At Animal Nepal we believe in creating change and making it everlasting which can only be achieved through education. Educating communities has been our primary importance since the beginning of our project. Besides providing emergency treatments and conducting health camps in brick factories we have been engaged in educating the equine owners and handlers and motivating them towards better changes in every possible ways. After working with the team experts from The Donkey Sanctuary UK and Donkey Sanctuary India at one of the biggest equine fair at Barabanki, our knowledge on educating communities even got broader.
Barabanki Equine fair also known as Dewa mela is one of India’s biggest equine fair that takes place every year at Barabanki, Utter Pradesh. Donkey Sanctuary India has been attending the fair and helping the communities and their animals since last 5 years. However, for Animal Nepal, attending such a big fair and working with multinational team was a very first experience and a huge learning opportunity. We got to learn new and creative approach to educating owners from Sushil Srivastava, Community Partnership and Education Officer and Aditya Sahoo Community Partnership and Education Coordinator for The Donkey Sanctuary India.
More than 1000 equine owners and traders from both India and Nepal attended the fair. A team from DSI would go out with their microphone and speakers providing basic information like offering enough water to animals, keeping indigestible materials like plastics and ropes away from the fodder etc. Another team would go out for conducting welfare assessment in the fair and guiding owners to the health camp whenever they witnessed any sick or injured animals. They would conduct an education session based on the identified issue in a certain area of the fair.
Education materials were prepared in a simplest way to make people understand better. Special sessions were conducted on most common health problems like Colic, Trypanosomiasis, Rabies and Tetanus. The major objective of education session was to prevent the diseases on the first hand. The people who brought their sick animals to the camp were not only given medical support but were also provided knowledge on prevention of the diseases.
It was also a great relief to see some young men in the equine business who were educated enough to take some help from internet and educate themselves on certain diseases. They had left behind the traditional way of treating animals which were practiced by their parents and had adopted a whole new approach of taking care of their animals. They were also seen encouraging elders of their communities to get rid of traditional ways of treatment.
Animal Nepal also got an opportunity to meet Nepali traders and owners at Barabanki. On their request, a special education session was arranged inside the camp which was conducted by Mr. Sushil Shrivastava. There he discussed the cause and prevention of colic and trypanosomiasis which are the most common health problem in brick factories of Kathmandu. It was a great learning opportunity for both the Nepali owners and team of Animal Nepal. We had been working with most of the equine owners in brick factories of Kathmandu since many years but meeting them outside the country and learning together was a whole new experience. Many thanks to The Donkey Sanctuary UK and Donkey Sanctuary India. We are definitely going to use all the knowledge and experience we gained at Barabanki fair in our upcoming programmes.