The Donkey Sanctuary has been working in India since 1988, providing all-year-round community education, veterinary treatments and improvement of harness, helping thousands of donkeys.
Our projects over five regions of the country operate from Ahmedabad, Gwalior, New Delhi, Rajasthan and Solapur and cover numerous villages, brick kilns and city sites.
Nomadic brick kiln workers rely on their donkeys to earn a wage to support their families. Sadly, their children often miss out on an education and some will end up working at the kilns with their parents from a very young age. The Donkey Sanctuary’s project near Delhi gives these children access to education for free.
The Donkey Sanctuary’s teams in India witness first-hand how valuable donkeys are to their owners, and the bond that develops between human and animal.
Many donkeys in India work long hours on building sites to help their owners earn a basic living. Donkeys and their owners work side-by-side for as long as ten hours a day carrying heavy loads of sand, bricks and other building materials for as little as 70 rupees in wages, approximately £1. The working day often begins at 4am when the air is cooler, to avoid the intense heat of the afternoon sun.
The Donkey Sanctuary has stepped in to help the young carer of a lame donkey, who herself suffers from mobility problems in both legs.
Staff from the charity’s Delhi team learned about Kavita during their regular visits to brick kilns and building sites where donkeys are used as working animals.
Donkeys working at Indian brick kilns benefit as their owners learn to treat minor wounds and sores themselves, thanks to free training offered by The Donkey Sanctuary.
Vets from The Donkey Sanctuary make regular visits to brick kilns, building sites and other areas where there is a high concentration of working donkeys, and last year provided veterinary care for almost 24,000 working donkeys and mules in India. The training offered to donkey owners enables them to treat minor ailments in between the charity’s visits. If treated early, wounds can heal rather than becoming more serious.
Supporter Liz Gaffer would spend all of her time with donkeys if she could, so when deciding to take a holiday in India, she made sure she spent some time with The Donkey Sanctuary’s teams there. Her blog below provides a snapshot of her time in the country.