In November, through our partner, The Donkey Sanctuary India, we helped roughly 5,000 donkeys and their owners at the Bateshwar Fair, one of the largest animal fairs of its kind in northern India, which sees the trade of thousands of donkeys, mules, horses, cattle, camels and goats each year.
The fair’s organisers failed to install a hand pump for water in this dry, hilly region, leading to near-panic amongst donkey owners, whose animals didn’t have access to any water.
In response to the desperate situation and the deteriorating condition of the donkeys and mules, we sourced large tanks of water and installed them at strategic locations within the fair premises.
The big blue water tanks were refilled twice daily. Once this urgent situation had been resolved, we went ahead with our original agenda of providing veterinary treatment for ill or injured donkeys and working with owners, organisers and the local government to bring about lasting improvement in conditions at the fair.
The hard-working team was encouraged by the gratitude of many donkey owners, who called them heroes and thanked them for providing life-sustaining water and generous compassion to their valuable animals.