Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar, the founder of World Camel Day
He is a doctorate in animal science, with a special emphasis on dromedary as a potential dairy animal, He has been working with the camels for the last 22 years. He gained practical experience with camels, like a camel dairy professional, both by training and experience. Since 2014, Dr. Raziq Kakar is solely working with a camel dairying entity (Alain Farms for Livestock Production) which is the world’s first commercial camel dairy, Alain Abu Dhabi UAE. In my philosophy, the camel is a magical biological model coping with the warming planet scenario while producing health-promising milk and meat in challenging circumstances. https://arkbiodiv.com/dr-abdul-raziq-kakar/
Camel is a gift of nature
Camel is a gift of nature, gifted to the drought-stricken people of the planet earth. Human wisdom decided to domesticate the animal which can cope with the harsh and hostile ecosystems that emerged with the onset of the natural climate change thousands of years before. The wisdom worked very well and selected the incredible camel for this task. The main and important task given to the camel was to provide food in conditions where another type of livestock had difficulties sustaining.
Camel is therefore considered to be the only livestock domesticated for milk production. Though, later on, the burden on the camel was increased and many more tasks were given to the camel, like transportation, racing, meat, others, etc. Luckily, the camel is turning back to its original tasks, mainly because of its resilience & sustainability (sustainable milk yield) and the awareness about the healing powers of camel milk.
Conceptualization of the Camel Association of Pakistan (CAP) in 2008
When I (Dr. Raziq) finished my Ph.D. research work and started the dissertation write-up, many ideas emerged and I deeply realized that though the camel is a very important animal there is very less support and appreciation for the camel and camel keepers both in the country and international levels. So, I started conceptualization of a struggle to bring the camel to the notice of policymakers at all levels. The idea of CAP was to take the first but important step to highlight the importance of camel at the country levels. Unfortunately, there was a very less or negligible level of support for the camel and its keepers.
Role of Friends and Colleagues
At that time, I had a job in the dept. of Livestock and Dairy Development (L&DD Dept.) Balochistan but on study leave for Ph.D. in the dept. of Livestock Management, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (LMUAF), Pakistan. I presented the idea of a Camel Association in Pakistan to my mentor/supervisor Dr. Muhmmad Younas. Prof. Dr. Muhmmad Younas was Chairman of (LMUAF). He agreed with the idea and supported me at all levels, I once again thank him.
In the month of September 2008, I had consecutive meetings with Mr. Abdul Salam Baloch (Secretary government of Balochistan, Livestock and Dairy Development Department (L&DD Dept) and discussed the role of native livestock breeds, especially the camel. As the camel is one of the most important livestock in the province of Balochistan and plays a pivotal role in the livelihood of the people, so it was not hard to convince him on supporting a camel organization at the provincial and country levels.
In the meanwhile, other colleagues and friends came forward and supported the idea of a country organization on the camel. Dr. Zia ur Rehman Kakar was great support and the most active person in the process of the Camel Association of Pakistan (CAP). Dr. Zia Kakar is currently working on his Ph.D. dissertation at the university of vet and animal sciences (UVAS) Lahore. Ultimately, in December 2008, we laid the foundation of the CAP in the LM department UAF.
Further details of the CAP will be shared in another article.
WCD 22 June
As I mentioned before, while compiling my Ph.D. work, and reading piles of books and articles about the camels and camel-related aspects, I realized that there must be some day, mentioning and realizing the importance of the incredible camel.
In 2009, the author conceptualized the idea of a world camel day (WCD) to aware people of the importance of camels as food security agents in climate change scenarios.
Why do we choose the date of 22nd June?
In its original habitat, 21 June is the longest and hottest day of the year, in the northern hemisphere of the globe. Camel sustains its abilities of production in such harsh and hostile environments and adapts to the soaring heat and long thirsty days. We should have chosen the 21st of June as world camel day but it is specified for the world father day. So, we decided to skip 21 and selected 22nd June as the world camel day. The difference in day length is only 2 seconds between the 21st and 22nd of June. For further reading about the history of the world camel day, please go to the link below.http://camel4all.info/index.php/2020/06/21/why-a-world-camel-day-on-22-june/
We Start our Journey in 2009
From 2009 to 2012 WCD was celebrated in the province of Balochistan (the important habitat of camels, 50% share of Pakistan’s 1 million population of camels). Slowly and gradually, we earned support at the country as well as global level.
Here, I must praise the role of the very important camel colleagues like Ilse Kohler Rollefson, Prof. Dr. Yagil (the late), Dr. Abdul Salam Abax (KSA), and many other colleagues. It is very hard to mention the names of all the people who supported me in this noble cause.
In 2013, we launched the WCD Facebook page and received appreciation and support from all over the world. The next year, in 2014 WCD started celebrating in the different corners of the globe. The same year, LMUAF under the supervision of Dr. Younas launched the Dachi camel milk brand in the university and invited the famous camel lady Ilse Kohler Rollefson to attend the WCD 2014 and inaugurate the Dachi milk.
Some Historical Glimpses of the World Camel Day
In the coming years after 2014, the idea of WCD was taken up by many people and organizations and the details are very lengthy. I do not want to engage your for a longer time, therefore, I’m hereby sharing some pictures about the WCD celebrated at the global level.
Articles about the World Camel Day in Famous Daily Newspaper
World Camel Day Conferences
On world camel day on 22 June 2020, there are many events and one of the most important ones is the Virtual University Symposium in Pakistan. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eDA5mfYOQnmi8h18xFfksw
We hereby cordially invite you to join us in this important symposium and learn about the different aspects of a camel from the world’s renowned camel scientists and lovers.
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