In 2001 Help in Suffering together with volunteer veterinary surgeons from the UK, Richard and Emma Morris set up the Help in Suffering Camel Welfare Project in response to the suffering of working camels around Jaipur.
The Camel Welfare Project now has two units. Based at the Help in Suffering hospital the Jaipur Camel Project tends to the welfare and veterinary needs of the working camels across the city. In Bassi on the Agra Road we have the Camel Rescue Centre to treat, and admit to hospital camels in the rural areas around Jaipur where there are no veterinary services for them.
The Camel welfare work at Help in Suffering is funded by Animaux Secours, the Marchig Trust, SPANA, ELSU Foundation, Carpenter Trust, Animal Aid Abroad and many others interested in the welfare of these remarkable creatures.
Camels are used to pull carts in and around Jaipur. They are often owned by poor families from marginalised sections of society. Locally there are few veterinary services available to the camels and their owners. The Jaipur Camel Project was set up in 2001 to address these problems. With a specially designed mobile clinic the camel team, headed by Dr Abhinav Swami, visit areas across the city where camels and their owners commonly gather for work. The team treats any sick and injured camels, educates owners on good husbandry, and fixes reflectors to camel carts to reduce the risk of night-time road accidents. In emergency cases the Jaipur Camel team attends injured and sick camels across the city whenever necessary. The Project treats over 200 camels during routine visits and may attend 15-20 emergency cases every month. Occasionally, injured camels requiring daily treatment as admitted to the Help in Suffering hospital in Jaipur. Nose peg wounds and accidents are amongst the challenges the team faces.
It was quickly obvious at the start of the Camel Welfare Project that many draught camels work in rural areas especially around brick kilns and in the transport of wood to the city. It was also clear that the Help in Suffering hospital was not ideally equipped for cases needing daily treatment. With this in mind a Camel Rescue Centre (CRC) has been established in the village of Bassi near the Agra road about 30 miles from Jaipur. The building of the Centre was funded by the ELSU Foundation (Switzerland). The Centre has facilities to admit camels for treatment, and to provide long-term care to camels. A mobile clinic operates from the Centre to provide veterinary care and advice to camels and their owners in a large number of villages across a large area around the Bassi Centre. The CRC has expanded its work to include treatment of all types of animals in nearby areas, and has been equipped, with help from supporters in Australia, with an ambulance with hydraulic lift to allow the easier and more welfare friendly rescue of sick and injured camels and other large animals. The CRC is run by Dr. Amit Kumar who lives at the Centre in Bassi. The Camel Rescue Centre treats between 2-300 animals a month