camel milk in India.

Drink camel milk for three reasons:

1. It will save the camels. Camels are in steep decline. In 2012 there were 4 lakh camels – down from 10 lakh in 2008. Now they are less than a lakh. They are found in the five states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, UP and Bihar. Of these, 80% are found in Rajasthan, largely bred by the Raika community of pastoralists. There are 9 recognised breeds of camels in India, of which 7 are in Rajasthan. There are 2 crore camels in the world – and India is the only country where they are declining, because keeping them has become increasingly unviable for the pastoralists. Their traditional way of life has been attacked by disappearing grazing lands, mechanized farming, parasitic disease. The Raikas also find themselves struggling to survive in the face of active hostility towards their migratory traditions.

In Rajasthan the number of Raika herders have dropped more than 70% from the 1990s. The number of camels has fallen so drastically in the past 30 years that it has prompted the Rajasthan government to declare it as their state animal in 2014, hoping to increase protection for the animal.

With draught requirements being replaced with motorised options, camels are increasingly being illegally sold for meat. Everyday 100 or so are brought out of Rajasthan – even when the law there says that no camels can be taken outside the state – and cut in Mewat /Baghpat/ Meerut, or sent to Bangladesh. If we could drink camel milk then the herders could earn thousands every month and they would have an incentive to keep them.

2. Camel milk cannot be extracted in the same cruel fashion as cow and buffalo milk. The camels are free grazing. They cannot be locked up and their male children sold to the butchers, as they simply won’t give milk. Female camels’ thirteen-month gestation period must conclude in a live birth followed by suckling, else the female camel will stop producing milk. Unlike a dairy cow, which is parted from her calf when it is born and then gives milk for six to nine months, a camel can share her milk with the farmer and her calf for twelve to eighteen months. Therefore, pastoralists will be the main suppliers.

3. Camel milk is much better for you than cow or buffalo milk.

It is a superfood for diabetics. With 67 million sufferers, India has the highest population of diabetics in the world. Camel milk contains 52 units of insulin per litre, which is 60% of the average necessary external insulin administration for type 1 diabetics, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels, giving your body the insulin intake it needs in the most natural form. A study conducted on 24 Type 1 Diabetes patients, who consumed camel milk along with standardized exercise and standardized diet concluded that “There was a significant improvement in the microalbuminuria after receiving camel milk for 6 months. A significant reduction in the mean dose of insulin for obtaining glycemic control was achieved.” There is evidence that Camel milk helps with diabetic nephropathy.

One of the major complaints which diabetics have is that their pancreases do not function efficiently to process the sugar into its energy components. Camel milk improves the pancreatic function of the body, thus enabling the proper breaking down and absorption of blood sugar. A study conducted over 3 months compared the effects of camel’s milk and cow’s milk on a group of diabetic and non-diabetic men. The diabetics who were given camel’s milk, showed a decrease in fasting blood sugar levels and in blood glucose after eating. Their average blood sugar levels (HbA1c) were also reduced.

One of the serious complications of Diabetes is delayed wound healing and the consequent high chances of bacterial infections. A study demonstrated that camel whey proteins expedite the healing of diabetic wounds, by enhancing the immune response of wounded tissue cells .

Research has shown that camel milk might be helpful for people with autism, Type 1 diabetes, food allergies, hepatitis B and other autoimmune diseases, according to dietitians at The Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Centre, and in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. “Studies have shown that the consumption of camel milk increases the bodies' production of antioxidant enzymes thereby lowering oxidative stress within the body.”

Camel’s milk contains A2 beta casein, unlike breed cows like Holstein or Friesian which produce milk that contains A1 beta casein. A1 beta casein is broken down into a peptide called beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7), which suppresses the immune system, causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and has been implicated in the development of Type 1 diabetes.

It apparently is also good for autistic children. A study, published in the 2005 edition of the International Journal of Human Development, cited anecdotal evidence of improvements in young autistic patients who switched from cow to camel’s milk. A study by Baba Farid Centre for Special Children (BFCSC), along with National Research Centre on Camel (NRCC) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi also claims that camel milk is beneficial for autistic children. Autism is often accompanied by gut problems, food allergies and food intolerance. Camel milk does not contain beta lactoglobulin, the allergen present in the milk of ruminants.

Nutritionally, camel’s milk is lower in total fat, saturated fat, but equal to cow’s milk in protein. It has ten times more iron and 5 times more vitamin C than cow's milk. One cup of camel milk contains approximately 107 calories and 293 milligrams of calcium (more than any other milk) besides 5.4 grams of proteins. It has a higher amount of magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and copper, Vitamins C, Vitamin A, D, C, B1, B2 & E. Immunity boosting lysozome and lactoferrin (antimicrobial agents) and less fat, whey protein, lactose and zinc. Cholesterol in camel milk is lower than in cow or goat milk. It is considered safe for children allergic to bovine milk. In many countries, camel milk is given to babies suffering from malnutrition.

Is camel milk something new? Camel milk production is more than 18,40,201 tons per year globally, with Somalia making the most. In 2006, in view of its medical value, UN declared camel milk as a superfood.

But camels, because they have not been tampered with genetically and given hormones and antibiotics as cows and buffaloes have been, produce only 4-5 litres a day – as against 40 litres that cows are made to produce. So there is less of it, and it is more expensive. The upside is that it is totally organic, and you do not get deadly poisons in it like oxytocin – which every single litre of cow/buffalo milk has in India and which gives tuberculosis, cancer and other diseases.

Where can you buy camel milk? You can get it from the Bikaner based National Research Centre on Camels. India's first camel milk microdairy project, was set up in 2016 by LPPS, an NGO working with Raika camel breeders. The Kumbhalgarh Camel Dairy, based at the LPPS Camel Conservation Centre at Sadri, Rajasthan, produces pasteurised camel milk and cheese products and distributes it to Delhi.

You can order it online from Camelicious, a company in Dubai which has recently launched its range of Camel Milk Products like Camel Milk Powder, Camel Milk Ghee, and Camel Milk Cheese for online sale of camel milk in India. Or you can ask your local supermarket to get it. If there is demand, there will be supply.

Environmentally, camel milk is much better than any other milk. It has supported pastoral communities for centuries. Herders survive solely on milk when taking the camels on long distances to graze in arid environments. It is an alternative to cow dairy farming in dry regions of the world where bovine farming consumes large amounts of water and electricity. In fact, camels contribute to de-desertification, according to UNESCO. Camels, with their ability to go 21 days without drinking water, and produce milk even when feeding on low-quality fodder, are a sustainable option for food security in difficult environments.