Camel is a gift of nature, gifted to the drought stricken people of the planet earth. The human wisdom decided to domesticate the animal which can cope with the harsh and hostile ecosystems 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 the important task given to the camel was to provide food in the conditions where other type of livestock had difficulties to sustain.
Camel is therefore considered to be the only livestock domesticated for the milk production. Though, later on the burden on camel was increased and many more tasks were given to the camel, like transportation, racing, meat, and others, etc. Luckily, camel is turning back to its original tasks, mainly because of its resilience & sustainability (sustainable milk yield) and the awareness about healing powers of camel milk.
Conceptulization of the Camel Association of Pakistan (CAP) in 2008
When I (Dr. Raziq) finished my PhD research work and started dissertation write up, many ideas emerged and I deeply realized that though the camel is very important animal but there is very less support and appreciation for the camel and camel keepers both at country and international levels. So, I started conceptualization of a struggle to bring the camel in the notice of policy makers at all levels. The idea of CAP was to take the first but the important step to highlight the importance of camel at the country levels. Unfortunately, there was very less or negligible level of support for the camel and its keepers.
That time, I had a job in the dept. of Livestock and Dairy Development (L&DD Dept.) Balochistan but on study leave for PhD 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 to 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 about the role of native livestock breeds, especially the camel. As camel is one of the most important livestock in the province Balochistan and playing a pivotal role in the livelihood of the people, so it was not hard to convince him on supporting a camel organization at provincial and country level.
In the meanwhile, other colleagues and friends came forward and supported the idea of a country organization on camel. Dr. Zia ur Rehman Kakar was a 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 PhD dissertation in the university of vet and animal sciences (UVAS) Lahore. Ultimately, in December 2008, we, laid the foundation of the CAP in the LM departement UAF.
Further details of the CAP will be shared in another article.
WCD 22 June
As I mentioned before, while compiling my PhD work, 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 the people about the importance of camel as a food security agent in climate change scenario.
Why we chose 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 day. 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 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 camel, 50% share of the Pakistan’s 1 million population of camels). Slowly and gradually, we earned the support at 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 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 Dachi camel milk brand in the university and invited the famous camel lady Ilse Kohlor Rollefson to attend the WCD 2014 and inauguratethe Dachi milk.
In the comming 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 longer time, therefore, I’m hereby sharing some pictures about the WCD celebrated at global level.
On this world camel day 22 June, 2020 there are many evenets and one of the most important one is the Virtual University Symposium in Pakistan. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eDA5mfYOQnmi8h18xFfksw
We hereby cardially invite you to join us in this important symposium and learn about the different aspects of camel from the world’s reknowned camel scientists and lovers.